NCERT Class 12 History Chapter 1 Notes Bricks Breads and Bones

NCERT Class 12 History Chapter 1 Notes Bricks Breads and Bones


  • The Indus Valley Civilization, or Harappan Civilization, flourished between 2600 and 1900 BCE.
  • It was among the oldest urban civilizations in history, distinguished by highly developed urban planning.
  • Uncovering the mysteries of an ancient past, the Harappan Civilization, also known as the Indus Valley Civilization, is the earliest known civilisation in India. The order of such an extraordinary society is lost in the sand of time and is still a source of scholarly controversy, with varying opinions regarding its heyday.


  • Located in the Indus River Valley, which includes portions of Pakistan and modern-day India. Important locations include Kalibangan, Mohenjo-daro, Lothal, and Harappa.

Urban Development

  • The Harappan Civilization is a prime example of sophisticated urban design, exhibiting a degree of skill unmatched in its era.
  • This ancient civilization’s well-planned cities, like Mohenjodaro and Harappa, provide insights into a culture that valued efficiency and order.

Grid System

  • The methodical approach to urban growth was mirrored in the cities’ grid-pattern layout, which had streets connecting at right angles.
  • In addition to making transportation easier, this grid plan suggested thoughtful city planning.

Home Layouts

  • Residential areas showed a methodical layout of homes, frequently constructed with uniform bricks.
  • The houses were built with an emphasis on functionality; some even had several levels, which suggests that space efficiency was taken into account.

Drainage System

  • The sophisticated drainage system was one of the most amazing features of Harappan’s urban design.
  • The streets were lined with well-built brick-lined sewers that effectively managed effluent and rainfall, demonstrating a high standard of sanitation.

Public Buildings

  • Archaeological evidence points to the existence of public buildings that may have served as hubs for social or administrative functions.
  • These arrangements suggest a certain level of central planning and governance, as does the general design.

Great Baths

  • The Great Baths at Mohenjodaro represent a noteworthy architectural element that is said to have had religious or ritualistic significance.
  • This enormous water tank, which is encircled by chambers, demonstrates both the Harappan society’s value of public areas and their highly developed engineering skills.


  • The existence of spaces set aside for trade and crafts shows that space for economic activity has been thoughtfully allocated.
  • Craft production evidence, such as metalwork and pottery, can be found in artisan districts, which highlight how economic functions are integrated into the fabric of cities.

Trade and Commerce

  • Trade and agriculture formed the foundation of the economy. Seals bearing inscriptions in both Mesopotamian and Harappan characters were discovered, providing proof of trade with Mesopotamia.
  • The Harappan Civilization had a strong and diverse economic base that was characterized by thriving trade networks, expert craftsmanship, and agricultural success.
  • The economic vitality of this ancient culture was essential to defining its identity and maintaining the complex metropolitan centres.

Social Situation

  • The distinctive fusion of equality, cultural diversity, and a well-functioning communal organization defined social issues of the Harappan Civilization at that time.
  • Although there are still unanswered questions regarding their social structure, archeological findings shed light on a number of components of the Harappan social life.

Lack of a Rigid Caste System

  • The Harappan Civilization does not seem to have had a strict caste system, in contrast to certain modern societies.
  • The lack of a social hierarchy points to a more equitable community in which people coexist in harmony.

Social Harmony

  • The organized urban planning and lack of imposing buildings point to a society which values social harmony.
  • An environment that was both comfortable and hygienic was made possible by the wide streets that intersect at right angles and the sophisticated drainage system.

Position of Women

  • Archaeological evidence indicates that women occupied a high position within Harappan society.
  • The lack of art that portrays battle or conquest points to a society in which women may have held important positions outside of the home.

Culture and Religion

  • No interpreted script restricts our comprehension of religious doctrine. Numerous figurines, seals, and ceremonial artifacts indicate a vibrant religious and cultural life.
  • By means of its artifacts and historical remains, the Harappan Civilization leaves behind an intricate web of beliefs and cultural expressions, despite its elusiveness in terms of interpreted scripts.
  • A glimpse into the cultural and spiritual aspects of this ancient civilization can be had from the elaborate structures and artifacts.


  • Although the exact causes of the decline are unknown, potential causes include invasions, floods, and environmental factors. gradual deterioration characterized by the abandonment of cities.
  • There is still much to learn and debate about the decline of the civilization of Harappan. Deciphering the complex network of events that resulted in its disappearance.

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Conclusion: Bricks Breads and Bones Class 12 Notes History

A pivotal period in the past of ancient civilizations, the civilization of Harappan is notable for its accomplishments in trade, culture, and urban planning.

The Harappan Civilization’s urban design is a reflection of a civilization that valued utility, order, and social cohesion. The intricate designs of their cities enthral archaeologists and historians, providing a window into a bygone era of civilization.

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