Indus Valley Civilization  | Early Civilizations | World History | Khan Academy

Indus Valley Civilization | Early Civilizations | World History | Khan Academy

– [Narrator] As we’ve talked
about in multiple videos, some of the earliest
civilizations we have found have been around river valleys, and that is no coincidence
because some of the first agriculture emerged around river valleys and the agriculture supported
higher population densities and more sedentary populations, and allowed for more specialization. And we have talked about several of these, the ancient Egyptians
around the Nile River, the ancient Mesopotamians
around the Tigris and Euphrates. And now we’re gonna talk
about the ancient civilization around the Indus River. The Indus River runs mostly
in modern-day Pakistan, and that’s why it’s called
the Indus Valley civilization. Indus Valley Civilization. It’s also sometimes referred to as the Harappan civilization, which was the first site
where they found evidence of this fairly extensive civilization. Now to get ourselves acquainted in time, this shows when archaeologists, historians consider to be the main part
of the Harappan civilization. There’s evidence that
people had basic villages, civilizations, agriculture here, as far back as 7,000 BCE, and that’s just based on
the evidence we have today, but when people refer to the
Indus Valley civilization in particular, they’re usually
staring around 3300 BCE and in orange right over here,
this is the early period, or you could say the early
Indus Valley civilization. Now some of the biggest
structures and pieces of technology that have been discovered have been right over here,
which is often referred to as the mature period for the
Indus Valley civilization, and then it goes into decline. We’ll talk about why it
might have gone into decline, although we’re not really sure, and this is called the late. Now to put it in context
relative to these other civilizations, remember
the ancient Sumerians were starting to be quite, I guess
you could say civilized, by about this period. You start having a lot of intermingling between the Acadians and the Sumerians as you get into the late third millennium. That’s when you have the
empire of Sargon the Great, the Acadian Empire. As you get to the end
of this mature period right over here, this is
close to or around the time of Hammurabi, the Babylonian Empire, and in Egypt, if you
go back to around 2500, around this time, that’s
when the pyramids were built and you have the Egyptian Kings, these god-kings that were
ruling for most of this period right over here and as we’ll
see, there was actually, we believe, a good bit
of cultural interchange between the significant civilizations. Now just to appreciate how
extensive this Indus Valley civilization was, I
will show you this map. And this map, it’s
zoomed in of that region around the Indus Valley
that I just showed you. This is a map of most of Pakistan here, and these red squares are
places where they have found evidence of the civilization. The first place was
Harappa, right over here, the Punjab region of Pakistan. And that’s why it’s called
the Harappan civilization. But as you can see, it’s much
more than just around Harappa. The largest site is at Mohenjo-Daro, right over here in the
Sindh region of Pakistan and it’s believed that
as many as 40,000 people lived in that city that
we now, or that site, that we now call Mohenjo-Daro. And so far, we have discovered
over 1,000 sites in this area and we believe that as
many as five million people might have been part of the civilization. Now the reason why we
think it is a civilization and now, and let me actually
keep scrolling around so you appreciate the extent of it. There’s sites in mainly, many
in Pakistan that you see here. There’s also quite a
few in modern-day India right over here, so it’s
an extensive network of these sites and the
reason why we think it’s one civilization, or at
least a connected culture, is that you find a lot of standardization. You find standardization in
their weights and measures. In fact, they have a unit
of measurement that’s as small as 1.6 millimeters,
and the reason why that’s important is you wouldn’t
create a unit of measurement of 1.6 millimeters unless you
knew how to use something, unless you know how to
make things that precise. And one of the things that
they made that precise are things like their structures. They had these standard
bricks and this brick size and many of these symbols that they used were found throughout these sites. Which said we don’t know
whether they were controlled by one ruler or one emperor,
but there was definitely a lot of cultural interchange to the point that they were
using the same size bricks, they were using the same symbols, they were using the same
units of measurement. And also, as you can imagine, having a unit of measurement that precise, that small implies that
they were great builders. And the evidence we find
today says yes, they were. This is a picture of
the site at Mohenjo-Daro in modern-day Sindh Pakistan, and you can see how
tight this brick work is, even by modern standards
this is quite good. You’d need to think of how
