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Indus Saraswati Civilization

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Hindu Books > History > Indus Saraswati Civilization

Indus-Sarasvati Civilization
Written by Dr. S. Kalyanaraman
Update: 6th July 1995

Page 1


The objective of this rather long monograph is to promote an understanding of and further researches into delineating the courses of the `lost' Sarasvati river from Siwalik ranges to the Rann of Kutch (sAgara) and to gain deeper insights into an ancient civilization that 3ourished on the Sarasvati and Indus river valleys circa 3200 BC.

The intent is to circulate this to geologists and scholars interested in exploring further into the ancient cultures which 3ourished on the Sarasvati river { similar to those interested in exploring into the secrets of the tombs of the Pharaohs of Egyptian civilization.

Those who have further questions or inquiries can contact the scholars who have studied this subject deeply (e.g. Prof. Gregory Possehl, at Upenn and others mentioned in the bibliography).

Organization Of The Monograph

The monograph is organized in five parts:

  1. Analysis of archaeological and other evidence on the extent of the Indus-Sarasvati civilization in Indus Sarasvati river valleys.

  2. Extracts from bibliographical references (mainly Landsat imagery analysis and studies in earth sciences) providing leads to determing the course of the ancient, `lost' Sarasvati river.

  3. Rigvedic(Rk,Rca,or rk) hymns on Sarasvati.

  4. The `cult object' on Harappan seals

  5. Frequently asked questions and some answers on this and related topics. The monograph leads to a hypothesis which will require deeper studies to decipher the script used on seals and sealings found in many sites:

Indus-Sarasvati civilization 3ourished circa 2500 to 1700 BC on the river valleys of Indus and Sarasvati. The drying-up of the Sarasvati river led to migrations of people.

The search for the language of the times may have to be based on identi3cation of the ancient morphemes, starting from a study of comparative morphemes (with similar sounds and similar meanings) of the present-day languages spoken in South Asia.

1. Analysis of archaeological and other evidence on the extent of the Indus-Sarasvati civilization in Indus- Sarasvati river valleys.


I was pleasantly surprised to 3nd in the National At-las of India (Hindi), Calcutta, 1957, Govt. of India publication; Bharat-BhUracanA map depicting Sarasvati-Ghaggar in dotted lines apparently to denote dried-up river beds!

Given the present state of archaeological knowledge gained since the Harappan site discovery in the 1920's, it's time to change the name of the maritime Harappan Civilization to INDUS-SARASVATI CIVILIZATION. The rationale for this suggestion based on locus, is provided and a number of research areas are proposed, for consideration by indologists:

Prof. Ahmad Hasan Dani writes (Ed. INDUS CIVILIZATION -NEW PERSPECTIVES, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, 1981, pp.3- 12): `The Indus Civilization is today famed for its two cities of Harappa and Mohenjodaro ... Harappa ... its excavation also started as early as 1920-21 ... On comparing the material from the two places Sir John Marshall argued that the site of Harappa will probably never prove so lucrative as that of Mohenjodaro, for the reason that it was further removed from the main centre of the In-us culture in Sind." (An. Rep. of the Arch. Survey of India, 1923-24, pp.47-48). He opined that this civilization was developed in the Indus Valley itself and was probably as distinctive of that region, as the civilization of the Pharoahs was distinctive of the Nile." To him goes the credit of coining the term The Indus Civilization. But his geographic horizon no longer holds good and the term deriving therefrom is open to question ... . The wide-spread nature of the Indus Civilization throughout Panjab and Sind had already expanded the meaning of the original term. Still later in the post 1947 period the Indus Civilization sites have been discovered in large number outside the present Indus region right up to the very borders of Yamuna in the north-east (Alamgirpur on the Hindon, a tributary of the Yamuna about 30 miles north of Delhi), along the dried-up bed of the river Ghaggar in northern part of Rajasthan, and in Gujrat right upto the mouths of Narbada and Tapti rivers'.

Author : Dr. S. Kalyanaraman

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