British rule in Burma
British rule in Burma lasted from 1824 to 1948, from the Anglo-Burmese wars through the creation of Burma as a Province of British India to the establishment of an independently administered colony, independence. The region under British control was known as British Burma. Various portions of Burmese territories, including Arakan, Tenasserim were annexed by the British after their victory in the First Anglo-Burmese War; the annexed territories were designated the minor province, British Burma, of British India in 1862. After the Third Anglo-Burmese War in 1885, Upper Burma was annexed, the following year, the province of Burma in British India was created, becoming a major province in 1897; this arrangement lasted until 1937, when Burma began to be administered separately by the Burma Office under the Secretary of State for India and Burma. British rule was disrupted during the Japanese occupation of much of the country during the World War II. Burma achieved independence from British rule on 4 January 1948.
Burma is sometimes referred to as "the Scottish Colony", due to the heavy role played by Scotsmen in colonising and running the country, one of the most notable beings Sir James Scott, the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company. Because of its location, trade routes between China and India passed straight through the country, keeping Burma wealthy through trade, although self-sufficient agriculture was still the basis of the economy. Indian merchants traveled along the coasts and rivers throughout the regions where the majority of Burmese lived, bringing Indian cultural influences into the country that still exist there today. Burma was one of the first Southeast Asian countries to adopt Buddhism, which went on to become the patronised religion. Before the British conquest and colonisation, the ruling Konbaung Dynasty practiced a centralized form of government; the king was the chief executive with the final say on all matters, but he could not make new laws and could only issue administrative edicts. The country had two codes of law, the Rajathat and Dammathat, the Hluttaw, the center of government, was divided into three branches—fiscal and judicial.
In theory the king was in charge of all of the Hluttaw but none of his orders got put into place until the Hluttaw approved them, thus checking his power. Further dividing the country, provinces were ruled by governors who were appointed by the Hluttaw and villages were ruled by hereditary headmen approved by the king. Conflict began between Burma and the British when the Konbaung Dynasty decided to expand into Arakan in the state of Assam, close to British-held Chittagong in India. After Burma's defeat of the Kingdom of Arakan in 1784–1785, in 1823, Burmese forces again crossed the frontier; this led to the First Anglo-Burmese War. The British dispatched a large seaborne expedition that took Rangoon without a fight in 1824. In Danuphyu, south of Ava, the Burmese general Maha Bandula was killed and his armies routed. Myanmar was forced to cede other northern provinces; the 1826 Treaty of Yandabo formally ended the First Anglo-Burmese War, the longest and the most expensive war in the history of British India.
Fifteen thousand European and Indian soldiers died, together with an unknown number of Burmese army and civilian casualties. The campaign cost the British five million pounds sterling to 13 million pounds sterling or (5 million pounds = 24 million dollars. In 1852, the Second Anglo-Burmese War was provoked by the British, who sought the teak forests in Lower Burma as well as a port between Calcutta and Singapore. After 25 years of peace and Burmese fighting started afresh and continued until the British occupied all of Lower Burma; the British were victorious in this war and as a result obtained access to the teak and rubies of northern Myanmar. King Mindon tried to readjust to the thrust of imperialism, he made Burma more receptive to foreign interests. But the British initiated the Third Anglo-Burmese War, which lasted less than two weeks during November 1885; the British government justified their actions by claiming that the last independent king of Myanmar, Thibaw Min, was a tyrant and that he was conspiring to give France more influence in the country.
