Life in the Indus Valley

You’ve learned that the Indus Valley had cities. What can you observe from this picture? It is the remains of an Indus Valley city.

City Planning Moen_Jo_Daro_

The walls were made of bricks. The bricks would have been made from mud and baked to harden. There were roads and high walls. I wonder if that long thin passage from the street down to the bottom of the picture was for people or for water.

They did have narrow streets, but they also dug drains and wells for water.

Some cities had a fortress of sorts, a citadel, a building that was larger and up higher than the others. Maybe that was the place where the ruler lived.

Stupa Mount_Ruins_at_Moenjodaro

Would most people live in the city?

No, most were farmers.

We don’t know a lot about the Indus Valley way of life. What we do know is from what archaeologists have dug up at sites like those pictured above. The rest is guesses about how they might have lived based on what we do know.

Crowns have been found, so maybe each city had a ruler. The streets of the cities stayed the same for hundreds of years. Their way of life continued for a long time.

Their city had walls like what you read about in the Bible. The walls had gates that everyone had to pass through to get in or out. Guards would protect the city and the walls defended them against enemies.

Another reason we don’t know a lot about life in the Indus Valley is that we can’t read their writing. We can read other ancient writings, but not theirs. So, we don’t have a record from their lives.

From different statues and things that were found, it appears they worshiped many idols/gods, like other ancient peoples.

This statue was discovered in 1927. People call him the “Priest-King.” Why do you think they would think he might be a leader?Mohenjo-daro_Priesterkönig

For one, they made a statue of him. He also looks like he’s well groomed, has an ornamental headdress of some sort, and is wearing a decorative robe. He’s not an average guy.

We don’t know if they had priests or if the priests were their rulers. It’s just one idea. We do know that they had superstitions about the dead. When they buried a dead person, they put things from their house with them. They might have been putting in food and water for them.


Photo Credits:

“Priest-King” By Mamoon Mengal ( [CC BY-SA 1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

“City Planning” By Gaffar772 [CC BY-SA 4.0], from Wikimedia Commons