THE HARAPPAN WORLD

In the Harappan world, subsistence depended on much the same species as in western Asia and Egypt. On the greater Indus plains, barley and wheat, together with peas, gram, sesame and mustard, were grown. Cotton was grown for fibre. Sheep, goat and cattle bones attest to animal husbandry, and cattle comprised both western Asiatic species as well as the humped Indian variety. In Kutch, millets are attested, and at Lothal rice husk impressions have been detected in clay.

The Harappan heartland lay in a transitional zone between the winter rainfall regime of western Asia and the monsoon rainfall system of South Asia. Punjab may get only 120 mm rainfall in winter, and Sind just 30 mm (both regions have heavier rainfall during the monsoon), but even this is of critical importance because wheat and barley are winter crops.

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