33The people of Indus Valley had excellent knowledge of metallurgy
People were quite aware of certain new techniques in metallurgy. They used these techniques to produce lead, copper, tin and bronze. These metal products were popular items for export to oversea civilizations.
34Harappan people developed the most precise measurements humanity had at the time
Archaeologists have found stone cubes which are clearly intended to be weights which increase in a ratio of 5:2:1 with weights of 0.05, 0.1, 0.2, 0.5, 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, and 500 units. The actual weights do not correspond to any of the then existing systems of Egypt or Mesopotamia. So it is safe to conclude that this is a locally invented system.
The markings on an ivory scale found in Lothal in Gujarat shows their smallest division was approximately 1.704 mm, the smallest division ever recorded on a scale of the Bronze Age.
35Earliest scale to test purity of Gold
A touchstone bearing gold streaks was found in Banawali, the purpose of which was probably for testing the purity of gold (such a technique is still used in some parts of India).
36They were the world’s first dentists!
Archaeologists studying the remains of two men from Mehrgarh, Pakistan, in 2001, made the discovery that the people of the Indus Valley Civilization, from the early Harappan periods, had the knowledge of proto-dentistry. Later, in April 2006, it was declared in the scientific journal Nature that the first evidence of drilling of human teeth in a living person was found in Mehrgarh. Eleven drilled molar crowns from nine adults were found in a Neolithic graveyard in Mehrgarh dating from 5,500 BC – 7,000 BC. According to the authors, their discoveries suggest a tradition of proto-dentistry in the early farming cultures of the region.
37The first people to domesticate Cotton
The earliest archaeological evidence for cotton use is from Mehrgarh, in the Kachi Plain of Balochistan, Pakistan, in the sixth millennium BC. People of the Indus and Gaggar-Hakra river valleys were, without a doubt, the first to produce cotton on an industrial scale. Cotton textile was one of the major export items that helped the growth of trade and economy of the civilization.
38IVC people invented the world’s first buttons!
In the Indus Valley Civilization, buttons made from seashell were used for ornamental purposes rather than as fasteners. The first instances were found dating around c. 2800–2600 BCE. Some buttons were carved into geometric shapes and had holes pierced into them in order to attach it to clothing with thread.
The button, in fact, was originally used more as an ornament than as a fastening, the earliest known being found at Mohenjo-Daro in the Indus Valley. It is made of a curved shell and about 5000 years old. – Ian McNeil (1990)
39They made the world’s oldest signboard!
In 1999, at Dholavira, archaeologists have discovered what apparently is the world’s first signboard. This board had stone symbols/letters of over 30 cms in height inlaid in a wooden frame. Since the Indus script has not been deciphered yet, we still don’t know what it meant. But it is believed that it was placed at the façade of the majestic north gate of the city’s citadel.
40People were very fond of games particularly dice games
The Harappans also made various toys and games, among them cubical dice (with one to six holes on the faces), which were found in sites like Mohenjo-Daro. Other toys include clay figures of bullock carts, miniature pots, utensils etc., spinning tops, marbles and more. Thus, we can say that not only the children but even the adults were playful in nature.
41They were very advanced in Art and Craft
Harappan art and craft had achieved a level of sophistication beyond its time. This can be seen from their ceramic and terracotta potteries; bronze, copper and other metal artifacts; their skills in bead-making, and other crafts.
This can be understood from the fact that the British archaeologist, Sir John Marshall, who found the bronze Dancing Girl statuette couldn’t believe that it predates Greek sculptures by thousands of years.
When I first saw them I found it difficult to believe that they were prehistoric; they seemed to completely upset all established ideas about early art, and culture. Modeling such as this was unknown in the ancient world up to the Hellenistic age of Greece, and I thought, therefore, that some mistake must surely have been made; that these figures had found their way into levels some 3000 years older than those to which they properly belonged … Now, in these statuettes, it is just this anatomical truth which is so startling; that makes us wonder whether, in this all-important matter, Greek artistry could possibly have been anticipated by the sculptors of a far-off age on the banks of the Indus. – Sir John Marshall