British troops entered Mandalay on 28 November 1885. Thus, after three wars gaining various parts of the country, the British occupied all the area of present-day Myanmar, making the territory a Province of British India on 1 January 1886; the British decided to annex all of Upper Burma as a colony and to make the whole country a province of British India. The new colony of Upper Burma was attached to the Burma Province on 26 February 1886. Burmese armed resistance continued sporadically for several years and the British commander had to coerce the High Court of Justice to continue to function. Though war ended after only a couple of weeks, resistance continued in northern Burma until 1890, with the British resorting to systematic destruction of villages and appointment of new officials to halt all guerrilla activity. Traditional Burmese society was drastically altered by the demise of the monarchy and the separation of religion and state. Intermarriage between Europeans and Burmese gave birth to an indigenous Eurasian community known as the Anglo-Burmese who would come to dominate the colonial society, hovering above
Early Indian epigraphy
The earliest deciphered epigraphy found in India are the Edicts of Ashoka of the 3rd century BCE, written in forms of Prakrit in the Brahmi script. Samanam inscriptions in South India written in Tamil-Brahmi, Bhattiprolu alphabet and the Kadamba alphabet are of early date; some Tamil-Brahmi inscriptions discovered at Palani and Adichanallur, have been claimed to be as ancient as 500 BCE, but so far only the claimed pre-Ashokan inscriptions at Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka have been published academically. If epigraphy of proto-writing is included, undeciphered markings with symbol systems that may or may not contain linguistic information, there is older epigraphy in the Indus script, which dates back to the early 3rd millennium BC. Two other important archeological classes of symbols are found from the 1st millennium BCE, Megalithic Graffiti Symbols and symbols on punch-marked coins, though most scholars do not consider these to constitute linguistic scripts, their semiotic functions are not well understood.
Writing in Sanskrit appears in the 1st to 4th centuries CE. Indian epigraphy becomes more widespread over the 1st millennium, engraved on the faces of cliffs, on pillars, on tablets of stone, drawn in caves and on rocks, some gouged into the bedrock, they were inscribed on palm leaves, Indian copper plate inscriptions, on temple walls. Many of the inscriptions are couched in extravagant language, but when the information gained from inscriptions can be corroborated with information from other sources such as still existing monuments or ruins, inscriptions provide insight into India's dynastic history that otherwise lacks contemporary historical records. Of the 1,00,000 odd inscriptions found by the Archaeological Survey of India, about 60,000 were in Tamil Nadu. Over 25,000 Kannada inscriptions were unearthed in Karnataka, though an in depth study of many of these is yet to be conducted according to Hampi Kannada University Sociology department Head and Researcher Devara Kondareddy; the first introduction of writing to the Indian Subcontinent apart from the Bronze Age Indus script, undeciphered and may not be an actual script, is identified as the Edicts of Ashoka from c. 250 BCE.
Several inscriptions were thought to be pre-Ashokan by earlier scholars. However, more recent scholars have dated them to periods; until the 1990s, it was accepted that the Brahmi script used by Ashoka spread to South India during the second half of the 3rd century BCE, assuming a local form now known as Tamil-Brahmi. Beginning in the late 1990s, archaeological excavations have produced a small number of candidates for Brahmi epigraphy predating Ashoka. Preliminary press reports of such pre-Ashokan inscriptions have appeared over the years, such as Palani and Adichanallur, dated to c. 500 BCE, but so far only the claimed pre-Ashokan inscriptions at Anuradhapura have been published academically. Since 1886 there have been systematic attempts to collect and catalogue these inscriptions, along with the translation and publication of documents. Inscriptions may be in Tamil-Brahmi script. Royal inscriptions were engraved on copper-plates as were the Indian copper plate inscriptions; the Edicts of Ashoka contain Brahmi script and its regional variant, Tamil-Brahmi, was an early script used in the inscriptions in cave walls of Tamil Nadu and evolved into the Tamil Vatteluttu alphabet.
The Bhattiprolu alphabet, as well as a variant of Brahmi, the Kadamba alphabet, of the early centuries BCE gave rise to the Telugu-Kannada alphabet, which developed into the Kannada and Telugu scripts. Important inscriptions include the 33 inscriptions of emperor Ashoka on the Pillars of Ashoka, the Sohgaura copper plate inscription, the Hathigumpha inscription of Kharavela, the Besnagar pillar inscription of Heliodorus, the Junagadh rock inscription of Rudradaman I, the Nasik cave inscriptions, the Rabatak inscription, the Allahabad Pillar inscription of Samudragupta, the Aihole inscription of Pulakesi II, the Kannada Halmidi inscription, the Tamil copper-plate inscriptions; the oldest known inscription in the Kannada language, referred to as the Halmidi inscription for the tiny village of Halmidi near where it was found, consists of sixteen lines carved on a sandstone pillar and dates to 450 CE. Reports indicate that the Nishadi Inscription. of Chandragiri, in Old-Kannada is older than Halmidi by about 50 to 100 years and may belong to c. 350 CE or c. 400 CE.
