There are few buildings built in the Harappan Revival style. The best well-known is the Mohenjo-daro Museum. It is made of bricks with a very similar color to the buildings from Mohenjo-daro or Harappa. One entrance has a geometric pattern made of bricks similar to those of the original gates.
Harappan architecture is the architecture of the Indus Valley Civilization, an ancient people who lived in the Indus Valley from about 3300 BCE to 1300 BCE.
Witzel initially used the term "Para-Munda" to denote a hypothetical language related but not ancestral to modern Munda languages, which he identified as "Harappan", the language of the Indus Valley Civilization. To avoid confusion with Munda, he later opted for the term "Kubhā-Vipāś substrate". He argues that the Rigveda shows signs of this hypothetical Harappan influence in the earliest level and Dravidian only in later levels, suggesting that speakers of Harappan were the original inhabitants of Punjab and that the Indo-Aryans encountered speakers of Dravidian not before middle Rigvedic times. Krishnamurti deems the evidence too meagre for this proposal. Regarding Witzel's methodology in claiming Para-Munda origins, Krishnamurti states: "The main flaw in Witzel's argument is his inability to show a large number of complete, unanalyzed words from Munda borrowed into the first phase of the Ṛgveda... It would have been better if [Witzel] said we did not know the true source of 300 or so early borrowings into the Ṛgveda." This statement, however, confuses Proto-Munda and Para-Munda and neglects the several hundred "complete, unanalyzed words" from a prefixing language, adduced by Kuiper and Witzel.
The Harappan language is the unknown language or languages of the Bronze Age (2nd millennium BC) Harappan civilization (Indus Valley Civilization, or IVC). The language being unattested in any readable contemporary source, hypotheses regarding its nature are reduced to purported loanwords and substratum influence, notably the substratum in Vedic Sanskrit and a few terms recorded in Sumerian cuneiform (such as Meluhha), in conjunction with analyses of the undeciphered Indus script.
Trade networks linked this culture with related regional cultures and distant sources of raw materials, including lapis lazuli and other materials for bead-making. By this time, villagers had domesticated numerous crops, including peas, sesame seeds, dates, and cotton, as well as animals, including the water buffalo. Early Harappan communities turned to large urban centres by 2600 BCE, from where the mature Harappan phase started. The latest research shows that Indus Valley people migrated from villages to cities.
"The seal recovered is rectangular in shape, trapezoidal in section and inscribed on one side. The surviving portion measures 15.50 x 14.51 mm. The section of the top and bottom suggests that it was, when complete, convex backed with a perforated hole through the width. Seals of this type were used at the site of Harappa only during Period 3C (Meadow and Kenoyer 2001: 27) and this surface is dated to ca. 2100-1900 BC or the later part of what is commonly called the Mature Harappan Phase of the Indus Valley Civilization."
A broken steatite seal of Mature Harappan period was discovered here in 2010. While a Harappan seal was collected previously from the surface of Rakhigarhi, no seal or sealing was found in Mitathal itself.
The pottery of the Late Harappan period is described as "showing some continuity with mature Harappan pottery traditions," but also distinctive differences. Many sites continued to be occupied for some centuries, although their urban features declined and disappeared. Formerly typical artifacts such as stone weights and female figurines became rare. There are some circular stamp seals with geometric designs, but lacking the Indus script which characterised the mature phase of the civilisation. Script is rare and confined to potsherd inscriptions. There was also a decline in long-distance trade, although the local cultures show new innovations in faience and glass making, and carving of stone beads. Urban amenities such as drains and the public bath were no longer maintained, and newer buildings were "poorly constructed". Stone sculptures were deliberately vandalised, valuables were sometimes concealed in hoards, suggesting unrest, and the corpses of animals and even humans were left unburied in the streets and in abandoned buildings.
According to historian Upinder Singh, "the general picture presented by the late Harappan phase is one of a breakdown of urban networks and an expansion of rural ones."
The largest Late Harappan sites are Kudwala in Cholistan, Bet Dwarka in Gujarat, and Daimabad in Maharashtra, which can be considered as urban, but they are smaller and few in number compared with the Mature Harappan cities. Bet Dwarka was fortified and continued to have contacts with the Persian Gulf region, but there was a general decrease of long-distance trade. On the other hand, the period also saw a diversification of the agricultural base, with a diversity of crops and the advent of double-cropping, as well as a shift of rural settlement towards the east and the south.
After 1900 BCE, the systematic use of the symbols ended, after the final stage of the Mature Harappan civilization. A few Harappan signs have been claimed to appear until as late as around 1100 BCE, the beginning of the Iron Age in India. Onshore explorations near Bet Dwarka in Gujarat revealed the presence of late Indus seals depicting a three-headed animal, an earthen vessel inscribed in what is claimed to be a late Harappan script and a large quantity of pottery. The thermoluminescence date for the pottery is 1528 BCE. That evidence has been used to claim that a late Harappan script was used until around 1500 BCE.
