DBA Resources

Army Notes

Harappan Seals

Melukhkhan & Pre-Vedic Indian
(DBA I/I0)

Representing the pre-Vedic civilization of the Indus river valley, the Harappans take their modern name from Harappa (a major city and archaelogical site on the banks of the Ravi river in Punjab region of Pakistan), but were known as Melukhkhans to the Mesopotamians. They lived in well-ordered cities typically built of mud brick and located along rivers to facilitate trade. The cities were walled with citadels for defense and laid out in rectangular grids around a central axis. Although Harappa was the first site excavated, Mohenjodaro in Sindh is considered to be larger. Other sites include Takshahila (Greek Taxila), Chanhudaro, Rupar in Ambala district, Rangpur and Lothal in Saurashtra, Kalibangan in Rajasthan, and Bharatpur in the Burdwar district of West Bengal. Hindu archaeologists are also advancing a rival urban civilization to the east along the banks of the Ghaggra-Hakra or holy Sarasvat river.

Little is known of Harappan history since their pictoglyphic records have not yet been deciphered and since most external contact was through Harappan sailors and merchants and their foreign counterparts. Harappan contingents aided revolts against Akkad and the Third Dynasty of Ur. Their urban civilization declined around 1900 BC and was assimilated or destroyed by the Aryan invasions by 1500 BC.

Army List

1x 3Sp (Gen) Spear general
3x 3/4Sp Spearman
4x 4Bw Archers
4x 2Ps Peasant Slingers


There is no specific range of Harappan/pre-Vedic figures available, so you'll have to scavenge figures from early Mesopotamian (Assyrian/Babylonian) or Indian ranges. Essex offers a 15mm DBA 2.1 army pack drawn from its early ranges.

There is no historical record of armor and use of rectangular shields is based on speculative interpretations of the archaeological record. It is a bronze age army, so spear and arrowheads and any metal weapons are of copper or bronze. Pottery records show frequent use of animal symbols (esp. bull or unicorn, and also elephants, rhinos and tigers), the swastiza, and the pipal leave.

The statute (right) depicts a priest of Moenjodaro.


With an aggression of 0, the Harappans will typically start on the defensive. A tropical army, they have significant Bad Going terrain at their disposal, which can be effectively utilized by their psiloi and bow. Since many of their historical opponents are Pike armies and/or have chariots, clever use of terrain is essential to divide their foes and gain local superiority and/or to draw them into the Bad Going. In good going, against a double-ranked Pike army, the best strategy is to work the flanks.

Enemies and Allies

The Pre-Vedics are foes of Early Susiana/Elam (I/5abc), the sea-faring Makkan/Meluha (I/8a), themselves, Akkad/Ur (I/11a), and the Vedics (I/23a). They have no Big Battle allies.



WebIndia's History of India.

MapsofIndia.Com's Harappan Civilization.

And from the De Bellis Bookstore, a historical title, Understanding Harappa: Civilization in the Greater Indus Valley," by Shereen Ratnagar (Tulika Publishers, Jan. 2001).

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Last Updated: June 24, 2003