The Harappan civilization is one of the most mysterious and little-known civilizations of the ancient world. There is no translation of the Harappan language, so it is very difficult to know anything exact about these people or their lives. We do know it existed sometime around 3000 –1500 B.C., located along the Indus River in present day Pakistan. The culture is named after its central city, Harappa. Harappa and the city Mohenjo-Daro are the most well-known cities of the Indus valley civilization, but more than a hundred other towns and villages also existed in the region at the time.
These cities are known for their impressively organized layout. Each city had a central citadel with houses and buildings spreading away from it on well-planned streets. Circling each city’s borders are thick walls, made of mud brick that was baked hard. The buildings are also made of this mud brick and are rarely higher than two stories tall; Harappan cities were low and wide. The similarities in the plan and the construction of all the cities of the Indus Valley indicate that they were part of a single, unified government. All of the cities were constructed of the same type and shape of bricks and have very similar layouts. The two cities Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa are the largest of the Harappan cities; this suggests that they may have been capitals of their provinces.
The Harappan civilization experienced its height around 2500 BC and began to decline about 2000 BC. The causes of its downfall are not certain. One theory suggests that the Aryan people migrated into this area. Aryan religious texts and human remains in Mohenjo-Daro suggest that the Aryans may have violently entered the area, killing its inhabitants and burning the cities.
However, another theory supported by more recent evidence suggests that this civilization may have begun to decline before the Aryans arrived. The inhabitants of the Indus valley dispersed before the Aryans came, and the Aryans...