The Supposed Religious Beliefs of the Indus Valley Civilization - Revised in View of Recent Research

Sarah Umer

Abstract


The religious ideologies of the Indus people is one of the most complex and least understood aspect of this civilization in the absence of any decipherable written text. Therefore the main tools in building these ideologies had always been the excavated archaeological material. But recent studies in this aspect and the use of creative imagination has helped us in bridging the gaps or re-establishing a connection to a certain extent; for it would be unjust only to accept the archaeological evidences as concrete for deducing the religious beliefs of people that no longer exist.

            Over the years since the discovery of Indus civilization, many scholars have written about the religion of the Indus People but unfortunately very briefly and whatever conclusions they drew have also been revised on a large scale in the light of recent research. Let us first look at the various objects that were previously associated with the religion of this region, but today no longer hold a significant position. And then we would try to understand what these people believed in keeping the wider geographical picture in mind, which includes Persia and the Middle East.

            Though we cannot be sure whether this presumed system of thought (belief in a supernatural phenomenon) represented in this paper is a true reality. However, the results of this investigation using cross-cultural analogies with the help of comparative analysis present probable scenarios that take us away from the direct historical approaches (what earlier scholars assumed) and help us to gain a better understanding of Indus narrative themes and mind set. Because the association that is found between the gods and goddesses with relation to the natural and supernatural phenomena and references to animistic beings fall closely in line with Indus imagery found on its narrative seals. 


Keywords


Religion, Indus, Civilization, South Asia, Supernatural.

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