The Wonderful World of the Indus Valley Civilization

When we hear the word “ancient civilizations”, our mind immediately recalls the Greek, Egyptian, Roman and Mesopotamian civilizations. Several civilizations have descended from them, and to this day, archaeologists continuously search for more civilizations.

A remarkable civilization was discovered in the 1920s, in South Asia. It was this discovery that reaffirmed the belief that Egypt and Mesopotamia were not the only early civilizations. This community was the Indus Valley Civilization.

In the vast Indus River plains (today’s Pakistan and Western India), archaeologists discovered the remains of a 4,600 year old city. It is said that this civilization had existed at the same time as ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. The Indus Valley Civilization is most known by two of its major cities: Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa. These two cities were the first to be discovered as the indicators of an Indus Valley Civilization.

The Indus Valley residents had a language which is said to have influenced the majority of the languages spoken in South India. The language found written on the pottery, found in Pakistan, dating back to 5,500 years ago, is thought to be the oldest language in the world.

The people of Indus were believed to worship several gods, such as the mother goddesses, phallic gods, and even gods who had parts of humans and animal conjoined. Some scholars believe that a religion similar to Hinduism was practiced.

It is said that no one ruler ruled this civilization. Mohenjo-Daro, Harappa, and other cities had their own rulers. Indus Valley does, however, show signs of having engaged in trade. The presence of the weight system explains the possibility of a fair trade system.

The men and women had distinctive hairstyles that varied by culture. In fact, evidence has been found of people wearing different hairstyles and clothes but living in the same place. This means that a diverse group of people with different ethnicities lived in the same city.

Indus Valley is one of the few civilizations that show no signs of having an army, fighting battles, or inflicting any form of violence amongst its people.

It is thought that the cities had been abandoned by 1900 BC. The cause is not known but many believe that the floods from Indus River forced the people to abandon these areas. This ancient civilization, however, continues to fascinate the explorers and visitors alike. It is hoped that one day we will get to know more about this majestic civilization.

Amita Vadlamudi is an avid reader of world history. Because of their value in showing how human beings have evolved and changed, ancient cultures are of particular interest to Amita Vadlamudi.

The Pyramids of Giza

Sun-bathed Giza Pyramids

One of the most popular regions of Egypt is Giza, where fans of history and architecture can visit a number of impressive pyramids. The Great Pyramid of Khufu stands as the largest of all pyramids in the area, consisting of more than one million limestone blocks weighing between two and 15 tons. Until 1889 and the construction of the Eiffel Tower in France, the Great Pyramid of Khufu held the title of the tallest manmade structure on earth.

While Khufu may be Giza’s tallest pyramid, a common illusion leads many tourists to believe that this record belongs to Khafre. The pyramid is actually nine feet shorter than Khufu is, though it stands on a slightly elevated stretch of land. Finally, visitors to Giza must see the pyramid of Menkaure. This pyramid stands considerably smaller than the others at just 215 feet. In addition to its relatively diminutive size, Menkaure differs visually from Khufu and Khafre because it is only partly encased in white limestone, while the other two are fully encased.

About the author: Amita Vadlamudi has worked in various capacities as an experienced and diverse computer systems engineer. Away from work, Amita Vadlamudi has enjoyed reading historical books about architectural feats accomplished by ancient civilizations, such as the Egyptian pyramids.


Aztec City of Tenochtitlan


For over three decades, Amita Vadlamudi worked with operating systems and components as a computer system analyst and engineer. Amita Vadlamudi has also remained interested in the Aztec civilization, which built the city of Tenochtitlan at what is now Mexico City.

Beginning in the 1470s, Tenochtitlan was largely constructed over the lifetimes of four Aztec kings, on an island in Lake Texcoco. The city was developed using a grid layout that included a system of streets and canals, two aqueducts that provided drinking water, and three elevated causeways that connected the city to towns on the lakeshore.

In the middle of Tenochtitlan, the Aztecs constructed the Sacred Precinct, which housed religious temples and schools, as well as priests’ dwellings. The enclave could support more than 8,000 people and played a vital role in the society’s ceremonial activities. Next to the Sacred Precinct, the Aztecs built luxurious palaces for the nobles that featured large gardens, zoos, and aviaries. At its height in 1519, experts believe the population of Tenochtitlan reached at least 200,000.



Roman Temple

Amita Vadlamudi is an information technology specialist with more than 35 years of experience. In her free time, Amita Vadlamudi enjoys volunteering and reading. She has a special interest in history, especially ancient cultures.

The Romans have been credited with inventing many things, such as, for example, the calendar and concrete. They were especially influential in construction and architecture, and we still use variants of their techniques today. 

Stylistically, Roman architecture was built on the foundations of the civilizations before it, including the Greek styles of Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian. The Romans particularly favored the Corinthian style, though they preferred more decorations. Their Tuscan column was also based on the Doric column but it was made with a smaller capital and a molded base. Also unlike the Greeks, the Romans used monolithic columns, which are made from a single piece of stone, rather than the Greek version, which stacked pieces of stone on top of each other. 

However, Roman architecture began taking on its own characteristics. For example, columns came to be used for decoration (rather than bearing weight), to give a stately and traditional appearance. Eventually, columns were built right into the wall.