The Indus Valley Civilization is one of the oldest in history. It existed from around 3300 BC - 1300 BC, and was located near the Indus river. The river flooded reliably twice a year, which made it very easy to practice agriculture and produce food there.
Their food surpluses enabled the creation of cities, specialization of labour, and trade with other places like Mesopotamia.
Though they have some kind of written language, we haven’t yet figured out how to decipher it, so most of our information on them comes from archaeology.
Mohenjo-daro, one of the major cities in this civilization, shows evidence of urban planning. There were multi-story brick homes, a grid system for streets, and a sewage system that connected private toilets to public drains. The city was also oriented to catch the wind and provide natural air conditioning.
At the centre of Mohenjo-daro was a large public bath called “The Great Bath”. It’s unclear what it was used for, but it was possibly used for religious practices.
Some houses were larger than others, but the society seems relatively egalitarian. There’s also very little evidence of warfare and weapons, suggesting they were a peaceful society.
At its peak, Mohenjo-daro had around 40,000 people, and the whole Indus Valley Civilization had between 1 Million and 5 Million people. It eventually declined until it faded into obscurity, though we don’t know exactly why.
It could have been some kind of climate change that affected their food supply. It could’ve been a massive earthquake that changed the course of the river, depriving the civilization of its most precious resource.
During the decline, writing began to disappear. The big cities were gradually abandoned, and by 1300 BC, the Indus Valley Civilization had ended.