HARAPPAN COMMERCE

HARAPPAN COMMERCE- If the notion of a centralized autocracy has been rejected, the degree of com- mercial activity involving cities and towns of the northwest is only now begin- ning to be adequately appreciated. Evidence from the cities of the Indus basin that have been extensively excavated indicates large populations of craftsmen producing commodities that were placed in public storehouses and identified by the use of clay seals. Regulated weights are also found. All of this testifies to a degree of urbanization comparing favourably to that of Mesopotamia in size and sophistication, since Mohenjo-Daro, Harappa and several newly discovered sites in Punjab and Gujarat exceed 400 acres, about 2.5 square miles. Exchanges between the two Eurasian zones of bronze age civilization involved exports of grain and animal products from the high agriculture and pastoralism of Mesopotamia, as well as tin. From the Indian side came an array of timber products originating in a zone of western India extending from the Himalayan foothills to the Deccan plateau, some copper and precious stones, red pigments for cloth dyeing (supporting other evidence of precocious textile production), gold, ivory and pearls. These were produced and sold from six different subregions of the large Harappan cultural area.

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