Thursday, February 18, 2021

The Pattern of Trade of Egyptian and Harappan Civilizations

The pattern of trade of Egyptian and Harappan civilizations

The pattern of trade of Egyptian and Harappan civilizations In 1871, E.B.Tylor suggested that human institutions have succeeded one another in sequence during a substantially uniform way across the planet . He suggested that the remarkable similarities of cultures of faraway regions and diverse races was due to the ‘uniform action of uniform causes’. The pattern of trade of Egyptian and Harappan civilizations  Thinking along similar lines, L.H.Morgan, author of the trail breaking Ancient Society, thought that parallel developments within the history of the planet were largely because the ‘germs’ of the most institutions of society were present within the early stages of development. within the later nineteenth century systematic excavations began in Egypt, Crete and Mesopotamia.

The pattern of trade of Egyptian and Harappan civilizations , Each of those , in several ways, suggested to Europeans the roots of their own civilization. Yet it had been also said that in Egypt, for instance , there have been periods of marked culture change that would only be ascribed to migrations or invasions.

Some intellectuals began to insist that if there have been parallel developments within the world, these were due to contacts between the relevant regions. The pattern of trade of Egyptian and Harappan civilizations  Such an approach was partly influenced by the thought that ‘savages’ could never have invented the finer aspects of civilization, which a couple of people just like the Egyptians made all the main inventions, which others borrowed.

Egyptian Civilization

The Egyptian culture region lies north of Aswan and the First Cataract of the Nile valley northward to the Delta. The valley of the river Nile is 700 km long in this stretch, but on average only about 10 km wide. It is sunk between two deserts. The Delta of the Nile consists of three major distributaries and their numerous branches. Egypt was a highly productive land through the centuries, and as late as the Roman period was the supplier of the bulk of the wheat that the city of Rome consumed. Yields were high in terms of seed and labour inputs. Correspondingly, population densities were high. We are reminded of the fact that the gigantic pyramids could only have been built by a huge labour force recruited from perhaps the entire valley, at no cost to agricultural production. Besides, dense populations could mean, theoretically, that at certain times and in some places, land became scarce, and hence a resource that was fought over. Warfare over land can result in the subjugation of one group by the leader of another group. However, in the case of Egypt it is unlikely that population pressures built up in the period just before the emergence of the state. We thus have no ready explanation for the evidence of war heroes in the Archaic or pre-dynastic period.

The pattern of trade of Egyptian and Harappan civilizations The ancient Egyptians distinguished the two regions as Lower Egypt (the Delta) and Upper Egypt south of it. Since prehistoric times, people exploited a variety of micro-environments not only in the alluvial valley, but also near the hills of the western desert, and along the wadis (seasonal rivers) of the eastern desert.

There are a few springs in the western desert, making the growth of vegetation possible. And when it rained there was grazing. The ostrich, oryx and ibex were hunted there.

In Egyptian art, the inhabitants of the western desert were portrayed as men with curly hair, wearing feathers on their heads.

The eastern desert, with its numerous wadis and occasional grazing, was a source of various metals (copper, gold), building stones (granite, porphyry, sandstone, etc.), and semi-precious stones (amethyst, onyx, carnelian, translucent alabaster, etc.).

Fine-grained wood that could be seasoned, was not, however, available in these arid zones, and so for boats, cedar wood was imported from the Lebanon. The immensely long Nile gets most of its water in the high mountains of Ethiopia in the monsoon season, so that the high flood reaches Aswan in June. The floods proceed north. Sowing of wheat or barley starts in November, and the crop usually needs no irrigation—in spite of rainfall being less than 100 mm in the year— because the standing flood water in the basins has moistened the soil adequately. Egypt is truly the gift of the Nile.

THE GIFT OF THE NILE

The Egyptian culture region lies north of Aswan and the First Cataract of the Nile valley northward to the Delta. The valley of the river Nile is 700 km long in this stretch, but on average only about 10 km wide. It is sunk between two deserts. The Delta of the Nile consists of three major distributaries and their numerous branches. The ancient Egyptians distinguished the two regions as Lower Egypt (the Delta) & Upper Egypt south of it. Since prehistoric times, people exploited a variety of micro-environments not only in the alluvial valley, but also near the hills of the western desert, and along the wadis (seasonal rivers) of the eastern desert. There are a few springs in the western desert, making the growth of vegetation possible. And when it rained there was grazing. The ostrich, oryx and ibex were hunted there. In Egyptian art, the inhabitants of the western desert were portrayed as men with curly hair, wearing feathers on their heads. The eastern desert, with its numerous wadis and occasional grazing, was a source of various metals (copper, gold), building stones, and semi-precious stones (amethyst, onyx, carnelian, translucent alabaster, etc.). Fine-graineds wood that could be seasoned, was not, however, available in these arid zones, and so for boats, cedar wood was imported from the Lebanon. The immensely long Nile gets most of its water in the high mountain of Ethiopia in the monsoon season, so that the high flood reaches Aswan in June. The flood proceed north. In Upper Egypt, flood water stands for four to six weeks in small basins (say, 7 × 5 km) on either side of the river channel, after which, in early October, the flood subsides, having left behind a film of silt that is very fertile. Sowing of wheat or barley starts in November, and the crop usually needs no irrigation—in spite of rainfall being less than 100 mm in the year— because the standing flood water in the basins has moistened the soil adequately. Egypt is truly the gift of the Nile.

