Agriculture
Main crops were wheat and barley. Evidence for the cultivation of rice comes
only from Lothal and Rangpur (Gujarat). Two varieties of wheat are believed
to have been cultivated—the club wheat and the Indian dwarf wheat. Barley,
of a small-seeded, six-rowed variety, is also found, both at Harappa and
Mohenjodaro. No excavation has yet revealed evidence of sugarcane, though
it is considered to have been in cultivation. Other crops included dates,
mustard, sesamum, cotton and varieties of leguminous plants such as field
peas. (Indus people were the first to produce cotton in the world.)
Method of Cultivation The main crops (wheat and barley) were cultivated
as Rabi (winter) crops, that is, sown at the end of the inundation of land by
the rivers and reaped in March or April. Other crops were cultivated as Kharif
(summer) corps, that is, sown at the beginning of inundation and harvested at
its close. Fields were not ploughed but dug up with a light toothed
instrument.
    There is some very interesting evidence from Kalibangan where a field
surface was uncovered, which had been covered by builder’s debris at the
opening of the Mature Indus period. This surface still retained the marks of
furrows laid out in two directions at right angles to each other. The marks
suggest that a wooden plough was employed.
Domesticated and Wild Animals
In addition to sheep and goats, there is repeated evidence of the predominant
role of Indian humped cattle. One strain of these is depicted on the Harappan
seals (along with the hump less bull).
    Another species whose bones are of frequent occurrence at more than one
site is the Indian boar. The buffalo is another such species, but its bones are
less common. Camel bones are reported only at Kalibangan.
    A single instance of the Indian rhinoceros comes from the seals found at
Amri. With the present state of evidence it would be unwise to conclude that
there is any proof of the regular use of the horse in pre-Harappan or
Harappan times. A number of other animals were hunted for food. They
include sambar deer, spotted deer and the hog deer, and several varieties of
tortoise.