The Hathigumpha inscription from Udayagiri near Bhubaneshwar in Orissa was written by Kharavela, the king of Kalinga in India during the 2nd century BCE. The Hathigumpha inscription consists of seventeen lines incised in deep cut Brahmi letters on the overhanging brow of a natural cavern called Hathigumpha on the southern side of the Udayagiri hill near Bhubaneswar in Orissa, it faces straight toward the rock Edicts of Asoka at Dhauli located about six miles away. The Rabatak inscription is written on a rock in the Bactrian language and Greek script and found in 1993 at the site of Rabatak, near Surkh Kotal in Afghanistan; the inscriptio
Mangulam or Mankulam is a village in Madurai district, Tamil Nadu, India. It is located 25 kilometres from Madurai; the inscriptions discovered in the region are the earliest Tamil-Brahmi inscriptions. A hill in the region, known as Mangulam hill or Kalugumalai or Ovamalai, is where Tamil Jain monks lived in the caves during when their religion flourishing in the ancient Tamil country, they converted the caves into their Palli and lived here until the 9th century CE. Mangulam inscriptions were discovered by Robert Sewell in the caves of the hill in 1882; this was the earliest finding of such kind of inscriptions. In 1906, Indian epigraphist V. Venkayya tried to read the inscriptions and found that it similar to the Brahmi script in Ashokan edicts, he thought that the inscriptions were in Pali language. In 1919, epigraphist H. Krishna Sastri identified few Tamil words in the inscriptions. In 1924, K. V. Subrahmanya Aiyar discovered that inscriptions are in Tamil with Prakrit loan words in the Brahmi script and concluded that script is Tamil-Brahmi.
In 1965, Iravatham Mahadevan recorded the inscriptions in the caves and dated it to the 2nd century BCE. There are five caves in the hill; these were inscribed during Sangam period, hence it is considered as one of the important inscriptions in Tamil Nadu. The inscriptions mentions that workers of Nedunchezhiyan I, a Pandyan king of Sangam period, made stone beds for Jain monks, it further details the name of worker for. For example, an inscription shows that Kadalan Vazhuthi, a worker of Nedunchezhiyan made stone bed to Jain monk Nanda Sirikuvan, it is one of the protected monuments in Tamil Nadu by the Archaeological Survey of India. Archeologists found sherds, sling stones and an ancient burial site during the excavation in the region. In 2007, Tamil Nadu Archaeology Department excavated the ruins of the Jain prayer halls of Sangam period
Indian Museum, Kolkata
The Indian Museum in Kolkata referred to as the Imperial Museum at Calcutta in British India era texts, is the largest and oldest museum in India and has rare collections of antiques and ornaments, skeletons and Mughal paintings. It was founded by the Asiatic Society of Bengal in Kolkata, India, in 1814 C. E; the founder curator was a Danish botanist. It has six sections comprising thirty five galleries of cultural and scientific artifacts namely Art, Anthropology, Geology and Economic Botany. Many rare and unique specimens, both Indian and trans-Indian, relating to humanities and natural sciences, are preserved and displayed in the galleries of these sections; the administrative control of the Cultural sections, viz. Art and Anthropology rests with the Board of Trustees under its Directorate, that of the three other science sections is with the geological survey of India, the zoological survey of India and the Botanical survey of India; the museum Directorate has eight co-ordinating service units: Education, publication, photography, medical and library.
This multipurpose Institution with multidisciplinary activities is being included as an Institute of national importance in the seventh schedule of the Constitution of India. It is one of oldest museums in the world; this is an autonomous organization under Ministry of Government of India. The present Director of the Indian Museum is Rajesh Purohit; the museum was closed to visitors due to massive restoration and upgrades from 1 September 2013 to 3 February 2014. The Indian Museum originated from the Asiatic Society of Bengal, created by Sir William Jones in 1784; the concept of having a museum arose in 1796 from members of the Asiatic Society as a place where man-made and natural objects could be collected, cared for and displayed. The objective began to look achievable in 1808 when the Society was offered suitable accommodation by the Government of India in the Chowringhee-Park Street area. In February 2, 1814, Nathaniel Wallich, a Danish botanist, captured in the siege of Serampore but released, wrote a letter supporting the formation of a museum in Calcutta which he said should have two sections - an archaeological and technical section and a geological and zoological one.
