, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 331-385

The Indus Valley Tradition of Pakistan and western India

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Over the last several decades new sets of information have provided a more detailed understanding of the rise and character of the Indus Civilization as well as its decline and decentralization. This article begins with a summary of the major historical developments in the archaeology of the Indus Valley Tradition and a definition of terms found in the literature. A general discussion of the environmental setting and certain preconditions for the rise of urban and state-level society is followed by a summary of the major aspects of the Harappan Phase of the Indus Valley Tradition. This summary includes discussions of settlement patterns, subsistence, architecture, trade and exchange, specialized crafts, language, religion, and social organization. The Localization Era or decentralization of the urban centers is also addressed.