Overview for The Indus Civilization: Including Other Copper Age Cultures and History of Language Change Till c. 1500 BC
The Indus Civilization by Irfan Habib is the second monograph in the people's history of India series. It continues the story from the point reached in the earlier monograph, prehistory. The dominant theme here is provided by the Indus civilization. In addition, other contemporary and later cultures down to about 1500 BC, and the formation of the major language families of India, are discussed. The Indus Civilization seeks to maintain uniformity with prehistory in style and framework, except for slight relaxation of the commitment to conciseness. It contains more detailed exposition of certain topics, and the explanatory notes on technical and controversial subjects at the end of each chapter are somewhat longer. Illustrations , maps and tables are included to serve as aids to understand the subject better. The time with which this monograph deals is often called protohistory, since it is close to the period when history can, at least partly, be reconstructed from literary texts. Since modern territorial boundaries make little sense when we deal with the past, India here means pre-partition India, and the area covered includes Afghanistan south of the Hindukush mountains. A sub-chapter is accordingly devoted to the Helmand civilization, whose study is indispensable for putting the Indus civilization in a proper perspective.