many things we would build would last 5,000 years in this good, being exposed to the environments. They think this was a public bath. You see a citadel in the background. We’ve discovered defensive structures. Perhaps most impressively, there is, or most impressive,
there’s sewage systems. They think houses had wells, water. So this was a technologically
advanced civilization especially for that time. In many ways, more advanced
than the other civilizations, the contemporary civilizations
that we had talked about. Here are some examples of their
sculpture or of their art. This is, this one right
over here is a picture, it’s called Dancing Girl,
but she’s not dancing, but they think that
might be her profession. It’s all speculation by
archaeologists today. This they believe is called Priest-King, once again, it’s all speculation. This is an example of the
types of seals they made. This is their jewelry, once again, this is quite intricate jewelry, and this jewelry was
not just discovered in archaeological digs in
these various sites. There’s evidence of
their jewelry as far as Mesopotamia in digs there. And they believe that there
was actually a very active maritime trade network
between these areas. There’s jewelry discovered
in these Indus Valley civilizations that were based on shells from the Arabian peninsula. They have materials from China, so there’s materials from
other parts of India, so once again, a very very
extensive trade network. These civilizations would
have known about them. But as we said, they were extremely, they seemed somewhat organized. Even though we can’t read their writing, in fact I have some examples
of their writing here. And you might notice, so this is examples of their writing and
you might notice there, this is turned into a
somewhat infamous symbol now, because of the Nazis, this is a swastika. But the swastika was one
of the symbols they used, it’s a symbol in Hinduism, it’s considered a symbol of good luck. It’s something that the
Nazis kind of usurped and turned it into a very negative thing, but it does show this connection between that Indus Valley or that
Harappan civilization and modern cultures that are in India and things like the Hindu religion. Although once again, we do not know a ton about their religion because
their language hasn’t survived and we cannot
decipher their actual writing. But because of their
organization and the consistency, or relative consistency
amongst these different sites that are so far flung, this is a large distance
even on modern day terms, but especially if we’re
talking about four or five thousand years ago. Because of that, we think that, okay, there must have been at
least decent government administration or organization
at a city-state level, although we’re unsure
whether there was a connected empire, whether you had an
organization beyond that or they all just decided to
take each other’s standards and symbols and brick
sizes and things like that. Now, one of the key
mysteries of the Indus Valley civilization is why did it end? It seemed to be this
thriving civilization, perhaps the most extensive one. In other videos, I talk about right now, the oldest wheel was
discovered in Mesopotamia, but some people think that
the wheel might have been used even earlier in the
Indus Valley civilization. I talk about this period,
as early as 3300 BCE, but there’s evidence that the civilization started much earlier. In the site right over here in Mehrgarh, right over here in Pakistan. They think that humans
were having simple villages and agriculture as early, there’s evidence as early as 7000 BCE and that site was discovered just in 1974. We might discover things that take us even further into the past, and when you have a
civilization that was around for so long, if there were people
there as early as 7000 BCE, we’re talking about it was
there for thousands of years, but all of a sudden, it starts to decline. There’s evidence of less
and less trade going on, less and less sophistication,
and then it ends. And it’s one of the mysteries of history, of archaeology today. Why did this Indus
Valley civilization end? Some of the older
theories were it was maybe it was a foreign invasion,
maybe some of the ancestors of the modern Indians invaded, or maybe they assimilated it somehow. More current theories don’t
think that was the case. They think it might be some
form of climate change, that some of the
important rivers dried up, made the agriculture much harder. Some people think it might
have been a natural disaster, it might have been a flood of some kind. But we just don’t know. Or the people, for some
reason, decided to leave, die, migrate to maybe
other parts of the region. But needless to say, it was
a significant civilization, and we’re just scratching the surface of what we know about it. We know a lot and we
know it was impressive, even though we can’t read their script and we don’t know as
much about it as we know about ancient Mesopotamia
and the ancient Egyptians, but signs are that as more time passes, we’ll realize that it was
more and more sophisticated and impressive than maybe
we even appreciate today.

