Pakistan is home to many archaeological sites dating from Lower Paleolithic period to Mughal empire. The earliest known archaeological findings belong to the Soanian culture from the Soan Valley, near modern day Islamabad. Soan Valley culture is considered as the best known Palaeolithic culture of Central Asia. Mehrgarh in Balochistan is one of the most important Neolithic sites dating from 7000 BCE to 2000 BCE. The Mehrgarh culture was amongst the first culture in the world to establish agriculture and livestock and live in villages. Mehrgarh civilization lasted for 5000 years till 2000 BCE after which people migrated to other areas, possibly Harappa and Mohenjo-daro. Harappa and Mohenjo-daro are the best known sites from the Indus Valley civilization (c 2500 – 1900 BCE).
Lower Paleolithic (Pre-Soanian)
View of Soan valley and Soan River in background, near Adiala
Lower to Middle Paleolithic (Soanian)
Early Soanian sites correspond to the Acheulean period. Different stone artifacts have been discovered from these sites from all over Pakistan. Sites in Soan Valley and Potohar Plateau from this period include;
Pre-Harappan farming communities date back to Neolithic time which ultimately evolved into urban Harappan civilization. Explorations and archaeological findings establish the dateline of Pre-Harappan culture from 2700 BC to 2100 BC followed by Harappan period from 2100 BC onwards. Some of the regions showing pre-Harappan culture include;
- Pirak where the culture later advanced into Indus Valley Civilization.
- Sheri Khan Tarakai is a neolithic village and second oldest farming settlement in South Asia.
- Kili Gul Muhammad
- Kot Diji
A large well and bathing platforms from Harappa occupation, Pakistan
- Takht-i-Bahi in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
- Seri Bahlol in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
- Akra in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
- Taxila in Punjab
- Mankiala in Punjab
- Thatta in Sindh
- Mehluha in Sindh
Islamic influence in the region started as early as 7th Century.
HARAPPA (REMAINS OF 5000 YEARS OLD CIVILIZATION) NEAR SAHIWAL
Harappa, being the first site where the remains of one of the most celebrated civilizations of the ancient world discovered. It is discovered that in Harappa the first urban settlement ultimately blossomed into what is known as Indus Valley Civilization, a contemporary of the ancient Babylon and Egypt.
According to recent estimates Harappa ruins cover an area of around 150 hectares and are about 3 km in circumference. The great mass of ruins is on the western side, where the mound rises to 60 feet in height in the centre. At this point there are several massive walls built of large bricks, which are, no doubt, the remains of some extensive buildings. The other portions of the mound vary from 30 to 50 feet in height.
The remains of Harappa city are located about 200 Km from Lahore, and 27 km south west of Sahiwal. The site of Harappa is approachable by metal led road which connects the museum with the main highway from Lahore to Multan at the point of Harappa railway station that is 7Km from the museum.
A tour of the site takes about an hour and half. There is a single room Archaeological Museum at the site entrance containing some of the most interesting artifacts found at the site. These include stone tools, seals, jewelry, stone weights, shell spoons, copper and pottery utensils, some collection of games like a game of chess, pottery rattles and whistles, toy carts etc.
TAXILA NEAR RAWALPINDI
Taxila is a town and an important archaeological site in the Rawalpindi District of the Punjab province in Pakistan. Taxila is situated about 32 km (20 miles) northwest of Islamabad Capital Territory and Rawalpindi in Punjab; just off the Grand Trunk Road. Taxila lies 549 metres (1,801 ft) above sea level.
The city dates back to the Gandhara period and contains the ruins of the Gandhāran city of Takṣaśilā which was an important Hindu and Buddhist centre, and is still considered a place of religious and historical sanctity in those traditions.
|MOHENJODARO IN SINDH|
Mohenjo-daro, is an archaeological site situated in the province of Sindh, Pakistan. Built around 2600 BCE, it was one of the largest settlements of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization, and one of the world’s earliest major urban settlements, existing at the same time as the civilizations of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Crete. Mohenjo-daro was abandoned in the 19th century BCE, and was not rediscovered until 1922.