06) IVC -Bronze age Civilization

                         Many of the articles about Bronze age civilization abruptly ends without mentioning about Indus Valley Civilization. IVC was in the outer most perimeter of this bronze age civilization. If more emphasis is given to this aspect of IVC, the cultural link to middle eastern bronze age civilization and many mysterious aspects of IVC can be easily explained. But, unfortunately, Indian Historians tend to treat IVC as local civilization, which developed of it own in these sites. This is a  wrong interpretation and has lead to many confusing conclusions. 

                           The are many artefacts found in Indus sites including bronze statues. The Dancing Girl  statue is the best example in this category.  In this statue making activity, imported bronze metallurgy  has been used, but the idea behind the "Dancing girl" reflects the  local religious idea.  This shows that even though the bronze making technology had been imported from Middle - East, this technology had taken deep roots in Indus Valley and had been developed into full scale profession in this area. Later bullock - cart (bronze figure) also shows the continuation and survival of this technology in India.

                           The bronze model of a contemporaneous wooden chariot was accidentally discovered in 1974 by  a farmer, from a site in Daimabad, Ahmednagar district in India. This artifact has its early strata dating to the late Harappan phase (c. 2000-1750 BC). It was cast in the lost wax technique, the bronze consisting of a copper alloy containing some arsenic and a little tin. There is a possibility  that it may belong to a later date  than the Harappan period  (conclusion arrived at based on its metallic content). However, this bronze artefact can be taken as evidence of continuity of metallurgy tradition of Indus Valley people.

 Later day Chola Bronzes also may also be treated as continuation this tradition.

                        The Bronze Age is a period characterized by the use of copper and its alloy bronze as the chief hard materials in the manufacture of some implements and weapons. Chronologically, it stands between the Stone Age and Iron Age. The term Stone Age implies the inability to smelt any ore, the term Bronze Age implies the inability to smelt iron ore and the term Iron Age implies the ability to manufacture artifacts in any of the three types of hard material. Their arrangement in the archaeological chronology reflects the difficulty of manufacture in the history of technology.  (Reference Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia)  

                          During the past few centuries of detailed, scientific study of the Bronze Age, it has become clear that on the whole, the use of copper or bronze was only the most stable and therefore the most diagnostic part of a cluster of features marking the period. In addition to the creation of bronze from raw materials and the widespread use of bronze tools and weapons, the period continued development of pictogramic or ideogramic symbols and proto-writing and other features of urban civilization.

                        The Bronze Age is the second principal period of the three-age system. A region could be in the Bronze Age either by smelting its own copper and alloying with tin, or by trading for bronze from production areas elsewhere. Copper/tin ores are rare, as reflected in the fact that there were no tin bronzes in western Asia before the third millennium BC. Worldwide, the Bronze Age generally followed the Neolithic period, but in some parts of the world, a Copper Age served as a transition from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age. Although the Iron Age generally followed the Bronze Age, in some areas such as sub-Saharan Africa, the Iron Age intruded directly on the Neolithic from outside the region.

                        A difference between some of the Bronze Age cultures was the development of the first writings. Cultures in Egypt (hieroglyphs), the Near East (cuneiform), but also in the Mediterranean, with the Mycenaean culture (Linear B), had viable systems of written communication. The archaeological findings are evidence of the first written sources.