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Ancient Indus Valley: Food, Clothing & Transportation

By Yona Williams    10/19/06

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indusvalleyart.jpg
Indus Valley art

Food is an important part of any civilization. Researchers can learn a lot about an ancient culture by the types of meals that were prepared in the past. This information also gives insight to the kind of animals roamed their surrounding areas, as well as what types of animals served as pets rather than food sources. Let’s take a look at dinnertime during ancient Indus times. There wasn’t an elaborate steak on the table, surrounded by a baked potato and corn. Instead, warn, savory bread was a main kind of meal, which was served with a side of barley or rice.

 

Through analyzing past remains, it is assumed that the ancient Indus inhabitants were rather crafty farmers. Barley, wheat and peas are just some of things they grew. When it came to fruits, melons and dates were harvested. On their farms, cotton was also a crop. Grain was an important part of life in these times. Each town constructed a large centralized building meant for the storage of crops. Often, it was grain that was placed in this building. After the harvesting of each crop, the reaped benefits were also put into these storage units. It was open to the public for all town members to eat.

 

For meals that required the preparation of meat, there were many different selections to choose from. For starters, some of the herds that roamed about the farms included pigs, sheep, as well as water buffalo. Where we turn to cows for milk and meat, ancient Indus civilizations herded zebus, which is much similar to a cow. During this ancient time period, fishing was also quite popular. A trip to the river was commonplace, where they brought along their own fishhooks.

 

What Did They Wear?

 

Both the males and females during this time dressed in robes filled with color. As for jewelry, women decorated themselves with gold and precious stones. They also applied lipstick to their lips for face decoration. One of the many pieces of treasure uncovered during the digs was the statue of an unidentified woman with a bracelet on her arm. Through analyzing the jewelry of the past, it was accessed that the designs are not much different from the ones that are worn in present India.

 

How Did They Get Around?

 

When it came to transportation, there were no cars driven on the ancient Indus streets. They got around town and to places beyond their cities by way of elephants, oxen and camels. Mostly these animals pulled them while they sat in carts with wooden wheels. They also traveled by water with ships that they built with one mast. It is thought that the moved about the Arabian Sea in their ships. This transportation may have also led to trade with other civilizations. The clues regarding this theory have been depicted on seals found throughout the Indus Valley, as well as in Mesopotamia.

 

Additional articles will be posted regarding the ancient Indus civilizations, which will deal with the art and entertainment options associated with this time period.

 

 

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