The Lost Ancient City of Harappa
By: Attorney Melissa D. Goolsarran Ramnauth, Esq.
India’s rich and treasured history dates back approximately 30,000 thousand years, and can be divided into the ancient times, medieval times, early modern times, and modern times. Starting in ancient times, around 4,500 BCE, the Indus Valley Civilization emerged in South Asia and included present-day India. The Indus Valley Civilization was one of the three earliest cradles of civilization-- the other two being the Fertile Crescent (Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia) and Ancient China.
The Indus Valley Civilization is also referred to as the Harappan Civilization. Harappa was an ancient city during the Indus Valley time period. The names are used interchangeably because of the archaeology tradition of naming unknown civilizations after the first excavated site. Ancient Harappa is in present-day west Punjab, Pakistan. Present day Harappa is located a few miles away from this ancient city and excavation site.
“Harappan settlements were not just India’s first cities and townships, but its first, indeed the world’s first, planned cities and townships,” according to John Keay. The uniformity in their townships, tools, and technology revealed that the Indus Valley was more expansive than the other two cradles of civilization. Trade was also an important aspect of this society based on the prevalence of seals that were likely distributed. Interestingly, the unicorn appears on thousands of these seals. Furthermore, the Harappans may have even been the first to use wheel carts. Unfortunately, its script is indecipherable and the civilization eventually disappeared for unknown reasons.
The first modern account of the ancient Harappan ruins was by a British army deserter in the early 1880s. The British then used bricks from the ruins to build 100 miles of the Lahore-Multan Railway.
The British’s desecration of the ancient site highlights the ill effects of colonization and outside influence in a region. Guyana, Trinidad, and much of the Caribbean are projecting an increase in natural resource energy production. The West Indies are therefore encouraged to strengthen their national policies to protect against similar foreign interference with their precious resources.
Melissa D. Goolsarran Ramnauth, Esq. is a trial-winning business and trademark attorney. She primarily helps new and small businesses with trademarks, formation, and name clearance searches. She writes articles on the importance of trademarks, trademark law updates, and also West Indian history (with an emphasis on India, Trinidad, Guyana, and the United States).
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