The Indus: Lost Civilizations

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9781780235028: The Indus: Lost Civilizations
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When Alexander the Great invaded the Indus Valley in the fourth century BCE, he was completely unaware that it had once been the center of a civilization that could have challenged ancient Egypt and neighboring Mesopotamia in size and sophistication. In this accessible introduction, Andrew Robinson tells the story—so far as we know it—of this enigmatic people, who lay forgotten for around 4,000 years.
           
Going back to 2600 BCE, Robinson investigates a civilization that flourished over half a millennium, until 1900 BCE, when it mysteriously declined and eventually vanished. Only in the 1920s, did British and Indian archaeologists in search of Alexander stumble upon the ruins of a civilization in what is now northwest India and eastern Pakistan. Robinson surveys a network of settlements—more than 1,000—that covered over 800,000 square kilometers. He examines the technically advanced features of some of the civilization’s ancient cities, such as Harappa and Mohenjo-daro, where archaeologists have found finely crafted gemstone jewelry, an exquisite part-pictographic writing system (still requiring decipherment), apparently Hindu symbolism, plumbing systems that would not be bettered until the Roman empire, and street planning worthy of our modern world. He also notes what is missing: any evidence of warfare, notwithstanding an adventurous maritime trade between the Indus cities and Mesopotamia via the Persian Gulf.  
           
A fascinating look at a tantalizingly “lost” civilization, this book is a testament to its artistic excellence, technological progress, economic vigor, and social tolerance, not to mention the Indus legacy to modern South Asia and the wider world. 

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About the Author:

Andrew Robinson is a fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society in London and the author of numerous books, including Earthshock: Hurricanes, Volcanoes, Earthquakes, Tornadoes and Other Forces of Nature and The Story of Measurement.

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“Robinson creates a brilliant portrait of one of the world’s most enigmatic early civilizations. In doing so, he crosses the boundaries between different academic disciplines with effortless panache and high learning. This succinct account of the Indus civilization, its script, religious beliefs, and its complex inheritance, places a vigorous, urban society in its rightful historical context. Everyone interested in ancient civilizations should read this eloquent, closely argued biography (it is nothing less) that brings the Indus people in from the historical shadows.” (Brian Fagan, author of The Great Warming and Elixir: A History of Water and Humankind.)

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Book Description Reaktion Books, United Kingdom, 2015. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. When the Greek army of Alexander the Great invaded the valley of the Indus river in the fourth century BC, it was wholly unaware that this region of northwest India had once been the centre of a civilization worthy of comparison with those of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. The Indus civilization flourished for half a millennium from about 2600 to 1900 BC, when it mysteriously declined and vanished from view. It remained invisible for almost four thousand years, until its ruins were discovered in the 1920s by British and Indian archaeologists. Today, after almost a century of excavation, it is regarded as the beginning of Indian civilization and possibly the origin of Hinduism.More than a thousand Indus settlements covered at least 800,000 square kilometres of what is now Pakistan and India: it was the most extensive urban culture of its age, with a vigorous maritime export trade to the Persian Gulf and cities such as Ur.The two largest Indus cities, Harappa and Mohenjo-daro - a UNESCO World Heritage Site - boasted street planning and house drainage worthy of the twentieth century AD, including the world's first toilets, along with complex stone weights, finely drilled gemstone necklaces and an exquisite part-pictographic writing system, which was carved on seal stones and has defied numerous attempts at decipherment. Astonishingly, there is no evidence for armies or warfare.The Indus: Lost Civilizations is an accessible introduction to every significant aspect of an extraordinary and tantalizing 'lost' civilization, which apparently combined artistic excellence, technological sophistication and economic vigour with social egalitarianism, political freedom and religious moderation. The book also discusses the vital legacy of the Indus civilization in modern India and Pakistan. Seller Inventory # AA99781780235028

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Andrew Robinson
Published by Reaktion Books, United Kingdom (2015)
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Book Description Reaktion Books, United Kingdom, 2015. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. When the Greek army of Alexander the Great invaded the valley of the Indus river in the fourth century BC, it was wholly unaware that this region of northwest India had once been the centre of a civilization worthy of comparison with those of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. The Indus civilization flourished for half a millennium from about 2600 to 1900 BC, when it mysteriously declined and vanished from view. It remained invisible for almost four thousand years, until its ruins were discovered in the 1920s by British and Indian archaeologists. Today, after almost a century of excavation, it is regarded as the beginning of Indian civilization and possibly the origin of Hinduism.More than a thousand Indus settlements covered at least 800,000 square kilometres of what is now Pakistan and India: it was the most extensive urban culture of its age, with a vigorous maritime export trade to the Persian Gulf and cities such as Ur.The two largest Indus cities, Harappa and Mohenjo-daro - a UNESCO World Heritage Site - boasted street planning and house drainage worthy of the twentieth century AD, including the world's first toilets, along with complex stone weights, finely drilled gemstone necklaces and an exquisite part-pictographic writing system, which was carved on seal stones and has defied numerous attempts at decipherment. Astonishingly, there is no evidence for armies or warfare.The Indus: Lost Civilizations is an accessible introduction to every significant aspect of an extraordinary and tantalizing 'lost' civilization, which apparently combined artistic excellence, technological sophistication and economic vigour with social egalitarianism, political freedom and religious moderation. The book also discusses the vital legacy of the Indus civilization in modern India and Pakistan. Seller Inventory # AA99781780235028

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