Consider the following statements:
1. Ivory was extensively used by the Harappans
2. The bones of Elephant as well as Camel have been recovered from a number of sites throughout the Indus region
Which among the above statements is / are correct?

Answer: [C] Both 1 & 2

Both the statements are correct statements in the above question. The fauna of the greater Indus region included the Indian elephant (Elephas maximus). Ivory, which probably came mainly from the elephant, was extensively used by the Harappans: At Mohenjo-daro it was more common than bone as a material for making artefacts. Elephant bones have been recovered from a number of sites throughout the Indus region, from Lothal and Surkotada in Gujarat, to Mohenjo-daro and Chanhu-daro in Sindh, and to Harappa and Kalibangan in the east; although elephants could have been hunted for their meat, these bones may suggest that tame elephants were employed as work animals, to haul logs, for example. Further suggestive evidence of tame elephants comes from representations on seals of elephants apparently wearing a cloth over their back, and a clay model of elephant’s head with painted designs on its forehead: Elephants are similarly decorated with paint on festive days in modern South Asia.

Camel was also domesticated in various sites of Indus Valley, however, not the early phases but only in later phases. Camel bones identified at Harappa, Surkotada, Kanewal, Kalibangan, and perhaps Rojdi were all from the upper levels of these settlements, and none is likely to be earlier than 2000 BCE. A single representation of a camel at Kalibangan also confirms that the Harappans were familiar with the creature.  At the same time, it is also thought that Camels were of no local significance during the Indus civilization, and those present might have belonged to traders from eastern Iran or Turkmenia, where they were in common use.

This question is a part of GKToday's Integrated IAS General Studies Module