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20 Feb 2024


Written by
The Logical Indian
Science and Wellbeing

The Harappan Civilization: A Beacon of Creativity

The Harappan Civilization, also known as the Indus Valley Civilization, holds a unique place in human history. Spanning back to antiquity, this ancient civilization, dating to around 2650 BC, is one of the oldest known to mankind. Contrary to simplistic assumptions about ancient societies, the Harappans exhibited a sophisticated understanding of their surroundings, showcasing adeptness in manipulating natural resources that continues to echo through the ages.


Succeeding in towns where business and trade flourish, the Harappans recognized the need for precision in measurement for fair trade. Archaeological excavations have unearthed the tools that bear witness to their advanced measuring system, revealing a level of ingenuity that defies contemporary imagination.

Weights and Measures: The Commercial Backbone

In the bustling commercial hubs of the Harappan towns, a centralized system of weights and measures emerged, becoming the backbone of their commercial prowess. Luxury items were measured with smaller weights, while bulkier essentials like food grains required larger units. This standardization extended to town planning, where uniform units of length played a pivotal role.


The genius of the Harappan Civilization lay not only in recognizing the necessity for a measuring system but also in responding to this need with remarkable innovation. Their achievements reached far beyond their borders, influencing Persia and Central Asia and catalyzing further adaptations. The binary and decimal systems employed by the Harappans facilitated precision in measuring both indivisible items like gold coins and bulk commodities, showcasing a seamless coexistence of accuracy and convenience.

Lothal's Precision and Standardization

In the ancient city of Lothal, situated in present-day Gujarat, an ivory scale revealed an extraordinary precision, with divisions as small as 1.6 mm—a measurement unparalleled in Bronze Age scales. Furthermore, the uniform size of bricks used in the construction of Indus cities serves as additional evidence of an advanced and standardized measurement system in this ancient civilization.

The Enduring Legacy

In essence, the Indus Valley Civilization bestowed upon the world a treasure that transcends time—the scale. This unassuming instrument, born from the crucible of commerce, has journeyed through the ages, carrying with it not just the practicality of measurement but also the cleverness, accuracy, and enduring ideas that are relevant to all of humanity. From ancient marketplaces to the laboratories and workshops of the present, the special ruler from Harappan times leaves an enduring mark—a symbol of human curiosity, innovation, and the remarkable journey that transforms necessity into enduring contributions to humanity's shared knowledge.


The Indus Valley Civilization is a timeless reminder that innovation has deep historical roots in India. Its legacy echoes through time, highlighting the enduring impact of India on human achievement.

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IndiaFirst Life & the logical indian

Headquartered in Mumbai, IndiaFirst Life Insurance Company Limited (IndiaFirst Life), is one of the country's youngest life insurance companies. The Logical Indian is an independent and public-spirited digital media platform for Indian Millennials. IndiaFirst Life and The Logical Indian have come together to showcase India’s rich history of innovation in different fields of life which have made a significant mark on humanity and globally. Please note, The Logical Indian (5w1h Media) as an entity is responsible for source validation and fact-checking from credible sources of the articles posted on this page.