By Ashraf Naushahi

Bronze is an alloy or combination of copper with other metals such as tin, zinc, nickel, aluminum, manganese, and silicon. According to archeology, there was a Bronze Age archeological period starting more than five thousand years and continued for more than two thousand years. Humans in that period started to use bronze for making building material, vases, bowls and different types of pottery. In ancient South Asia, the Bronze Age started with the start of Indus Valley Civilization.

Archeological discoveries were made in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries during the archeological works at Harappa and other sites in its vicinity. Archeological work was first started by Alexander Cunningham around 1872, at Harappa. Then, several decades after him, archeologist John Marshall started work again around 1920. Since then archeological works have been continued with some pauses. Harappa civilization and Indus Valley Civilization are often mentioned synonymously in archeology.

Bronze Age discoveries at Harappa were found similar to discoveries of that Age at various other archeological sites in several parts of the world. It became known as Harappa Civilization because these discoveries were made near a village known as Harappa, 22 miles away from the city of Montgomery, now known as Sahiwal, in Punjab. It was estimated that ancient towns of an ancient civilization were built there more than five thousand years ago. It was a forest area in that period. It was estimated that Harappa and Indus Valley Civilization towns and areas were abandoned almost three thousand years ago, however, it could not be discovered why that abandonment happened.

 Railway was built in this area around 1865. A railway station known as Montgomery was built and day by day the surrounding area gained some importance. The archeological site of Harappa contained large mounds of ancient bricks made thousands of years ago in the Bronze Age period. Several sites were found along the River Ravi in the area. Archeologists discovered that the area had several ancient towns built in the Indus Valley Civilization period. Different types of quarters, built by bricks, were found there.

Among other things, pictorial signs on stones and clay were found, about which archeologists said that those could be some sort of earliest written language. Age of these pictorial signs on stones and clay was estimated around five thousand years, by using Carbon method. Archeologists suggested that the language used in Indus Valley Civilization period was probably some primitive or earlier Dravidian language.

Economy of Harappa Civilization and its towns was based on agriculture and commerce, according to archeologists. Traders travelled large distances along the rivers Ravi and Indus. Cotton, wheat, rice, vegetables and fruits were cultivated in the area.