Indus Valley Civilization Featured Worldwide on Stamps

Indus Valley Civilization (IVC), also known as Indus Saraswati Civilization is an ancient civilization that flourished on the banks of river Indus. Located on both the banks of Indus river, the Indus Valley Culture is the first phase of urbanisation of India which thrived during 3500-1700 BC. This long forgotten culture was revealed in an accidental discovery in 1920, which opened up new doors of the history of India.

Charles Masson was the first one to describe about the ruins of Harappa through his Narrative of Various Journeys in Balochistan, Afghanistan, and the Punjab in 1842.

In 1856, General Alexander Cunningham visited Harappa where the British engineers John and William Brunton were laying the East Indian Railway Company line connecting the cities of Lahore and Multan. Post that, Sir John Hubert Marshall and R D Banerjee carried out several excavations and campaigns to unearth this wonderful site.

In present day Pakistan, two cities, in particular, have been excavated at the sites of Mohenjo-Daro - on the lower Indus and at Harappa - upstream. Post independence, Archaeological Survey of India explored and excavated hundreds of IVC sites in India, out of which Lothal and Dholavira stand out. In recent excavations Rakhigarhi is now considered the biggest of all Indus Valley sites.

These sites became so important, that they not only went under the patronage of UNESCO but also were featured on the stamps of different countries.

UNESCO had initiated a special campaign called as “Save Mohenjodaro” to prevent the site from being damaged and vandalized. Beautiful stamps were issued as a part of this campaign to send out the message that this ancient site has a rich history behind it must be safeguarded.

Interestinly Pakistan has issued more stamps on IVC, in association with UNESCO featuring some prime locations of the site. A special joint-issue stamp by Ukraine and Pakistan depicts artefacts and finds of Trypilla and Mohenjo daro respectively. A unique series of 5 stamps were issued by Pakistan which featured a panoramic view of Harappa. Other countries who have issued stamps featuring finds like tools, toys and unique inscriptions of the Indus Valley Civilization are Oman, India, Mali etc.

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