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The Disappearance

From India and China,
© Frank Schaffer, Publisher.
The Indus Valley civilization disappeared about 1500 B.C. While no single cause seems to have been responsible, climate, drought, intensive cultivation, changes in the course of the Indus River, depleted soils, and erosion may all have contributed.

Some historians think the final blow to the civilization was dealt by nomads from Central Asia who swept into India's northwest plains. Ravaging the country as they came, these nomads put an end to a unique and sophisticated culture. The invaders called themselves Aryans.

Practice City-Planning

Tell your class they have been hired to help the officials of Harappa make important additions to their city. Have students work in small groups to compile a list of public spaces, buildings, and systems that will improve living conditions in Harappa. Consider parks, sport arenas, entertainment centers, transportation systems, and museums.

Discuss Archaeological Evidence

Discuss with your class the evidence that archaeologists and historians found that indicates that the Indus Valley civilization practiced city planning. What evidence will archaeologists discover about your city that will show it practiced city planning?

Make a Cause-Effect Chart

Lead discussion about some of the possible reasons for the demise of the Indus Valley civilization. Then show the suggested causes, and have students supply the effect it would have on the land or the people. Use the board or a large piece of paper to chart students' suggestions, for example:
Changes in the course of the Indus River The source of water might have disappeared.
Depleted soils Inability to feed animals or grow crops

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