The Museum was created, with Wallich named the Honorary Curator and Superintendent of the Oriental Museum of the Asiatic Society. Wallich donated a number of botanical specimens to the museum from his personal collection. After the resignation of Wallich, curators were paid salaries ranging from Rs 50 to Rs 200 a month; until 1836 this salary was paid by the Asiatic Society but in that year its bankers and Company became insolvent and the Government began to pay from its public funds. A temporary grant of Rs 200 per month was sanctioned for maintenance of the museum and library, J. T. Pearson of the Bengal Medical Service was appointed curator followed shortly by John McClelland and after his resignation by Edward Blyth. In 1840, the Government took a keen interest in the geology and mineral resources and this led to an additional grant of Rs 250 per month for the geological section alone. A new building became a need and this was designed by Walter R Granville and completed in 1875 for the cost of Rs 1,40,000.
In 1879 it received a portion of the collection from the India Museum when that collection was dispersed. The Zoological and Anthropological sections of the museum gave rise to the Zoological Survey of India in 1916, which in turn gave rise to the Anthropological Survey of India in 1945; the Scottish anatomist and zoologist John Anderson took up the position of curator in 1865, catalogued the mammal and archaeology collections. The English zoologist James Wood-Mason worked at the museum from 1869 and succeeded Anderson as curator in 1887, it occupies a resplendent mansion, exhibits among others: an Egyptian mummy. The mummy is being restored. Indian artifacts include the Buddhist stupa from Bharhut, the Buddha's ashes, the Ashoka pillar, whose four-lion symbol became the official emblem of the Republic of India, fossil skeletons of prehistoric animals, an art collection, rare antiques, a collection of meteorites; the Indian Museum is regarded as "the beginning of a significant epoch initiating the socio-cultural and scientific achievements of the country.
It is otherwise considered as the beginning of the modernity and the end of medieval era" by UZER Places. The museum has four galleries dedicated to natural history, namely the botanical, insect and bird galleries. Official Website History of Indian Museum Indian Museum Kolkata at Google Cultural Institute Don Bosco Museum The Indian Museum Completes 200 Years by Shakunt Pandey
Calambur Sivaramamurti, was an Indian museologist, art historian and epigraphist, known for his work as curator in the Government Museum, Chennai. and Sanskrit scholar. His entire life has been devoted to the exposition of various aspects of Indian art. Apart from authoring several monographs, guide books on Indian art, he wrote a seminal work on South Indian epigraphy. After a brilliant academic career, C. Sivaramamurti entered the museum profession as curator for Archaeology in the Madras Museum, he joined the Archaeological Survey of India as Superintendent, Archaeological Section, Indian Museum, whence he came over to the National Museum as Keeper and rose as Assistant Director and became the Director. Associated with the International Council of Museums he was on its executive committee and was Chairman of the Indian National Committee of ICOM, he conducted pioneering research and wrote extensively on various subjects during his tenure at the Indian national Museum. Eminent archaeologist and student of archaeology, Frederic Henry Gravely, along with the Curator Dr. C.
Sivaramamurti, ensured in 1938 that the antiquities and industrial art collected by the Museum was organised into a collection that exists today. His monumental book L'Art en Inde published in French earned the Dadabhai Naoroji Award; the book is available in German, English and Italian. Dr. C. Sivaramamurti was the first fellow of the Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Fundwhen it was instituted, as he was specially chosen by the Trustees of this Fund in an endeavour to set a standard to Indian scholarship, he did a special exhaustive study of Nataraja,the dancing form of Siva, in all aspects as represented in Art,thought and literature. The product of two years of efforts was a monumental work,"Nataraja in Art,Thought and Literature", which he dedicated to his parents. Nataraja in Art and Literature is acclaimed as his major achievement. First published 1974, it was 412 pages with over 250 monochrome illustrations. Nataraja as a theme represents life force itself; the ancients visualised Nataraja as a manifestation of the cosmic energy symbolising the three aspects of creation and destruction.
