Exploring the Ancient Indus Valley: Housing

Although the information regarding the ancient Indus Valley civilization is pretty thin, there are still a variety of historical facts that have been gathered from studying the remains from the past. Dating back more than 4,000 years ago, a wide-range of artifacts give us insight into how they built their homes; what they are; and how they worked and played. In this article, we will take a look at some background info, as well as the type of homes they lived in.


In 1922, archaeologists uncovered something that would change the way we looked at ancient India forever. The discovery didn’t come in the form of one ceramic pot or a cave painting beneath the earth, but in the exciting uncovering of an entire city. Researchers had found the ancient city of Harappa. This great find was followed by the discovery of yet another city. About 400 miles away from Harappa, another land called Mohenjo-Daro was located. Since these two ancient finds were uncovered, more and more locations have been revealed, much in the same manner.


Depending on whom you speak to, this area from the past has been dubbed the Indus Valley Civilization or the Harappan civilization. These civilization marks the time period from around about 3000-2,500 BCE to about 1500 BCE. This time period corresponds to the same time ancient Egyptian and Sumerian civilizations thrived. Did you know that only around 35,000 lived in each location? 


In the Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro civilizations, life was quite different. Let’s face it; it was 4,000 years ago and they simply didn’t have the knowledge, tools or resources to compete with today. Surprisingly, you will still find that they adapted to their environment and used some of the same things that we still use today.


Ancient Indus Valley Homes


When constructing a place to live, ancient Indus inhabitants created houses that stood one or two stories tall. The materials used to fashion these abodes were brick that was baked in the sun. When it came to their roofs, they were flat and everyone possessed some of the same designs. Homes were built about a courtyard. All of the windows of the local residences faced onto the courtyard. When constructing the outside walls, the ancient Indus chose not to add any windows.


Each home had some of their own private facilities. This was seen in the drinking wells and bathrooms attached to the houses. Just when you thought that ancient civilizations were not advanced, you should note the ancient Indus pipe system. Clay pipes were built from the bathroom area, which led to a sewer that was located beneath their streets. The drainage from the sewers was transported under the city into rivers, streams and other bodies of water located nearby.


Check out the following articles, which will describe some of the foods, crops and animals associated with the ancient Indus civilization. You will also learn about the main type of clothing worn during this time, as well as the type of decoration women were accustomed to.