85 thoughts on “Indus Valley Civilization | Early Civilizations | World History | Khan Academy

  1. I enjoy these little videos, however I am curious. You seem to brush over most topics, rather than delving deep into each one. Is that merely out of time sake, or you you intend to make long lessons on each topic on the Khan Academy website?

  2. Sir, it was not Pakistan…rather its INDIA.
    Ita jinna who demanded separate country.
    So, its not pakistani history instead INDIAN History and we study these in our high-school.
    & its not taught in pakistan & hence its not pakistani history.
    This civilization is ancestors of HINDUS.

  3. Really amazing all those historical monuments and buildings… Too bad that all it takes to someone decide to destroy it all is a war conflict.

  4. I wonder what the food was like back then? To be able to go back and sample some Indus Valley cuisine would be wonderful!

  5. Thanks for the video Sal, Indian history is so amazing way better than Pakistans.
    if harrapans were alive today they'd identify with India

  6. As mush I appreciate Sal Khan for highlighting the Indus valley civilization, some of the info presented in the video is extremely outdated. The oldest Indus Valley site is in Bhirrana, 7570BCE(located in Haryana, India) and the largest site is Rakhigari(Haryana, India). The reason Mohenjadaro and Harrapa receive a lot of importance is because they were the very first sites discovered by the British and majority of the research was carried out in those areas. However, after formation of Present day India and Pakistan, many archaeological sites were discovered in present day India. Currently there are 40 sites in India, 17 in Pakistan and 2 in Afghanistan. The eastern most Indus valley site is located in Alamgirpur(3300BCE) which itself is located between Rivers Ganges and Yamuna. For those people who wish to claim this civilization as part of their countries heritage, understand this when the British rediscovered Mohenjodaro and Harrapa, they were discovered in British India. There was no such thing as British Pakistan. Present day nations of India ,Pakistan and Bangladesh are only about 70 years old. However, we were one Civilization for most of history prior to that. Present day India itself is named after River Indus(Sanskrit Sindu).

  7. It ended because some sort of racial/genetic change must have occurred, same thing with ancient Egypt. The people responsible for these great achievements would have been able to sustain their civilization, so the only plausible theory is that the people responsible for such greatness were no longer there, as a result this civilization faded into oblivion.

  8. The Indian Pakistani bickering is so disappointing. Do you guys realize we're flying through infinity right now? Borders come and go, as does peoples' identification with nations. Humanity remains. Think of everyone who's alive with you today as your partner. We're all partners on this journey, and the sooner we realize this the sooner we'll live in harmony with each other and the planet.

  9. Pakistani and Afghan People invaded India and Unite India into One Country, there was NO INDIA about 900 Years Ago so Indus Civilization is Pakistan in Nature NOT INDIAN as there was NO INDIA 900 to 1000 Years AGO

  10. IT AINT INDUS VALLEY OR HINDUS VALLEY , IT IS CINDIS VALLEY. India was originally cind, Mougles came and made it hind, and than Britishers made it ind.

  11. There are 1097 sites in India associated with the Indus Valley civilization, while in Pakistan there are only 70 to 80 sites.” and i think it will be renamed as Sarasvati civilization . biggest part of Indus valley civilization is in Rakhigarhi .

  12. What I've learned is: they found hardly any evidence of weapons in the Indus Valley civilization. That could mean they were a very peaceful civilization (for a change!)
    It might be a reason why they disappeared: they were easily conquered.

  13. What a world we live in.. an educational video gets turned into a senseless debate.. and everyone follows suit.. sick.

  14. Moenjodharo, Harappa, Gandara are the ancient civilizations inside Pakistan and forefathers of people who live in that area inside Pakistan.
    The ancient discoveries in the field of math, town planning, engineering attributed to them.
    It is the forefathers of the people who belong to that region. Later they accepted Islam.

  15. Forefathers for most of the almost 600 million Muslims today living in the subcontinent and the forefathers of the present day Hindus are fundamentally not different, obviously, they vary from region to region.

    Net Transfer of conversion has been from Hinduism toward Islam in the subcontinent & not the other way round, that is a reality we see.

    The world "ISTAN" in Hindustan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, is a Persian world, means place.

    The word, "Hind" was coined by Arabs also. Check Jawal Lal Nehrus book.

    Arabs consider even Muslims from present day India as Hindi. At the airport in Saudi Arabia, they call even the Muslims from India, Hindi.

    When Muslims took over the subcontinent, it was not one country. it did not have one King. It was not India or Hindustan. It was composed of several independent dominions.

