The Harappan Civilization, also known as the Indus Valley Civilization, existed between c. 7000 and c. 600 BCE in the northern Indian subcontinent as a cultural and political entity. Its contemporary name comes from its location in the Indus River valley.
These later names are derived from the Sarasvati River, which flowed alongside the Indus River and was referenced in Vedic writings. The ancient city of Harappa in the region was the first to be discovered in the modern age. Although researchers believe the people of this civilization created a writing system, none of these names is derived from any ancient literature. It could not be deciphered yet.
Concept of numbers and numerical system
Harappans utilised a place value system and a decimal numeral system with no zero. Mathematics was employed for practical purposes such as weight and distance measurement, scaling, and the use of a fixed proportion to manufacture bricks, among other things.
For both commercial and construction purposes, the people of the Indus Valley utilised a variety of weights and measuring tools. A number of weights and measurement objects calibrated during that period have been uncovered. They normally went in order, doubling from one, for example, 1,2,4,8,16…64. They had decimal multiples of 16 as well. (In the sense that a unit is made up of 16 parts, it is decimal.) Remember that the number ‘0’ was not put into practice.)
Several measuring sticks were discovered during excavation. Harappans are thought to be the creator of the linear system of measurement. The ‘angula’ (also documented in Arthasastra) was a unit of measurement that was used in India until recently.
The demise of the Indus Valley Civilization is a contentious issue. For many years, the Aryan invasion idea was accepted, according to which a tribe known as the Aryans invaded the civilization from Southwest Asia and Europe, slaughtered many, and forced the survivors to flee to south India, establishing the caste system between whites and blacks; Aryans and Dravidians.
However, due to a number of variables, this notion was later disproved. The rapid loss of civilization is now believed to be due to changes in climatic conditions, which killed many people, and only a few were able to migrate to central and eastern India. This is similar to floods over huge parts of Gujarat that drowned significant parts of Dwarka in the Arabian Sea.
Application of the numbers by the Harappans
Bricks were baked in the sun or on fire with a set proportion of 4:2:1 to ensure the stability of brick structures for wall construction in buildings. They devised a scale with a base unit of 1.32 inches (3.35 cm) to make bricks.
They adhered to the weight-loss system. The basic unit was 28 grammes, and they employed extra weights in the ratios of 1/20, 1/10, 1/5, 1/2, 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, and 500 grammes.
They had made weights and vessels for storing water, grains, and other commodities in the shape of regular geometrical objects such as barrels, cones, and cylinders, demonstrating rudimentary geometrical knowledge.
Although the Harappans did not have as much mathematics as the Babylonians, it was the beginning of a great period of Indian mathematics, with the decimal numeric system of India spreading to Arabs, Europe, and eventually the entire globe.
Thomas More stated that in Utopia people do not consider battle as a source of pride. They prefer to capture rather than kill their opponents. Such is the world that existed in the Harappan civilization. There were no signs of any weapons in the ruins of the great pacifistic civilization.
Invaders from the Aryan race killed the Harappan people ending the Indus Valley Civilization. Lacking weapons with which to strike or protect themselves, they ended up being defenceless and were slaughtered throughout the period with the Aryan migration. They possessed hunting and farming equipment.
The annihilation of these people by the Aryans was a tragic historical occurrence. The Aryans lived in villages and had little experience with city life. As a result, it took India hundreds of years to rebuild great towns like Mohenjo-daro. The great flood of the Indus river and the pandemics eventually ended the Harappan civilization.
Measurement and weighing system
Certain types of weights and measures may be traced back to the Indus civilization’s early towns in South Asia. The archaeological findings provide an overview of the many sorts of artefacts that may be used to learn more about ancient Harappan measuring systems and their conceptions of order and cosmology. The focus is on new finds at the Harappa site in Pakistan, where thorough measurements of a wide range of artefacts have been taken to better understand the uniformity and regional diversity of Indus measurement systems.
The Harappan civilisation may be thought of as one of the most successful civilizations of human history. Insofar as civilizations are made up of a network of towns that participate in cooperative, competitive, and conflict interactions, the sheer number of cities that made up the Harappan civilisation suggests that it grew to a size that was probably unmatched by other civilizations at the time.
Given the number of towns that made up the Harappan civilization and the geographical region over which it reigned, the overall number of people who made up the Harappan civilization must have been comparable. Even the most prosperous civilizations eventually fall apart. When we refer to a civilization’s “Golden Age,” we are tacitly acknowledging that civilizations progress from humble beginnings to a point of maturity at which their accomplishments take on their most magnificent form and that after that point, things tend to go downhill.