Three main features of the Indus Valley Civilisation

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  • Created by: LottieAli
  • Created on: 05-05-14 14:13
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  • The IVC
    • Terracotta Figurines
      • Evidence of zoolatry and goddess worship at Kalibangan, represented through terracotta figurines.
      • Goddesses were modelled crudely with exaggerated female characteristics, suggesting that goddesses were not favoured by the upper classes.
      • So many have been recovered, it is likely that most households owned one.
      • Figures had large eyes to represent devotees meeting the gaze of deities. This is called Darshan.
      • AO2: Darshan can be seen in images of Lord Jagganath (version of Krishna). Also, the pantheon of Goddesses is still important in Hinduism today: Durga, Kali, Shakti... even the River Ganges is personified as female.
    • Steatite Seals
      • Writing engraved on steatite: scholars argue whether it is Dravidian or an early form of Indo European. No equivalent of Rosetta stone.
      • Sqaure, 2/3 cm each length and perforated at the back for easy hanging. Suggested that they were used in trade.
      • Pasupati seal depicts an ithyphallic figure, seated in a yogic position on a bull and surrounded by animals. Many scholars interpret this to be an early form of Shiva, called Rudra.
      • The animals are symbolic of zoolatry, the bull suggesting taurolatry specifically. The erect penis is a symbol of fertility. The yogic position (the Padmansa) us suggestive that yoga was important in the IVC.
        • AO2: Taurolatry speculative as Shiva is still depicted to ride a bull today. Yoga still important in Hinduism today. Shiva is still a key God.
    • Ritual Bathing
      • Great bath at Mohenjo-Daro, a cultic object.
      • Possehl argues that this is the only convincing example of a ritual structure, especially as houses were well supplied with water.
      • Suggestions of Temple Hierogamy to symbolize visiting males having sexual intercourse with goddesses.
      • AO2: Highly speculative as Temple Hierogamy was not known to practise until one thousand years later in Hellenstic Mediterranean Cultures. However, the importance of ritual bathing can still be seen today at the Festival of Kumbh Mela, with bathing in the River Ganges. Also, Brahmins carry out spiritual cleansing each day through water purification. This is called Tarpana.


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