Links:

The Indus Civilization, National Geographic

Video clip from "Legacy" on Mohenjo Daro

Goddess figures

The Harappan civilization in the Indus River valley (in modern-day Pakistan) hold some important foundations of  the Hindu  religion and  culture.   Archeological remains in the (video clip from "Legacy") show that the early  pre-Hindu  culture  of the  Indian  subcontinent  was a  highly  developed agrarian and mercantile society.  The archeological remains include large pools used for water collection and likely  ritual bathing. The fully developed corpus of Hindu practices includes ritual bathing in many different social contexts. 




Pakistan, Afganistan,
Seal
1973.160.1

One of the most common artifacts are  seals, inscribed in the still undeciphered Harappan language, likely used for marking ownership of goods.  These artifacts, discovered at Mohenjo Daro, Harappa, and other sites, are often decorated with sacred animals or with a god-like figure.  These point to beliefs and practices that remain components of Hindu culture to the  present day.  The sacredness of cows of cows in India is well known, and this observance may have evolved from the Harappan civilization.  The god shown in the seals is,  to at least prefigure Shiva, perhaps the most important deity in  Hinduism.




Pakistan, Afganistan,
Seal
1973.160.1

 

Other  important  artifacts  in this  culture include a small  statue of  a priest-like figure, and
goddess  figures.  The important role of priests in fully developed Hinduism is pre- figured  here, as is the very popular prac-tice of fertility and goddess worship. These archeological remains and artifacts show  a  well organized and culture with a religious hierarchy and ritual, reverence for certain animals, goddess and fertility worship, and a strong sense of social order.

Priest-like figure