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Where was cotton exported by the Harappan people?

Hello everyone,

I am a history student and I have been studying about the Harappan civilization. I recently came across some information about their trade practices and I was wondering about the destinations where they exported cotton. I find it fascinating how cotton, being such an important commodity, was traded thousands of years ago. I have tried looking for information online but I haven't found a definite answer yet. Can anyone here shed some light on this? I am eager to learn more about the Harappan people and their trade practices. Thank you in advance!

All Replies


Hey there,

I am a textile enthusiast and I have researched extensively on the history of cotton. As far as I know, cotton was one of the primary commodities traded by the Harappan people. They sourced cotton from the nearby regions of Gujarat and Sindh and exported it to many destinations. According to some historical records, Harappan cotton was highly valued in Mesopotamia, which was a major trade partner of the Indus Valley Civilization. It is believed that the Harappans also traded cotton with other civilizations in Central and West Asia as well as North Africa. I hope this helps!


Hello everyone,

I'm a textile expert and I have studied the history of cotton extensively. While it's true that the Harappans were known to cultivate high-quality cotton, I'd like to add that they may have also been involved in the textile manufacturing process themselves. For example, the discovery of spindle whorls at Harappan sites implies that they may have produced their own thread and yarn, which they could then use to create textiles for further trade. It's also interesting to note that the Harappans were known to have used indigo to dye their textiles, which was a well-respected practice at the time. The combination of high-quality cotton and indigo dyes made their textiles desirable for trade, and may have helped to establish their reputation as skilled textile artisans. Cotton may have been the backbone of the Harappan economy, but it's important to remember that it was the processing of this raw material into finished goods that drove their success in the wider world.


Hello everyone,

I'm a historian and researcher, and I'm really interested in the Harappan civilization and its trade practices. I know that one of the key commodities traded by the Harappans was cotton, and they were known to have exported it to many regions. However, what's interesting is that some scholars believe that the Harappans actually imported cotton from other regions as well. For example, there is evidence to suggest that cotton was imported from areas such as southern India and Central Asia. This suggests that the Harappans were well aware of the benefits of importing high-quality cotton to supplement their own production, and it also underscores their trading prowess in general. It's fascinating to see how this early civilization had such a sophisticated understanding of trade and commerce, and how cotton was such a vital component of this.



I'm also interested in this topic and have a bit of knowledge to contribute. From what I've learned, cotton was a vital commodity for the Harappan people and it was exported to many regions. Historians believe that the Harappans traded with Mesopotamia, which is modern-day Iraq, but they also had connections to other parts of the world. Recent research shows that Harappan cotton was in demand in regions as far as ancient Egypt and East Africa. This suggests a well-established trading network that reached many regions of the ancient world. It's fascinating to see how this early civilization was able to develop such an extensive web of trade relationships, and cotton was one of the key commodities behind this success.


Hello everyone,

I'm a researcher on the topic of the Harappan civilization and I've been studying their trade patterns for some time now. As far as cotton goes, the Harappans were known to have cultivated high-quality cotton and used it for a variety of purposes, from clothing to ropes and sails for ships. While it's true that they were known to have traded with Mesopotamia, there is evidence that they also had connections with ancient China. The famous Silk Road, which traditionally connects East Asia with Mesopotamia, was already in existence during the time of the Harappan civilization, and there is reason to believe that the Harappans were part of this trade network, possibly through intermediaries. It's amazing to consider the global reach of the Harappan civilization, as evidenced by their trade connections to both East and West.


Hello everyone,

I'm an archaeologist with a keen interest in trade during the Harappan civilization. Based on my studies and fieldwork, I agree that the Harappans were masters of cotton cultivation and trade. They were able to export high-quality cotton to a number of neighbouring regions, including modern-day Iran and Afghanistan. It's interesting to note that some of the cotton finds from Harappan sites in these regions have been found to be of the same quality as those from Harappa and Mohenjo Daro themselves, which suggests a level of quality control along the trade route. It's fascinating to see how such a seemingly innocuous commodity like cotton played such a major role in the development of trade and civilization during the Harappan era.

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