Scientific Developments in the Indus Valley Civilization: Mathematical Accomplishments
All of modern-day Pakistan, North West India, and Western India were once part of the Indus Valley civilization. Between 2600 and 1900 BCE, the civilisation reached its zenith, flourishing from 3300 BCE to roughly 1700 BCE. More than a million square kilometres of land was covered by this civilisation, which included more than a thousand towns, the most of which were located in India and Pakistan. Among its contemporaries, the Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilizations, the Indus valley civilisation is regarded to have been the most powerful.
The writing used by the Indus Valley civilization is still a mystery to us, thus we know very little about it. It was, nonetheless, a highly developed civilisation with a sophisticated understanding of mathematics for its period, as evidenced by its architecture. An advanced culture with a thorough understanding of engineering and mathematics may be seen in the well-planned town layouts, waterproof walls, extensive drainage systems, enormous granaries, and the port at Lothal.
Binary and Decimal Ratios
The ratios utilised by the Indus Valley civilization were extremely precise, using binary and decimal ratios, such as 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, and 10, 20, 40, 160, 200, 300 and 640. Trade and commerce in Harappan civilisation was highly developed, as evidenced by the development of a precise system of weights and lengths. Until the international standardisation of the SI system of units, such units of measurement were in use in India.
Scales and Instruments
- A number of devices for measuring length were found. The Mohenjodaro ruler, a very accurate decimal ruler, is also fascinating. At a length of 1.32 inches, its subdivision has a maximum inaccuracy of just 0.005 inches. The Indus inch is the name given to this measurement’s length. The discovery of a bronze rod marked in lengths of 0.367 inches revealed another scale.
- Astonishingly, these scales are marked so precisely. Strides are measured in inches, and 100 of these units equals 36.7 inches. Harappan builders employed these units of length properly, according to measurements of the ruins of buildings excavated.
- Mohenjo-Daro was discovered during the excavation of Mohenjo-big Daro’s bath with nine parallel lines 6.7056mm apart. These parallel lines have extremely high accuracy, with a mean error of only 0.07 millimetres, when measuring distances between them. It’s a hollow circle on one line, with a solid circle on the sixth line from that line. Between these two lines, 33.54mm is known as an Indus inch, which is approximately 1.32inches.
- Until recently, the customary unit of gaz in India was 25 Indus inches, which shows how these units had been in use in India for so long. Furthermore, the sashimi, Mesopotamia’s standard unit of measurement, is exactly half the Indus inch, demonstrating the strong ties between the two civilizations.
- A plumb bob, also known as a plummet, is a weight strung from a string and used as a plumb-line, or a vertical reference line. As a forerunner of the spirit level, it’s a handy tool for getting a sense of height. There are numerous metals and stones that can be used to create it.
- Both Mohenjo-daro and Harappa have decorated terracotta cones, but no one knows what they were used for. It’s possible that they were used as a plumb bob by masons and carpenters, according to some scholars. Others speculate that they were used as toys or for writing. Many of the points have been worn smooth or chipped, but no traces of ink have been recovered.
The pyramids and temples of the ancient Egyptian civilization are a major draw for modern-day tourists. Clay tablets bearing the Hammurabi Code and the Gilgamesh Epic captivated Mesopotamia’s ancient culture. The Indus Valley civilization’s precision and organisation are two equally remarkable features. The civilization of the Indus Valley had a well-developed urban planning system with standardised systems for determining weights and lengths.