Pakistan centro de cultura Mexico

Ancient Pakistan is a fascinating study of diverse cultures, languages, social systems and faiths. A cross road of civilisations and a gateway to the subcontinent. Watered mainly by Indus and its tributaries and bounded by majestic Himalayas, Karakoram and Hindu Kush ranges, shimmering Thar and Cholistan deserts, rugged hills and valleys of Balochistan and sparkling Arabian Sea, the land of Pakistan has cradled human habitations since the Palaeolithic Age.

Neolithic or New Stone Age (6500 to 2500 BCE) marked the beginning of human settlements in Pakistan as well as domestication of useful crops and animals, building of shelters with burnt bricks and experimentation with ceramics. For the earliest farming, wheat and barley were used. The first such settlement existed in the eighth millennium BCE at Mehrgarh in Sibi. The settlement was established with simple mud buildings with four internal subdivisions. Numerous burials have been found, many with elaborate goods such as baskets, stone and bone tools, beads, bangles, pendants and occasionally animal sacrifices, with more goods left with burials of males. Discovered by Jean Francois Jarrige and his team in 1974, experts found evidence of trans-regional trade as well as wheat cultivation at the site. The concentration of population in Kot Diji, Sindh and Rehman Dheri, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa led to the development of higher civilizations.

Indus Valley (3000-1300 BCE) is one of the four major civilizations of the world. The cities of Moenjodaro, in Sind province and Harappa, in Punjab are major discoveries of the Indus Valley Civilisation in the early twentieth century.

Evidence suggests that these two cities had profound knowledge of city planning. Both had evolved a uniform system of weights and measures and made bricks structures. Buttons made from sea shells and ivory combs were in use besides bangles worn by females. The practice of dyeing also relates to Moenjodaro. Archaeologists have found private bathrooms, drainage, water supply and sanitation system, granaries and town community bathing tanks at the town centre.

Discovery of figurines of dancing girls made Sir John Marshal reflect, “When I first saw them I found it difficult to believe that they were prehistoric; they seemed to completely upset all established ideas about early art and culture.”
Similarly, it is said that the earliest animal drawn plough for agriculture was used here by the inhabitants of the Indus Valley.

Indus Valley Civilization was involved in trading with Egypt, Sumer, and Ur. Indus Valley inhabitants were given the name 'Meluhha' by the Babylonians because of their fondness for sea voyages. Scholars from Harvard University, University of Wisconsin and New York University dealing with ancient civilizations in a project in collaboration with the Department of Archaeology and Museums of the Government of Pakistan, have opined that “in a new study of artifacts” has revealed the use of silk cloth at Harappa. This indicates the use of silk by the Indus Valley Civilization.

After Mehrgarh and Indus Valley civilisations next comes the great Gandhara civilisation in the northwest Pakistan. In historical literature, it was first mentioned as “part of the Achaemenian Empire” during the time of Cyrus the Great. Over the centuries, it developed into a place where contemporary scientific, political, social and religious ideas, as well as center of art and crafts of diverse lands.
Taxila, the ancient city of Gandhara has been described as the wealthiest in contemporary South Asia. Its prosperity resulted from its position “at the junction of three great trade routes: from eastern India, from western Asia; and the third from Kashmir and Central Asia.” It attracted people of the neighbouring regions met and exchanged ideas. Biographer Philostratus described Taxila as a fortified city that was laid out on a symmetrical plan and compared it in size to Nineveh.

King Ambhi of Taxila received Alexander the Great around 320 BCE. In the following seven centuries, Greek influence introduced classical traditions that became an important part of the Gandhara heritage. It is said that Mahabharata was recited for the first time at Taxila by Vaismpayana, a disciple of Veda Vyasa. Buddhist literature including Jataka mentions Taxila as a great centre of learning. Taxila was also visited by the famous Chinese monk Fa Hien in 405 CE. The city is mentioned in his travelogue titled A Record of Buddhist Kingdoms. Another well-known Chinese Xuanzang, also called Hieun Tsang, visited Taxila in 630 CE.

Analysts have expressed the view that the world's first university was established at Taxila. Called Takshashila University, it existed in the eighth century BCE. Analyst Janaka Perera opines that “this university, the world's oldest seat of higher learning” was in existence even before the time of the Buddha “and even before the Achaeminid rulers who occupied the Taxila valley in the sixth to fifth century BCE.” Scholars opine that Buddha had undertaken a visit to Sindh. Chandragupta Maurya, who later founded the Maurya dynasty, studied at Takshashila University. Chanakya (Kautilya) taught politics and diplomacy in the University where he wrote his masterpiece Arthashastra. It is said that Charaka, the famous ayurvedic physician who wrote Charaka Samhita was a student of Takshashila University. Atreya taught medicine and surgery at Taxila. Scholars have emphasized that Greek populace in the Mauryan Empire converted to Buddhism after Asoka (304-232 BCE), a grandson of Chandragupta, became a Buddhist.

After Alexander and his Indo-Greek satraps, many other groups took control of Gandhara including Sakas, Parthians, Scythians and Kushanas. The great Kushanas took keen interest in developing Gandhara into an important Buddhist center under Kanishka during the second century CE. The period of prosperity ended with devastating Hun or Hephthalite attacks during the fifth and sixth centuries setting in gradual decline of this great culture.

History places Pakistan at a central position on the world heritage map. The unique geography and cultural diversity of the country has shaped it as an inevitable forerunner of cultural and political movements across South, Central and East Asia..


Pakistan ...
A land of great diversity. A birthplace of two major ancient civilisations to historical sites, living ancient cities, beautiful white sand beeches, a network of
modern motorways and modern metropolitan cities. From the mighty stretches of the Karakorams in the North to the vast alluvial delta of the Indus River in the South, Pakistan remains a land of high adventure and nature. Trekking, mountaineering, white water rafting, trophy hunting, mountain and desert jeep safaris, camel and yak safaris, trout fishing, and bird watching are a few activities, which entice the adventure and nature lovers to Pakistan.

Pakistan is endowed with a rich and varied flora and fauna. High Himalayas, Karakoram and the Hindukush ranges with their alpine meadows and permanent snow line, coniferous forests down the sub-mountain scrub, the vast Indus plain merging into the great desert, the coastline and wetlands, all offer a remarkably rich variety of vegetation and associated wildlife including avifauna, both endemic and migratory. Out of the 18 mammalian orders, ten are represented in Pakistan with species ranging from the world's smallest surviving mammals, the Mediterranean Pigmy Shrew, to the largest mammal; the blue whale.

Information contriubted by: Naeem Sahibzada

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