By Asif Raza Morio
Indus valley civilization is the most elegant among her contemporary societies of the world such as Egypt, Mesopotamia, China etc: around past five thousand years, at whatever expertise these cultures are compared. As this was nonviolent land of friendly people, consequently travelers, explorers, voyages, sailors and merchants had been felt tranquility of social life.
Exploratory diggings of Indus sites specially its capital city Mohenjo Daro (the mound before River Indus) clearly reveals the excavators that living of its residents were scientifically prosperous, god planners regarding architecture and construction, more over they have been best scientists, sculptures, adventurers, pioneers, amusers, jewelers, priests, pottery makers, hunters, fighters, worriers, agriculturists so on and so forth.
Scores of historians and writers quoted Indus people, civilization and cities as mysterious, no doubt we are still dealing with the tips of iceberg regarding the interpretation of script only whereas to name rest of all the things strange is bogus air of mystery, therefore this would not be justice to label such well of civilization as baffling one whereas each object founded from here is explaining about its artistic origin plainly.
This is not an assumption but a fact what can be proved by seen the said artifacts founded from the ruins of Indus cities, displayed in the museums. It is also truth that such inventive thoughts of Sindhi creators, spread around in the form of designs and objects where ever possible and inspired the ingenious minds to follow and continue the chain of attainments. In this scenario it can be said that creativeness of Sindhi people have been lions share regarding evolutionary development of human race in the course of times.
This little piece of writing will make clear those inhabitants of this land were scientifically advance in various fields and technologies before the advent of history. They used to live in spacious, planned and well built houses when almost whole Europe was fogged into social and cultural illiteracy.
The remains of Indus cities and objects founded from excavations proved their owners as scientific, social and sensible. They conquered many horizons of infinite development of human being to facilitate their life towards easiness and luxury.
Lets for instance, proving my statement, discussing about few unique Indus inventions and their concepts, many among those crafts, models and ideas are still practiced in specially Asia and generally rest of the world.
First of all taking an example from world’s most popular game Chess (played by an estimated 605 million people), so called a “Royal game” by Europeans. Researchers had the thought that not only the aspects of art and science are found in theory and composition of chess but way of gaming is also considered the method of enhancing mental strength.
The game is played on a square chessboard, at the start, each player (“white” and “black”) controls sixteen pieces, one king, one queen, two rocks, two knights, two bishops, and eight pawns. Objective of the game is to checkmate the opponent’s king, whereby the king is under immediate attack (in “check”) and there is no way to take it out from attack on the next move.
English and few other nations by claim of the invention concerning Chess around few hundred years back into their world famous authenticated publications, for example as per Encyclopedia Wikipedia “current form of the Chess emerged in Southern Europe in the second half of the 15th century”. This statement is wide of mark for Chess is five thousand year old and original product and invention of Sindhi people because its complete form has been found from excavations of Mohenjo Daro (capital city of Indus valley civilization in Larkana District of Sindh Province of Pakistan) and is kept for display in its site Museum.
It has an other Indian origin name Shitranj, since the Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Greek, Portuguese and Spanish words for chess are derived from the ancient Indian word Chaturanga, i.e. four divisions of the military, infantry, cavalry, elephants and chariots. Only India throughout the history of war world had in its cavalry all three animals – elephant, camel and horse – represented by the rock, bishop and knight.
Taking brainwave from the core concept of Chess, an other game of “Playing Cards” was founded, having same pattern, theory etc. Only the difference between chess and cards is the gaming pattern, one is playing on board other with cards. As the said period did not have printing availability thus the cards might had been engraved or embossed forms of making, like the metallic and stone seals or inscriptive plates of Mohenjo Daro. Moreover the cards might had been made on wooden plates, skin or if pro assume on paper this will again enhance the discussion for paper as invention of Indus people.
Despite the fact that search and research require to verify my statement, however the wood, skin, paper type of things must had been used for cards manufacturing but as such perishable material can not exist to tell their tale into salty grounds of Sindh for thousands years, but this is crystal clear that which nation invented the chess she should genuinely be the creator of playing cards.
Inventions of the Dice (Loodo in Greek and Chakko in Sindhi language) has been claimed by Greeks, that’s why it is called Loodo reveals meaning as “come play”. Greeks verdict regarding rights of dice is also wrong because comprehensive form of dice has been found from Mohenjo Daro having same outward appearance like modern one. Time comparison as regards Greek and Sindh make us known that former is more than thousand year younger to later one, Indus people had dice five thousand years ago whereas Greek history at that time was blank around centuries.