Considering its relatively small size of less than 2 hectares, Archaeologists did not expect much from Gola Dhoro, but they were surprised to find five inscribed steatite seal with unicorn depicted on it. These type of seals are fairly common in urban centers of Indus Valley civilization, which would have been used in trade related activities. In addition to engraved inscription and unicorn picture, one of the seals has a deep scooped out rectangular socket like cavity, the purpose of which is not clear. Such seal with socket is unique find and not reported in any other Harappan site.
The Early Harappan Ravi Phase, named after the nearby Ravi River, lasted from c. 3300 BCE until 2800 BCE. It is related to the Hakra Phase, identified in the Ghaggar-Hakra River Valley to the west, and predates the Kot Diji Phase (2800–2600 BCE, Harappan 2), named after a site in northern Sindh, Pakistan, near Mohenjo-daro. The earliest examples of the Indus script date to the 3rd millennium BCE.
According to J.G. Shaffer and D.A. Lichtenstein, the Mature Harappan Civilisation was "a fusion of the Bagor, Hakra, and Kot Diji traditions or 'ethnic groups' in the Ghaggar-Hakra valley on the borders of India and Pakistan".
, archaeological data suggests that the material culture classified as Late Harappan may have persisted until at least c. 1000–900 BCE and was partially contemporaneous with the Painted Grey Ware culture. Harvard archaeologist Richard Meadow points to the late Harappan settlement of Pirak, which thrived continuously from 1800 BCE to the time of the invasion of Alexander the Great in 325 BCE.
The museum has various artefacts from the Harappan Civilization also known as Indus Valley Civilization. It has the world's most representative collection of antiquities of the Harappan Civilization - over 3500 objects that are on permanent loan from the Archaeological Survey of India to the Museum. Most famous among the objects is the Dancing Girl made in Bronze which belongs to the early Harappan period, Skeleton excavated from Rakhigarhi in Haryana, Terracotta images of Mother Goddess and Clay Pottery. Apart from these the gallery has Sculptures in Bronzes & Terracotta, Bone Objects, Ivory, Steatite, Semi-Precious Stones, Painted Pottery and Jewellery items. Many seals are also on display which has been discovered during numerous excavations and were probably used for trading purposes. These seals depict bulls, elephants, unicorns, tigers, crocodiles, unknown symbols. On one of the seal, there is the depiction of Pasupati that has been interpreted as proto-Shiva. The gallery attempts to present the vibrancy of human civilization in India at par with the contemporary civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt and China.
During the period of approximately 1900 to 1700 BCE, multiple regional cultures emerged within the area of the Indus civilisation. The Cemetery H culture was in Punjab, Haryana, and Western Uttar Pradesh, the Jhukar culture was in Sindh, and the Rangpur culture (characterised by Lustrous Red Ware pottery) was in Gujarat. Other sites associated with the Late phase of the Harappan culture are Pirak in Balochistan, Pakistan, and Daimabad in Maharashtra, India.
By 2600 BCE, the Early Harappan communities turned into large urban centres. Such urban centres include Harappa, Ganeriwala, Mohenjo-daro in modern-day Pakistan, and Dholavira, Kalibangan, Rakhigarhi, Rupar, and Lothal in modern-day India. In total, more than 1,000 cities and settlements have been found, mainly in the general region of the Indus and Ghaggar-Hakra Rivers and their tributaries.
When one of the major sites of the Harappan civilization, Mohenjo Daro was excavated in the 1920s, archaeologists deposited its important finds first in the Lahore Museum, and then these were moved to Delhi by Mortimer Wheeler in anticipation of the construction of a Central Imperial Museum there. At the time of Partition, the issue of ownership of these objects arose and eventually the two countries agreed to share all the collections equally, although this was sometimes interpreted in literal sense, with several necklaces and girdles taken apart with half the beads sent to Pakistan and half retained in India. In the words of Nayanjot Lahiri, ‘the integrity of these objects were compromised in the name of equitable division’. Of the two most celebrated sculpted figures found in Mohenjo Daro, Pakistan asked for and received the steatite figure of a bearded male, dubbed the 'Priest King', while the National Museum of India retained the bronze statuette of the 'Dancing Girl', a nude bejeweled female. Considering that the major sites like Mohenjo Daro and Harappa belonged to Pakistan post- Partition, the collections in this gallery also grew out of the discoveries of the excavations made after the Indian independence in 1947 such as Daimabad, Rakhigarhi, Dholavira etc.
Previously, scholars believed that the decline of the Harappan civilisation led to an interruption of urban life in the Indian subcontinent. However, the Indus Valley Civilisation did not disappear suddenly, and many elements of the Indus Civilisation appear in later cultures. The Cemetery H culture may be the manifestation of the Late Harappan over a large area in the region of Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, and the Ochre Coloured Pottery culture its successor. David Gordon White cites three other mainstream scholars who "have emphatically demonstrated" that Vedic religion derives partially from the Indus Valley Civilisations.