The earliest known civilization in India, the starting point of Indian history, was a highly developed one, dating back to a bout 2500 B.C. Discovered in the 1920s, it was initially thought to have been confined to the valley of the Indus, hence its early identification as the Indus Valley Civilization. Of its towns, two earned great renown, for they represented the high-water mark of that civilization. These were Mohenjodaro and Harappa, both now in Pakistan. Later archaeological excavations, however, established the

contours of this civilization to an area in norhtwestern and western India, far beyond the valley of the Indus; hence "Harappa culture" is the more recent label put on these descoveries. Among the Indian sites are the ones at Ropar in Punjab, and Lothal and Kalibangan in Gujarat and Rajasthan.
          
The towns at Mohenjodaro and Harappa were well planned, with streets cris-crossing one another at right angles, a system of sewage and a fairly clear division of localities and types of houses earmarked for the upper and the lower strata of society. There were also public buildings, the most famous being the Great Bath at Mohenjodaro, meant perhaps for ritual bathing, and the granaries. Production of metals such as copper, bronze, lead and tin was undertaken and some remnants of furnaces have survived to bear evdence. There were two kilns to make the burnt bricks, used extensively in domestic as well as public buildings. The Harappa cultrue had developed its own pictographic script; unfortunately, its definitive decipherment still remains to be achieved
 

          Among the discoveries at Harappa sites are a couple of thousand seals in various quadrangular shapes and sizes, each with a human or an animal figure carved on it. It is not unlikely that these seals served as the trademarks of merchants, for Harappa culture had extensive trade relations with the neighboring regions within India and with distant lands in the Persian Gulf and Summer (in Iraq).

          That the Harpy society was divided between rich and poor, traders, artisans  and  peasants  is  clear  from  the evidence pointing to different

professions as well as from the standardized sizes of residential buildings characteristic of different localities. That such an advanced social and economic organization should have had an organized government can be safely assumed, even if we know little about its form or actual working. We know, how ever, that the Harappans worshipped gods and goddesses represented in male and female forms; they might also have held some trees sacred. They had perhaps evolved some ritual ceremonies. but we know little else for certain about their religious life.