Harappan Settlements and Megalithic Settlements .

Harappan Settlements: 

The Harappan culture covered parts of Punjab, Harayana, Sindh, Baluchistan, Gujarat, Rajasthan and the fringes of western Uttar Pradesh. It extended from Jammu in the north to the Narmada estuary in the south, and from the Makran coast of Baluchistan in the west to Meerut in the north-east.

The area formed a triangle and accounted for about 1,299,600 square kilometers, which is larger than Pakistan and certainly bigger than ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. No other cultural zone in the third and second millennium B.C. in the world was a large as the Harappan. Nearly 1000 Harappan sites are known so far in the subcontinent. They belong to early, mature and late phases of the Harappan culture.

The two most important cities were Harappa in Punjab and Mohenjodaro (literally the mound of the dead) in Sindh, both forming parts of Pakistan. A third city lay at Chanhu-daro about 130 km south of Mohenjodaro in Sindh, and a fourth and Lothal in Gujarat at the head of the Gulf of Cambay. A fifth city lay at Kalibangan in northern Rajasthan. A sixth called Banawali is situated in Hissar district in Haryana.

Megalithic Settlements

Several elements mark the beginning of the historical period. These are settlements of large scale rural communities which carry on plough agriculture with the help of the iron share, formation of the state system, rise of social classes, use of writing, beginnings of written literature. All these phenomena are not found at the tip of the peninsula were inhabited by people who are called megalith builders. They are known not from their actual settlements which are rare, but from their graves. These graves are called megaliths because they were encircled by big pieces of stone.

The megaliths are found in all upland areas of the peninsula, but their concentration seems to be in eastern Andhra and in Tamil Nadu. The Cholas, Pandyas and Keralaputras (Cheras) mentioned in Ashokan inscriptions were probably in the late megalithic phase of material culture. The megalithic people in the southern districts of Tamil Nadu had centrain peculiar characteristics. They buried the skeletons of the dead in urns made of red pottery in pits.

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