Chapters include: Natya, The Significance of Siva's Dance, Karanas Presented in Siva's Tandava, Karanas Presented by Vishnu as Krishna, The Vedic Roots of the Concept of The Great Dancer, Nataraja Pictured in literature, Varieties of Nataraja as Described in Silpa Texts, Nataraja Form in Sculpture and Painting, The Nataraja Concept Beyond Indian Frontiers. The dance of Nataraja has always been synonymously viewed with truth and beauty and rhythm, movement and change and dissolution. Nataraja has been visualised in variety of forms by seers and artists; this itself is a testimony to the twin aspects of time and timelessness of Nataraja, both as a personality and as a theme. This book highlights Nataraja as the presiding deity of fine arts whether it be music, painting, sculpture or epigraphy; the Vedic roots of the cosmic dancer and the blend of tradition and modernity is woven as a thread throughout the book describing vividly the exploits of the great dancer on world stage. It contains interesting information on famous spots of the Nataraja theme and the concept of Nataraja beyond Indian frontiers.
Dr. Sivaramamurti has been one of the most acclaimed art historians of this country, he had devoted an entire lifetime to iconography to the Nataraja theme. This book was an outcome of his research as part of the Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowship awarded to him in 1968. In her foreword to this book, Mrs. Indira Gandhi called it' a monument to Indian Scholarship.' Dr. Sivaramamurti has been responsible for popularising epigraphy and numismatics and paintings from an approach through literature giving literary parallels, his love for Sanskrit and art, his aesthetic taste and capacity to draw and sculpt helped him to achieve his purpose of such a study of art and literature. He was a frail man with conspicuous vibhuti and tilak on his forehead. Dr. Sivaramamurti belonged to the lineage of the great Appayya Dikshita, he was the son of Calambur Sundara Sastri, a civil servant, a great Sanskrit scholar of his times and author of a great kavya in Sanskrit,'Sundara Ramayana'. C. Sundara Sastri was an ardent devotee of Rama and as if by divine will his son, Sivaramamurti was married to Sampurna, the granddaughter of the great Ramayana exponent Paruthiyur Krishna Sastri and daughter of Pattabhi Rama Sastri District educational Officer of Tanjore.
They had two sons Sundararamamurti and Krishnamurti Dr. Sivaramamurti died in 1983 of a heart attack during a lecture on the specific features of a rare Nataraja icon. Dr. Sivaramamurti is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Ireland. Sri Sankaracharya the great Chandrasekharendra Saraswati Swamigal of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetha conferred on him the title of Vichitrachitta- meaning'the curious minded one'; the great Pallava ruler of the 8th century from south India,Mahendravarman, held this epithet'vichitrachitta', as described by him in his inscription in the rock-cut temple of the Trinity, Brahma,Vishnu and easwara at Kudumiamalai. He was awarded by the President of India,the Padma Sri in 1968 and the Padma Bhushan in 1975, he travelled participated in international seminars, delivered important lectures at the invitation of several universities, which have been published as books. He delivered, he has over thirty-four books and innumerable papers on sculpture, arc
K. A. Nilakanta Sastri
Kallidaikurichi Aiyah Nilakanta Sastri was an Indian historian who wrote on South Indian history. Many of his books form. Sastri was acclaimed for his scholarship and mastery of sources and was a recipient of the third highest Indian civilian honour of Padma Bhushan. Nilakanta Sastri was born in a Telugu Niyogi Brahmin family, in Kallidaikurichi near Tirunelveli, on 12 August 1892, he completed his FA in M. D. T Hindu College and his college education in Madras Christian College. Sastri obtained his MA by coming first in the Madras Presidency, he joined the Hindu College as lecturer in 1913 where he taught till 1918. He served as Professor of History, Banaras Hindu University from 1918 to 1920. After that he became. In 1929, he was employed as Professor of History at Trichy; the same year, he succeeded Sakkottai Krishnaswamy Aiyangar as the Professor of History and Archaeology at the Madras University, a post he held till 1946. He was the Professor of Indology at the University of Mysore from 1952 to 1955.
