The civilizations of the Indus River Valley were a very unique group for a number of reasons. As with most ancient civilizations, the social, political and economic systems were guided by religious beliefs. For ancient Indians; however, religious practice literally dictated most levels of social organization and political direction. Also, the same basic religious beliefs are still practiced today, giving researchers a deep understanding of this religious tradition. Another unique aspect of ancient India is the nature of its ruins. There are a number of urban centers that appear to be abandoned, yet not destroyed. The intact nature of these sites creates an intriguing picture of an advanced society set in the ancient world; with nuance and details usually lost to time still available for study.
One of the earliest cities of ancient India is Mohenjo-Daro. Located on the Western edge of the subcontinent, Mohenjo-Daro was a walled city built along the Indus River, which was typical of the time. It was a particularly large city, with approximately 50,000 residents. For purposes of illustrating the social structure and lifestyle of early Indians, it serves as the perfect example. Constructed of mud and bricks, the city had two distinct areas; the citadel and the city proper. The citadel served as a meeting area for military operations and as a hide out for citizens during attacks. Its location on a hill, high above the town proper suggests both its importance within the society, as well as the likelihood of attack from outsiders. The city was divided into well developed blocks with city streets lined with homes and shops. It seems apparent from the quality of goods left behind that skilled craftsmen and professional artists were able to make a living within its walls (Akhter, 2010).
In the center of the city was the Great Bath. It was surrounded by small dressing rooms and a room that housed the well and pump that fed baths; as well...