Top 10 inventions of Indus Valley Civilization

Indus Valley Civilization prospered during the Bronze Age which was from 3300 to 1300 BCE. It was also known as the Harappan Civilization which extended from northeast Afghanistan – Pakistan till Northwest India.

The history of this civilization is considered as a mysterious one, whose end also remains a mystery.

Besides mysterious decline and history, inventions and creations are also considered as a subject of interest for the researchers.

Some of the inventions with the highest significance are the ornamental buttons, various cooking methods, and a script.

There are numerous other significant inventions of Indus Valley Civilization, and top 10 out of them are mentioned below with their details.

10. Ornamental buttons made from seashell

Ornamental buttons made from seashell

Ornamental buttons are one of the most significant inventions of Indus Valley Civilization. They were made from the seashell during 2000 BCE.

Usually, buttons are used for fastening purposes, but the purpose of inventing buttons in the Indus Valley Civilization was to use it as an ornament for various events and programmes. 

Buttons made during that period had holes pierced in them and were made in various geometrical shapes, and such buttons were used to attach to some clothes with thread.

Some buttons were also made from copper and alloys, and those were the ones amongst the expensive lot. But, mostly the buttons made from seashell were famous and widely used during the Bronze Age.

Related: Top 10 Inventions and Achievements of Mesopotamia

9. Origination of Stepwell 

Origination of Stepwell

The stepwell was first found in Mohenjo Daro, one of the famous archaeological places in Pakistan and Dholavira of India. The evidence of their existence was first seen and proved in these places.

The first stepwell found in Indus Valley is three times larger than the famous Great Bath at Mohenjo Daro. It was found around 5,000 years ago.

It is a combination of three significant features: a bathing pool, structures of religiously essential figures, and steps leading towards water.

The Indian Jains and Buddhists later adapted these combinations and creations in their architecture. Mainly the adaptation by Buddhism made it possible to reach the creation and concept to other parts of the world.

8. The invention of the Ruler 

The invention of the Ruler

The ruler was invented during 1500 BCE in the Indus Valley Civilization. They were made out of Ivory which were widely in use in that area.

During the unrevealing at the Lothal around 2400 BCE, a ruler measuring about 1/16 inch, which is a little less than 2 mm, was found. It is proved to be about 4400 years old. 

The ruler that was made at Mohenjo- Daro was divided into numerous units correlating to 33.5 mm. The correlating units were marked in the decimal subdivision, which had an accurate measurement of 0.13 mm.

The fire-baked bricks were measured with the uniform units using the alloy ruler, and the baths and structures had those same sized bricks in them.

7. Demonstration of World’s first-known urban sanitation systems

Demonstration of World’s first-known urban sanitation systems

The demonstration of the World’s first urban sanitation systems was done recently in the major cities – Harappa, Mohenjo-Daro, of Indus Valley Civilization. 

The drainage systems of that period proved to be the most developed and mostly used systems of sewage and drainage. They were used all over the Indus region, which was more advanced than all other sanitation systems during that period.

The advancement and efficiency of the sewage and drainage systems were made in such a way that the water used in homes were drawn from the wells and the drainage pipes were attached directly to the operations of the main streets.

One of the most excellent deals of that time was the cleanliness, so the connection of the inflow of safe water and outflow of the wastage was managed in such a way that it could not affect in any unfavourable ways.

6. Start of a well-structured living area and housing

Start of a well-structured living area and housing

The housing and the living areas during the Indus Valley Civilization were made in a well-structured manner. They used the uniform-sized baked-bricks and lime for construction.

They city-planning during that period had the moisture-resistant bricks which made the houses and the whole city look well planned.

The planning of the cities was done in such a manner which gave the feel of dedication. The residential areas were placed on the higher lands, and the placement of the water storages was done on the lower land. 

Perfectly maintained structures along with excellent sanitation and the architectural plan were displayed and used mainly in the prime areas like bathrooms. The drains were directly connected to the street’s central conduit, and many houses had their wells as well.

5. The innovation of Seal and Trade

The innovation of Seal and Trade

The carving of seal and trading of goods were the innovations of Indus Valley Civilization.

The expertized work on seal carving and stamping of clay for the trading of goods were notably the most efficient works of that period. The use of seal carving was to identify the property and also to stamp clay on the products that were meant for trading.

Along with the seal carves, the perfectly balanced with accurate weighing stones were also traded. They were in high demand due to their uniformity in size and excellency in the carving aspect.

Numerous seals of Indus Valley have been seen in the ancient Mesopotamian cities as well. They had the seals in function which were from that period.

4. Creation of typical scripts and Gods

Indus Valley Script

The Indus script is also known as the Harappan script, which is the aggregation of symbols created during the Indus Valley Civilization.

The Bronze Age writing is still under the process of being deciphered by numerous scholars. The inscriptions being very short are creating difficulty to conclude whether they are symbolising a writing system or recording a language.

The first seal with Indus script was discovered dated to 1875 which had the drawing of Alexander Cunningham. About 4,000 other inscribed objects have been found since the discovery of the first one.

Various gods including Pruthvi Dev, Nagdevta, Siva Linga, Pasupathi, Surya Dev, and a few trees were worshipped as their gods. Worshipping these gods would mean that they are the followers of Hinduism.

3. Discovery of Artefacts


Distinct arts, sculptures, pottery, seals, and pieces of jewellery were the significant discovery of Indus Valley Civilization.

The ornaments that were in use were embedded with gems, gold, and semi-precious stones. They had a significant value due to their detailed work and distinct features.

The painted terracotta pots, sketches, and painting were made with expertise in the art of work. Besides these, stamps decorated with figures of a few animals like tigers, buffaloes, elephants, and rhinos were renowned artefacts of that period.

The bricks also had some ancient artefacts in them which were made of soapstone with intricate artistic markings.

2. Discovery of various cooking methods

Discovery of various  cooking methods indus valley civilization
Source: Forbes India

Indus Valley Civilization is famous for the discovery of various cooking methods. With the availability of different food like wheat, barley, sesamum, peas, and other pulses, the cooking methods had to be discovered to cook these.

The primary staple food like wheat and barley was cooked using both underground and overground mud ovens. The variety of these mud ovens were discovered by the renowned archaeologists who knew about baking and cooking.

The bread was baked using the baking ovens and rest were cooked using the regular cooking pots. The most famous ones were the circular pits found at the site where the wheat and other grains were stored. The pits were plastered with lime.

1. The invention of standardized weights

invention of standardized weights

The standardized weights originated from Harappa, one of the most famous cities of Indus Valley Civilization.

The weights then discovered were all in graduated sizes and had proven to be according to the Harappan binary weight system. All the weights were used in the settlements that took place during that period.

The smallest of all in the series had 0.856 grams, and the most common one weighed 13.7 grams. The invention of these reliable weights helped in the advancement of technology and also the development of civilization.

Even the bricks and the religious structures found during that period were measured using these standardized weights and had uniform weights and sizes.



Indus Valley Civilization and the people of this period achieved numerous notable and impactful advances in technological, social, and cultural aspects.

Various inventions, innovations, and discoveries were made like the ones mentioned above. Though civilization ended after some decades, the inventions made stayed life-long with vital significance.

Other remarkable innovations and inventions other than the ones mentioned above include Distillation of Liquid, Stupas, Shampoo, and many more.

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