He was appointed as the ex-officio Director of Archaeology for the Mysore State in 1954. He was the President of the All-India Oriental Conference in the early 1950s. From 1957 to 1972, he served with the UNESCO's Institute of Traditional Cultures of South East Asia, as the Director of the institute. In 1957, he was awarded India's third highest civilian honour. In the summer of 1959, he was a visiting professor at the University of Chicago where he delivered a series of lectures on South Indian History. Nilakanta Sastri died in 1975. Nilakanta Sastri is regarded as the greatest and most prolific among professional historians of South India. Tamil historian A R Venkatachalapathy regards him as "arguably the most distinguished historian of twentieth-century Tamil Nadu". In 1915, a Bengali historian Jadunath Sarkar, wrote an essay Confessions of a History Teacher in the Modern Review regretting the lack of acclaimed historical works in vernacular languages and stressed that efforts should be made to write history books and teach history in vernacular languages.
Nilakanta Sastri, a young teacher in Thirunelveli, wrote a letter to the newspaper opposing Sarkar's suggestion by saying that "English serves me better as a medium of expression than Tamil – I mean in handling historical subjects. The vernacular is not so well off in this part of the country as it should be". Sastri's comments evoked sharp criticism from the nationalist poet Subramanya Bharathi. According to Venkatachalapathy, Sastri's Tamil proficiency was not good and he relied on Tamil scholar S. Vaiyapuri Pillai for understanding Tamil literary works, thus he was not able to analyse the changing meaning of words over time. Venkatachalapathy says, "In the professional historiography in Tamil Nadu practised in the age of K. A. Nilakanta Sastri there was any interrogation of sources."Sastri's A History of South India is a recommended textbook for university students of Indian history. In a preface to the 2013 reprint, historian Sanjay Subrahmanyam describes the book thus... a classic work, which retains its importance and has never quite been replaced.
It shows the author's mastery over a huge set of sources, which placed him head and shoulders above other South Indian historians of his time Historian Noboru Karashima, who edited A Concise History of South India, describes Sastri's A History of South India as an excellent book, praises Sastri's examination of sources of south Indian history as "thoroughgoing and meticulous". However, Karashima states that being a Brahmin, Sastri was inclined to emphasize the role of "north Indian and Sanskrit culture in the development of south Indian society", which resulted in occasional bias. Karashima notes that Sastri's book remained the only authoritative scholarly book on the south Indian history for a number of reasons: nobody could match Sastri in bringing out a similar work. Ganapathy Subbiah of the Indian History Congress describes Sastri as "the greatest" of all South Indian historians. During Sastri's period, strong language-based movements had emerged in various regions of South India. Subbiah notes that Sastri attempted to portray South India as a distinct geocultural unit, was keen to dissolve the growth of regionalism in South Indian historiography.
Subbiah adds that Sastri's macro-level view of the South Indian history "revolved around Aryan-Dravidian syndrome", this view changed with his age: in his 20s, Sastri asserted the existence of "an independent Tamil culture which flourished for centuries before it was touched by extraneous influences". According to Subbiah, Sastri's views should be analyzed in the context of the rise of the anti-Brahmin Dravida Nadu movement in the mid-20th century: his assertions over-emphasizing the importance of Indo-Aryan and Sanskrit influence in south Indian history can be seen as "his angry and desperate response" against the Dravida Nadu secessionists. In all, Nilakanta Sastri authored 25 historical works on the history of South India. Sastri, K. A. Nilakanta; the Pāṇḍyan Kingdom from the Earliest Times to the Sixteenth Century. L
Indus Valley Civilisation
The Indus Valley Civilisation was a Bronze Age civilisation in the northwestern regions of the Indian subcontinent, lasting from 3300 BCE to 1300 BCE, in mature form from 2600 BCE to 1900 BCE. Along with ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia it was one of three early civilisations of the region comprising North Africa, West Asia and South Asia, of the three, the most widespread, its sites spanning an area stretching from northeast Afghanistan, through much of Pakistan, into western- and northwestern India, it flourished in the basins of the Indus River, which flows through the length of Pakistan, along a system of perennial monsoon-fed, rivers that once coursed in the vicinity of the seasonal Ghaggar-Hakra river in northwest India and eastern Pakistan. The civilisation's cities were noted for their urban planning, baked brick houses, elaborate drainage systems, water supply systems, clusters of large non-residential buildings, new techniques in handicraft and metallurgy; the large cities of Mohenjo-daro and Harappa likely grew to containing between 30,000 and 60,000 individuals, the civilisation itself during its florescence may have contained between one and five million individuals.
