Jobs in the Indus Valley

What do you think was a common job for someone living in the Indus Valley?

Farming was a necessity of life, though food came from hunting as well. What did farmers need? Water! They might have been the first farmers to get water from underground wells. They irrigated their fields, meaning they brought in water to their fields instead of just waiting on rain. They could get water from rivers as well.

They worked their fields using plows and animals such as oxen.

(above in modern-day India) © Yann Forget  / Wikimedia Commons

(above in modern-day India) © Yann Forget  / Wikimedia Commons

Below, toy oxen and cart from the Indus Valley


Indus Valley crops included grains such as wheat and barley as well as peas, lentils, mustard, sesame, and maybe cotton. We don’t really know for sure everything they grew.

Cows could be used not only to help with the farming but also gave milk and meat. Chickens, pigs, sheep, and goats were also raised by farmers.

Hunters could go after the meat of fish, deer, elephants, and rhinoceroses. They hunted with traps, spears, slingshots, and bows and arrows.


Not everyone was a farmer. There were many who lived in cities as well.


One city job would have been brick maker. Bricks were made by mixing clay in the soil with water to make mud. The mud was put into a mold and then turned out to dry. Baking them in a fire would make them even harder and stronger.

modern-day brick maker


Indus Valley cities were well planned. Someone was working to make those straight roads and citadels on a hill.


Cities had “baths,” kind of like swimming pools, a place to get clean. Their cities even had drains to take away the dirty water.


Other workers had to make the tools needed to do all the farming, hunting, and building. Copper and bronze were two metals used, along with clay, wood, and stone.

Archaeologists have bones of ancient people from the Indus Valley and can see from their teeth that they were healthy eaters! They see that men were probably better fed than women.

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