Dice is actually Sindhi original pastime because the oldest known dice were excavated as part of a 5000 year old back from archaeological site of Mohenjo Daro and then at the archaeological site of Burnt in south eastern Iran. To strengthen its Indus origin I mentioned few examples of ancient script of South Asia, because the Dicing has been mentioned in Rig Veda and Atharva Veda. It is also mentioned in Buddha’s games list, great Hindu epic the Mahabharta where Yudhisthira plays a game of dice against the Kauravas for the northern kingdom of Hastinpura.
Moreover Indus people evolved many new techniques in metallurgy; they produced copper, bronze, lead and tin. Their engineering skills were remarkable, especially in building docks after a careful study of tides, waves and currents. A touch stone bearing gold strips was found from here probably used for testing the purity of gold; such techniques are still prevailing in many countries of the world along with sub continent.
Many crafts such as shell working, ceramics, agate, and glazed steatite bead making were used in the manufacture of necklaces, bangles, beads and other ornaments from all phases of Indus sites. Several make-up and toiletry items, a special kind of comb and a three-in-one toiletry implement are also founded. Terracotta female figurines having red color applied to the middle head line appeared as a result of hair partition, the ritual tradition can still be seen in India which is called “maang” and considered to be the symbol of married women.
Seals have been found in Mohenjo Daro depicting a figure stand on its head, an other sitting cross-legged in a yoga like pose pinched our attention that yoga is much ancient than is considered its start from Buddha period. Some Indus valley seals show swastika which can be found among many religions and mythologies of the time, same swastika was also symbol of German dictator Adolph Hitler. A harp-like instrument depicted on an Indus seal and two shell objects indicate the use of stringed musical instrument. An other instrument is also found which was used to measure whole sections of the horizon and the tidal dock.
They achieved great accuracy and preciseness in measuring length, mass and time. The minimum division marked on an ivory scale is approximately 1.704 mm, it is the smallest distribution ever recorded on a scale of the Bronze Age. Indus engineers followed the decimal division of measurement for all practical purposes, including the measurement of mass as revealed by their hexahedron weights. Cubical, truncated spherical, barrel shaped weights in graduated sizes, these weights confirm to the standard Indus binary weight system that was used in all of the settlements.
These weights were in a faultless ratio of 4-2-1 with weights of 0.05, 0.1, 0.2, 0.5, 1. 2. 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 units, with each unit weighting approximately 28 grams, similar to the English imperial ounce or Greek uncial whereas smaller objects were weighted in related ratios with the units of 0.871. Nevertheless, actual weights were not uniform throughout the area. The weights and measures later used in Kautilias Arthushtra (4th century BC) are the same as those used in Indus cities.
Spoons (tippers and ladles) are also beautiful Indus creations which are made from shells probably used in special rituals for dispensing sacred liquids such as water or oil, or may indicate its use of service purpose and feeding small doses of medicines. Different types of miniature masks, such as a home deities, puppets and masks representing different animals might have been used for recreational purposes. Spherical rattles having different colors, hollow bird figurine used as a whistle. Curved ball gaming pieces plain and with many sets of double circles on each face of sphere.
A miniature bed or table with four legs and red painted design on the top has also been founded from Indus cities which is very resembled to the modern one, this type of furniture can also function as a throne.
Undoubtedly Sindhi people can claim the invention of said things above and below, more over they were the first among others in many industries, discoveries and concepts of the things like, marble (game), swimming pool, wheels, symbol system, art of inscription (script and pictures, impose and incised), wheel pottery, drainage system, stamping, ritual offering stands, conch, different sizes of balls (cricket, and valley ball sized also), very heavy balls supposed to be used in mortar or canon, grind stone (flour grinding machine made of hard stone), calligraphy, script writing, knitting machine, shell industry, tile industry, ivory industry, bronze industry, amulet system, spear throwing, bangle industry, sand stone quern and Muller, nodules and cake making, painted dishes, deep bowls, goblets, pedestal jar, cooking pots, art of drilling, barter system, currency units, geometric assets, cloth industry, fish hooks, agriculture, plough, sculpture, statue making, well digging , artificial water supply system etc.