Explore the images of this gallery and consider how increased productivity from the land, food surpluses, and swelling populations changed the types of communities that humans lived in.
The first agrarian civilizations developed at about 3200 BCE in Mesopotamia, in Egypt and Nubia (now northern Sudan), and in the Indus Valley. More appeared in China a bit later and in Central America and along the Andes Mountains of South America at about 2000–1000 BCE.
The Indus Valley Civilization (IVC) was a Bronze Age civilization (3300-1300 BCE; mature period 2600-1900 BCE) extending from what today is northeast Afghanistan to Pakistan and northwest India. Along with Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia it was one of three early civilizations of the Old World, and of the three the most widespread It flourished in the basins of the Indus River, one of the major rivers of Asia, and the Ghaggar-Hakra River, which once coursed through northwest India and eastern Pakistan.
20 slideshows with over 1,000 slides by scholars of the ancient Indus Civilization (3500-1700 BCE)
Harappa.com has been the major website on the ancient Indus Civilization (3500-1700 BCE) since 1995. Leading scholars from India, Pakistan, the US, UK, and Europe have published their work in slideshow, essays and articles that cover the basic facts and the latest research.
The Indus Valley civilization was entirely unknown until 1921, when excavations in what would become Pakistan revealed the cities of Harappa and Mohenjo Daro (shown here).
This mysterious culture emerged nearly 4,500 years ago and thrived for a thousand years, profiting from the highly fertile lands of the Indus River floodplain and trade with the civilizations of nearby Mesopotamia.
Photograph by Randy Olson