The Harappan civilization, also known as the Indus Valley Civilization, was a Bronze Age civilization that flourished in the Indus Valley in what is now Pakistan and western India around 2500 BCE. One of the most distinctive features of the Harappan civilization was its highly developed system of craft production, which included a range of industries such as metalworking, ceramics, stone carving, and bead making.

One of the main centers of craft production in the Harappan civilization was the city of Mohenjo-daro, which was known for its workshops and factories.

  • Metalworkers in Mohenjo-daro produced a range of metal goods, including copper and bronze tools and weapons, as well as jewelry made of gold, silver, and other precious metals.
  • Ceramics were also an important industry in Mohenjo-daro, with a range of pottery styles and techniques being used to produce decorative and functional objects.
  • Stone carvers in the Harappan civilization were skilled in working with a range of materials, including sandstone, limestone, and marble, to produce a range of objects such as sculptures, seals, and amulets.
  • Bead makers in the Harappan civilization were known for producing a wide range of beads made from a variety of materials, including glass, stone, and shell.

The craft production of the Harappan civilization was highly advanced and played a crucial role in the economic and cultural life of the civilization.

There were many types of craft production activity in the Harappan Civilization. For this different types of raw materials were required. The list of important raw materials out of these is given below

  1. Carnelian (Beautiful Red in Colour)
  2. Jasper (a type of stone)
  3. Crystal
  4. Quarts
  5. Conch Shell
  6. Selkhadi (a kind of stone)
  7. Copper
  8. Brass
  9. Gold
  10. Firm soil.
  11. Lajward Mani
  12. Bones
  13. Gypsum
  14. Fyons
  15. Different types of Woods etc.

Methods of Obtaining Raw Materials for Craft Production

Some materials like clay, simple wood were available locally, pumice stones, fine wood and metals had to be imported from outside areas. For this, the Harappans used many methods, which are as follows –

Establishing Settlements

The Harappans used to establish settlements at those places where raw materials were easily available. For example conch shells were easily available at Nageshwar and Balakot. There were other similar sites, such as Shortughai in remote Afghanistan, which was located near a source of lapis lazuli, a blue-colored stone considered precious. So was Lothal, which was located close to sources of carnelian (Bharuch in Gujarat), Salakhdi (from southern Rajasthan and northern Gujarat) and metal (from Rajasthan).

Sending Expeditions

Sending expeditions was another method of obtaining raw materials. For example, expeditions were sent for copper to the Khetri region of Rajasthan and for gold to South India. Through these campaigns contact was established with the local communities. The Harappan antiquities found occasionally in these regions are indicative of these contacts. Archaeologists have named the evidence found in the Khetri area as the Ganeshwar-Jodhpura Culture. A huge wealth of copper objects was found here. Probably the residents of this region used to send gifts to the people of the Harappan civilization.

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