FOUNDED IN 1995 BY OMAR Khan, an Indus enthusiast in San Francisco, harappa.com [http://harappa.com] is a treasure trove of resources on the ancient Indus Civilization (3500-1700 bce). The site features slideshows, essays and articles by leading scholars from India, Pakistan, Europe and America, covering the basic facts and the latest research about the civilization.

A visual goldmine: A sampling from the slideshow section

The Indus Valley Civilization extended from what today is northeast Afghanistan to Pakistan and northwest India. “The earliest cities became integrated into an extensive urban culture around 4,600 years ago and came to dominate the region for at least 700 years, from 2600 to 1900bce. It was only in the 1920s that the buried cities and villages of the Indus Valley were recognized by archaeologists as representing an undiscovered civilization… The peoples who built and ruled these cities belong to what archaeologists refer to as the Harappan Culture or Indus Civilization.” (Jonathan Mark Kenoyer, introducing “Around Indus,” one of 20 slideshows on the site.)

The ancient Indus Civilization script has never been deciphered, and many questions about the people who created this highly complex culture remain unanswered. However, archaeological studies at dozens of sites have provided insight into many aspects of their society. The pace of discoveries has never been quicker than today, and the number of investigators never larger.

Over 600 slides from the joint Pakistani-American Harappan Archaeological Research Project (HARP) appear here, including a 90-slide “Introduction to the Ancient Indus Civilization.” “An Introduction to Mohenjo Daro,” among the best-known Indus sites, located in Sindh, southern Pakistan, is accompanied by 103 images.

To keep viewers coming back often, a blog offers something new nearly every day. A few recent examples: • The Origins of Curry in the Indus Civilization; • Impressions of Indus Life around a Well; • Ancient Indus Passports? • The Mohenjo-Daro Cart; • The World’s Earliest Known Ploughed Field; • New Evidence Pushes the Origins of Indus Settlements to the 7th millennium.

The blog entry from June 11, 2016, called “The Best Indus Recreations,” really brings the civilization to life. One impressive example is the painting below, “A reimagining of life in Lothal 4,000 years ago.”

With polls/quizzes, essays, books and video resources, the website provides a wealth of learning opportunities for educators and students. Harrapa.com [http://Harrapa.com] is so content rich, anyone visiting the site knowing nothing about ancient India can leave feeling informed and up-to-date on the constant discoveries being published by Omar and today’s avid researchers on a civilization thought to have been home to five million people.


A map showing the extent of the civilization, reaching from southeastern Iran to northwest India


The ancient Indus port of Lothal in Gujarat, as envisaged by an Archaeological Survey of India artist