    Muslims are the one who called it Hindustan, first.

    British took over Hindustan from Muslims & we know the story of the East India Company.

    The adherent of the present day Hinduism were historically Vedantist, not Hindus.

    Indus civilization is inside the present day Pakistan. And, the people of Moenjodharo, Harappa, Gandara civilizations are the forefathers of the ones who live around the remains in the present day Pakistan & not the present day India.

    if there is civilization remains recently discovered in the present day India, then they are the forefathers of the people who lived around the remains or the region.

  16. Just keep in mind, 600 million Muslims in the subcontinent, their forefathers did not come from Saudi Arabia or middle east or central Asia, it is not possible. 600 million Muslims are also the son of the soil just like the present day Hindus. The forefathers of almost everyone who lives in the subcontinent today are fundamentally the same and it varies from region to region within the subcontinent.
    INDUS civilization is inside the present day Pakistan and not India and relationship of Indus Civilization in history is with those who live around the Indus civilizations or some of them definitely left have left the region due to different reasons.

  17. what a flame war in the comments. i didnt think indians and pakistanis got so offended by a simple use of describing the region in which most indus valley artifacts were found. pakistan, india, sri lanka, and bangledesh are all part of the indian subcontinent so saying india when reffering to pakistan shouldnt offend anyone when these nations didnt exist even five hundred years ago

  18. those who claim this is history of india, can they read what is the language of indus civilisation? Indus valley civilisation has been part of different dynasties and now it is part of Pakistan. Moen Jo Daro is just 27 kms away from my home town btw.

  19. Hi Khan ….."quite a few sites in India " ….please check out the number of sites in India.

  20. It is IVC history, not Indian or Pakistani history. I doubt Americans would call American indian history American history.

  21. This civilization is Tamils. The truth is one day come out The people in south India n , Tamil Tamil Nadu is original that time comes soon. The truth is brimin come from Israel they are not indians

  22. man the amount of people fighting in the comment sections XD
    i mean come on niether india or pakistan was there a 100 years ago
    and the people of pakistan india bangladesh share the same history and with a civilisation so old i think that not only the subcontinent people are their descendants but some people from out side the subcontinent also might be there descendants so stop fighting and learn the history together

  23. "The Hindu nation (India) extends from the mountains of Khorasan (Afghanistan) and of es-Sind (Baluchistan) as far as et-Tubbet (Tibetan Plateau.)"Muruj adh-dhahab wa ma'adin al-jawhar

    "Hindustan is described as enclosed on the east, west and south by the ocean, but Sarandip (Sri Lanka), Achin (Indonesia), Maluk (Indonesia) and Malagha (Malaysia) and a considerable number of islands are accounted for within its extent."Ain-i-Akbari

    "This (Brahmaputra) is the eastern boundary of Jambudvipa, its western boundary being the mouths of the Indus and its southern boundary being the Indian Ocean or Rama Sethu."Artha Sastra

    "The country lying north of the ocean and south of the Himadri is Bharata."Vishnu Purana

    "In the west [for Aryavarta] the boundary-river (Indus), in the east the region where the sun rises (Himalayas),—as far as the black antelopes wander (between these two limits.)"Vasiśṭha Sutra

    "The boundary of the land of India towards the north is Mount Taurus (Caucasus.) The western part of India is bounded by the river Indus right down to the ocean. Towards the south this ocean bounds the land of India, and eastwards the sea itself is the boundary."Indoi

    IVC residents worshiped Shiva in both his Pasupati and Shivling forms as found in the valley.

  24. To all inferiority complex stricken Indians, this civilisation belongs Pakistan . Now read this:
    India was not a country/nation state neither existed as a single entity until 1947. Both Pakistan and Republic of India were part of British-created  'united India'. Therefore rejects Indian claim that Pakistan and India were 'one' in ancient and medieval times, infact there were many soveriegn ethnic kingdoms all across the region (that's why it is known as subcontinent ).
    The names "India/Indica/Hindustan/Hind/Shendu" were originally used to refer to the the Indus plains (now Pakistan ). With time the definition of "India" broadened and expanded towards gangetic plains and towards Dravidian kingdoms following the foriegn invasions by Turkics, Afghans and British.
    Republic of India/ modern day India chose to keep a name that foreigners gave to them .

