Harappa (Urdu: ہڑپا) is a city in Punjab, northeast Pakistan, about 35km (22 miles) southwest of Sahiwal.
The modern town is located near the former course of the Ravi River and also beside the ruins of an ancient fortifed city, which was part of the Cemetery H culture and the Indus Valley Civilization. The ancient city existed from about 3300 BCE until 1600 BCE and is believed to have had as many as 40,000 residents—considered large for its time. Although the Harappa Culture extended beyond the bounds of Pakistan, its centres were in Sind and the Punjab.
In 2005 a controversial amusement park scheme at the site was abandoned when builders unearthed many archaelogical artifacts during the early stages of construction work. A plea from the prominent Pakistani archaeologist Ahmed Hasan Dani to the Ministry of Culture resulted in a restoration of the site.
Indus Valley civilization was mainly an urban culture sustained by surplus agricultural production and commerce, the latter including trade with Sumer in southern Mesopotamia. Both Mohenjo-daro and Harappa were built according to similar plans of well-laid-out streets, “differentiated living quarters, flat-roofed brick houses, and fortified administrative or religious centers” Weights and measures were standardized throughout the area and distinctive seals were used for identification of property and shipment of goods. Although Copper and bronze were in use, iron was unknown. “Cotton was woven and dyed for clothing; wheat, rice, and a variety of vegetables and fruits were cultivated; and a number of animals, including the humped bull, were domesticated.” Wheel-made pottery—some of it adorned with animal and geometric motifs—has been found in profusion at all the major Indus sites. A centralized administration has been inferred from the revealed cultural uniformity; however, it remains uncertain whether authority lay with a priestly- or a commercial oligarchy.