Harappan Civilization

For to understand better the pattern of trade of Egyptian and Harappan civilizations we need to understand the Harappan civilization ,  In the Harappan world, subsistence trusted much an equivalent species as in western Asia and Egypt. On the greater Indus plains, barley and wheat, along side peas, gram, sesame and mustard, were grown. Cotton was grown for fibre. Sheep, goat and cattle bones attest to farming , and cattle comprised both western Asiatic species also because the humped Indian variety. In Kutch, millets are attested, and at Lothal rice husk impressions are detected in clay.

The Harappan heartland lay during a transitional zone between the winter rainfall regime of western Asia and therefore the monsoon rainfall system of South Asia. Punjab may get only 120 mm rainfall in winter, and Sind just 30 mm (both regions have heavier rainfall during the monsoon), but even this is often of critical importance because wheat and barley are winter crops.

More reliable—and therefore important—than rainfall, however, is ground or subsoil water. you'll remember that the town of Mohenjo-daro had an estimated 700 wells for its domestic water system . Along the now dry stretch of the Hakra river in Pakistan, the water level is high and wells would are important.

The pattern of trade of Egyptian and Harappan civilizations Several Harappan sites in western Sind lie on the brink of natural springs or artesian wells. Until recently, in Sind and western Punjab good wheat crops are connected with well irrigation.

 At Allahdino, alittle Harappan settlement near Karachi, it appears that water from a stone-lined well was utilized. In Saurashtra, Lothal and other settlements were located near a coffee trough containing, until the 19th century, water that was lifted to irrigate wheat—Gujarat has no winter rainfall. The pattern of trade of Egyptian and Harappan civilizations  At the important site of Dholavira on Khadir island in Kutch, where there are not any perennial rivers, bunds were constructed across the channels of minor rivulets to pond the seasonal flow and divert it into reservoirs within the city.

The pattern of trade of Egyptian and Harappan civilizations

The Harappan settled area wasn't distanced from sources of excellent wood, or stone or metal, within the same way as were Egypt and Sumer. Good wood from the shisham was available in northern Punjab, teak in parts of Gujarat.

Settlements like Ropar gave access to the Shivaliks and therefore the wood of the cedar for the roof beams of Mohenjo-daro. shortly south of Mitathal and Rakhi Garhi lived the copper producing tribes of northern Rajasthan. Shells were obtained off the coast of Saurashtra. And within the greater Indus valley, at Rohri, there have been outcrops of chert stone, used everywhere the Harappan region for household tools.

The Harappa civilization (2600-1800 BC) was contemporary with the Egyptian Old Kingdom and First Intermediate period, and the later-Early Dynastic to the Isin-Larsa period in Sumer. Details are not repeated here, but we can revise a few points. The formative period, dating approximately 3300 to 2600 BC, saw the spread of agricultural settlements over the plains of the Indus system, and the cultivation of the same crops and animals as in the urban period. This included the cultivation of cotton, and large numbers of bone awls (needles without eyes) may reveal the use of leather also. In the formative period there was building in brick, the use of wells, the beginnings of working with copper, the fashioning of stones such as steatite and shells into ornaments, the use of the plough, and contacts at a distance across the highlands of Baluchistan and Afghanistan. Although there were regional cultures, there was also much contact between them. Paradoxically, there is also evidence for inter-community warfare, including the appearance of perimeter walls around certain settlements. Two frontier villages, Mehrgarh and Rahman Dheri, that had grown to large size and had several craft activities, could have been the seats of tribal chiefships. Perhaps at these two centres, chiefships developed in the process of managing relationships between the local agriculturists and nomadic pastoralists who brought their herds of goats and sheep down from the mountains of Baluchistan to graze on the plains in winter. 

In South Asia, as in Egypt and Sumer, there is evidence for the gradual development of some techniques, but there were also disjunctures or abrupt changes in settlement, including the abandonment of several sites after this antecedent period and the establishment of new villages or towns in the following period. 

Rahman Dheri and Mehrgarh, for instance, do not have urban Harappan material at all, even though these villages did flourish at least partly contemporary with Mohenjo-daro and Harappa. It is also significant that in the urban period the pattern of external contacts changed. Instead of interaction with the uplands of Baluchistan and Afghanistan, there was now sea trade with Oman, Bahrain, and southern Sumer. 

The carving of ivory for various kinds of domestic and ornamental artefacts; the prolific use of faience, a synthetic quartz-containing substance, for ornaments, cosmetic vessels, and seal tokens; the making of long and thin beads in lustrous red carnelian stone; the decoration of small carnelian beads with etched white designs; stamp seals with the emblems of usually wild animals; the use of silver containers; skillfully fashioned gold ornaments; large baked brick structures for storage; and writing are some of the new elements connected with city life in the Harappan period proper.


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