Periodization of the Indus Valley Civilization

The term Indus Valley Tradition is used to refer to the cultures of the Indus and Ghaggar-Hakra rivers, stretching from the Neolithic Mehrgarh period down to the Iron Age or Indo-Gangetic Tradition.

The Indus Valley Tradition is divided into four eras, and each era can be divided into various phases. A phase is an archaeological unit possessing traits sufficiently characteristic to distinguish it from all other units similarly conceived. [Willey and Phillips 1958, Method and Theory in American Archaeology] Each phase can be subdivided into interaction systems.

Localization Era

The Localization Era (1900-1300 BCE) is the fourth and final period of the Indus Valley Tradition. It refers to the fragmentation of the culture of the Integration Era.

The Localization Era comprises several phases (Shaffer 1992):
*Punjab Phase (Cemetery H, Late Harappan). The Punjab Phase includes the Cemetery H and other cultures. Punjab Phase sites are found in Harappa and in other places.
*Jhukar Phase (Jhukar and Pirak) The Jhukar Phase refers to Mohenjo-daro and sites in Sindh.
*Rangpur Phase (Late Harappan and Lustrous Red Ware). Rangpur Phase sites are in Kutch, Saurashtra and mainland Gujarat.

The Pirak Phase is a phase of the Localization Era of both the Indus Valley Tradition and the Baluchistan Tradition.

Other Periodizations

S. P. Gupta periodized the Harappan Civilization in a chronological framework that spans the dates from 4000 BCE to 1400 BCE, taking into account new discoveries: [S.P. Gupta. The dawn of civilization, in G.C. Pande (ed.)(History of Science, Philosophy and Culture in Indian Civilization, ed., D.P. Chattophadhyaya, vol I Part 1) (New Delhi:Centre for Studies in Civilizations, 1999)]

Another older nomenclature classifies the Indus Valley Civilization into Early, Mature and Late Harappan. According to Erdosy, the Indus Valley Tradition nomenclature "is much more informative than the traditional Early/Mature/Late Harappan classification which should now be discarded." [Erdosy, George (editor) The Indo-Aryans of Ancient South Asia, 1995, p. 4]

See also

*Indo-Gangetic Tradition

References

Further reading

*S.P. Gupta. The dawn of civilization, in G.C. Pande (ed.)(History of Science, Philosophy and Culture in Indian Civilization, ed., D.P. Chattophadhyaya, vol I Part 1) (New Delhi:Centre for Studies in Civilizations, 1999)
*Kenoyer, J.M. 1998 Ancient Cities of the Indus Valley Civilization. Oxford University Press and American Institute of Pakistan Studies, Karachi.
*Kenoyer, J. M. 1991a The Indus Valley Tradition of Pakistan and Western India. In Journal of World Prehistory 5(4): 331-385.
*Kenoyer, J. M. 1995a Interaction Systems, Specialized Crafts and Culture Change: The Indus Valley Tradition and the Indo-Gangetic Tradition in South Asia. In The Indo-Aryans of Ancient South Asia: Language, Material Culture and Ethnicity, edited by G. Erdosy, pp. 213-257. Berlin, W. DeGruyter.
*Shaffer, J. G. 1992 The Indus Valley, Baluchistan and Helmand Traditions: Neolithic Through Bronze Age. In Chronologies in Old World Archaeology (3rd Edition), edited by R. Ehrich, pp. 441-464. Chicago, University of Chicago Press.

* [http://www.harappa.com/indus3/print.html Article with Timeline]
* [http://www.harappa.com/indus2/timeline.html Ancient Civilisations Timeline]


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