    Ethnic groups of Pakistan : Punjabi, Pashtun, Baloch, Sindhi, Seraiki, Kashmiri, Chitrali, Hunzakut.
    Other groups : Hazara people (originally from central Asia) and Urdu-speaking/mohajir people (originally from India- make up only around 6% Pakistani population).
    The Punjabis and sindhis are around 3% Indian population.
    Now tell me, except these 3%, what have the rest of Indians got to do with the history and culture of Pakistan and its ethnic groups ?

  25. This civilisation spread as far as eastern Afghanistan but I don't see AFGHANS claiming it as their own. Why are these inferiority complex stricken Indians claiming it as their own? 😂
    Do these ignorants even know what "valley" means? Where is Indus valley? In Pakistan . Even a kid can see that on a map.
    India= Ganga valley .

  26. Please, everybody, stop stupid arguments or debates on ,"Who owns the Indus Civilization ?" Everybody has their different opinion here and the comments are slowly turning into a full fired debate. Ofcource, Pakistan was a part of India when the civilization was formed, so that partly makes it Pakistani too, but for the forming of people the dna will be of Indian blood so yes, it does make it Indian. Now please, don't make this comment's replies into a debate.


  28. Superb! Great lecture on Indus Valley Civilization! Perhaps, "A Great and Powerful Civilization extended to the far East…" Water is Life! Most living beings would probably migrate when their main water supply runs dry… Assuming, The Ganges River was flowing for thousands of years… Indian Subcontinent has over 1.7 billion people, what's the origin of East Indians ancestors? Indian Subcontinent has numerous ancient sophisticated temples, some that are carved out of mountains using cut-out monolith, for example, Kailasa Temple, Ellora Caves. How did they do it, assuming from 756 – 773 CE, 400,000 tons of rock, less than 18 years, 50+ tons of rock per day?

  29. how disappointed people of the Indus Valley civilization would have been if they knew the people of their land were to become each others' enemy…

  30. Maybe if the inhabitants of modern-day India and Pakistan were to stop arguing over their claim to the Indus Valley Civilization, then we would have an easier time excavating along the border of the two countries and learning more about this fascinating civilization.

  31. This is probably the only video out there that doesn't mindlessly and without evidence equate IVC with modern Indian nationalism and religion. Thank you Khan. The Indus rivers however did not dry up. They are still there. People didnt migrate. They are still there in Pakistan, where 95% of Pakistanis are native to the Indus region. The texts have never been deciphered but since we know they had trade with Mesopotamians, perhaps a translated document will be found one day.

  32. The name "India" came from the ancient Greeks for the region around the river Indus. It was purely a geographical term. The same is true for Hindustan. It refers to the Indo-Gangetic plain. "Hinduism" was invented in the 1830s by the British. It's too bad a country existing outside the Indus valley uses the term India.

  33. Hindustan refers to the Indo-Gangetic plain. "Hindu" simply means an inhabitant of the Indus. In the 1830s the British started to use it for all the different pagan religions in the region. "Hinduism" is as much a religion as "Native Americanism".

  34. As far as I know not a single statue of prese!t Hindu religion was found in this civilization which proves this religion never existed at that time. The earliest literature of present Indian languages belong to Tamil which is the mother of all la!uages. The word Hindu or any name of the numerous gods of Hindu is mentioned in the early Tamil literature. In fact research is proving that the symbols are early brahmi letters of Tamil.

  35. Truth? None of us have a CLUE what Egyptian, Mesopotamian, or Indus valley life was like. It's a complete mystery.

  36. Civilizations also emerge around river valleys because transportation costs of goods are reduced significantly by using ships and many production activities are thus competitive and flourish.

  37. Amazing how people try to claim ancient civilizations as their own. When modern civilizations are a product of many different civilizations, one civilization didn't evolve to another directly, but rather many different civilizations were the product of modern ones.

  38. While people are arguing, my mom home-schools me. We kinda laugh about how he repeats stuff over and over, like The Count from Sesame Street.

  39. Indus valley are indo aryan and central asian. And pakistani and North indian are indo aryan. But dark skin indien are dravidian

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *