The Harappan Seals

The Harappan seals are artifacts from the ancient Indus Valley Civilization, one of the world’s earliest urban civilizations. These seals provide valuable insights into the society, culture, and economic activities of the Harappan people. Here are key points about them:

  1. **Purpose and Characteristics:** The Harappan seals are small, square or rectangular pieces made of fired clay or terracotta. They bear intricate engravings and inscriptions on their surfaces, often depicting various animals, humans, and symbols.
  • **Script:** The most intriguing aspect of these seals is the script found on them. The Harappan script remains undeciphered, making it a significant mystery in the study of ancient civilizations. Despite extensive research, scholars have yet to fully understand its meaning.
  • **Trade and Commerce:** Many seals depict animals like bulls and elephants, possibly representing trade symbols or ownership marks. This suggests that the Indus Valley Civilization was engaged in extensive trade, both within the civilization and with other regions.
  • **Religious and Cultural Significance:** Some seals depict deities, suggesting a religious or ritualistic role. Additionally, they often feature intricate patterns and designs, showcasing the artistic and cultural achievements of the Harappan people.
  • **Urban Planning:** The presence of seals in various Harappan cities indicates a level of administrative control and uniformity in their urban planning and governance.
  • **Decline and Rediscovery:** The Harappan civilization declined around 1900 BCE for reasons still debated among historians, possibly due to environmental factors or external invasions. These seals and their civilization remained largely forgotten until their rediscovery in the 19th century.

In summary, the Harappan seals offer valuable glimpses into the complex and advanced society of the Indus Valley Civilization, even as the mystery of their script remains unsolved, adding an air of intrigue to the study of this ancient culture.

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