Gradual drying of the region's soil during the 3rd millennium BCE may have been the initial spur for the urbanisation associated with the civilisation, but also reduced the water supply enough to cause the civilisation's demise, to scatter its population eastward. The Indus civilisation is known as the Harappan Civilisation, after its type site, the first of its sites to be excavated early in the 20th century in what was the Punjab province of British India and now is Pakistan; the discovery of Harappa and soon afterwards Mohenjo-Daro was the culmination of work beginning in 1861 with the founding of the Archaeological Survey of India during the British Raj. There were however earlier and cultures called Early Harappan and Late Harappan in the same area. By 2002, over 1,000 Mature Harappan cities and settlements had been reported, of which just under a hundred had been excavated, there are only five major urban sites: Harappa, Mohenjo-daro, Ganeriwala in Cholistan and Rakhigarhi; the early Harappan cultures were preceded by local Neolithic agricultural villages, from which the river plains were populated.
The Harappan language is not directly attested, its affiliation is uncertain since the Indus script is still undeciphered. A relationship with the Dravidian or Elamo-Dravidian language family is favoured by a section of scholars; the Indus Valley Civilisation is named after the Indus river system in whose alluvial plains the early sites of the civilisation were identified and excavated. Following a tradition in archaeology, the civilisation is sometimes referred to as the Harappan, after its type site, the first site to be excavated in the 1920s. A section of scholars use the terms "Sarasvati culture", the "Sarasvati Civilisation", the "Indus-Sarasvati Civilisation" or the "Sindhu-Saraswati Civilisation", because they consider the Ghaggar-Hakra river to be the same as the Sarasvati, a river mentioned several times in the Rig Veda, a collection of ancient Sanskrit hymns composed in the second millennium BCE. However, recent geophysical research suggests that unlike the Sarasvati, whose descriptions in the Rig Veda are those of a snow-fed river, the Ghaggar-Hakra was a system of perennial monsoon-fed rivers, which became seasonal around the time that the civilisation diminished 4,000 years ago.
In addition, proponents of the Sarasvati nomenclature see a connection between the decline of the Indus civilisation and the rise of the Vedic civilisation on the Gangetic plain. The Indus civilization was contemporary with the other riverine civilisations of the ancient world: Egypt along the Nile, Mesopotamia in the lands watered by the Euphrates and the Tigris, China in the drainage basin of the Yellow River. By the time of its mature phase, the civilisation had spread over an area larger than the others, which included a core of 1,500 km up the alluvial plane of the Indus and its tributaries. In addition, there was a region with disparate flora and habitats, up to ten times as large, shaped culturally and economically by the Indus. Around 6500 BCE, agriculture emerged on the margins of the Indus alluvium. In the following millennia, settled life made inroads into the Indus plains, setting the stage for the growth of rural and urban human settlements; the more organized sedentary life in turn led to a net increase in the birth rate.
The large urban centres of Mohenjo-daro and Harappa likely grew to containing between 30,000 and 60,000 individuals, during the civilization's florescence, the population of the subcontinent grew to between 4–6 million people. During this period the death rate increased as well, for close living conditions of humans and domesticated animals led to an increase in contagious diseases. According to one estimate, the population of the Indus civilization at its peak may have been between one and five million; the Indus Valley Civilisation extended from Pakistan's Balochistan in the west to India's western Uttar Pradesh in the east, from northeastern Afghanistan in the north to India's Gujarat state in the south. The largest number