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Harappan Culture: Bronze Age Urbanization in the Indus Valley| Essay

The urban culture of the Bronze Age found in Harappa in Pakistani Punjab was a path-breaking discovery.

In 1853, A. Cunningham, the British engineer who became a great excavator and explorer, noticed a Harappan seal.

Though the seal showed a bull and six written letters, he did not realize its significance. Much later, in 1921, the potentiality of the site of Harappa was appreciated when an Indian archeologist, Daya Ram Sahni, started excavating it.

At about the same time, R.D. Banerjee, a historian, excavated the site of Mohenjo-daro in Sindh. Both discovered pottery and other antiquities indicative of a developed civilization.

Image Source: upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/32/IndusValleySeals.JPG

Large-scale excavations were carried out at Mohenjo-daro under the general supervision of Marshall in 1931. Mackay excavated the same site in 1938. Vats excavated at Harappa in 1940. In 1946 Mortimer Wheeler excavated Harappa, and the excavation of the pre-Independence and pre-Partition period brought to light important antiquities of the Harappan culture at various sites where bronze was used.

In the post-Independence period, archaeologists from both India and Pakistan excavated the Harappan and connected sites. Suraj Bhan, M.K. Dhavalikar, J.P. Joshi, B.B. Lai, S.R. Rao, B.K. Thapar, R.S. Bisht, and others worked in Gujarat, Harayana, and Rajasthan.

In Pakistan, Kot Diji in the central Indus Valley was excavated by F.A. Khan, and great attention was paid to the Hakra and pre-Hakra cultures by M.R. Mughal. A.H. Dani excavated the Gandhara graves in the North- West Frontier Province of Pakistan. American, British, French, and Italian archaeologists also worked at several sites including Harappa.

Now we have a wealth of Harappan material, though excavations and explorations are still in progress. All scholars agree on the urban character of the Harappan culture, but opinions differ on the role of the Sarasvati identified with the Hakra—Ghaggar river and also on the identity of the people who created this culture.

The Indus or the Harappan culture is older than the Chalcolithic cultures that have-been examined earlier, but as a bronze-using culture it is far more developed than the latter. It developed in the north-western part of the Indian subcontinent. It is called Harappan because this civilization was discovered first in 1921 at the modern site of Harappa situated in the province of Punjab in Pakistan.

Many sites in Sindh formed the central zone of pre-Harappan culture. This culture developed and matured into an urban civilization that developed in Sindh and Punjab. The central zone of this mature Harappan culture lay in Sindh and Punjab, principally in the Indus Valley. From there it spread southwards and eastwards. In this way, the Harappan culture covered parts of Punjab, Haryana, Sindh, Baluchistan, Gujarat, Rajasthan, and the fringes of western UP. It extended from the Siwaliks in the north to the Arabian Sea in the south, and from the Makran coast of Baluchistan in the west to Meerut in the north-east.

The area formed a triangle and accounted for about 1,299,600 sq. km which is a larger area than that of Pakistan, and certainly larger than ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. No other culture zone in the third and second millennia BC in the world was as widespread as the Harappan. Nearly 2800 Harappan sites have so far been identified in the subcontinent.

They relate to the early, mature, and late phases of Harappan culture. Of the mature phase sites, two most important cities were Harappa in Punjab and Mohenjo-daro (literally, the mound of the dead) in Sindh, both forming parts of Pakistan. Situated at a distance of483 km, they were linked by the Indus.

A third city lay at Chanhu-daro about 130 km south of Mohenjo-daro in Sindh, and a fourth at Lothal in Gujarat at the head of the Gulf of Cambay. A fifth city lay at Kalibangan, which means black bangles, in northern Rajasthan. A sixth, called Banawali, is situated in Hissar district in Haryana.

It saw two cultural phases, pre-Harappan and Harappan, similar to that of Kalibangan. To the Harappan period relate the remains of mud-brick platforms, and of streets and drains. The Harappan culture is traceable in its mature and flourishing stage to all these six places, as also to the coastal cities of Sutkagendor and Surkotada, each of which is marked by a citadel.

The later Harappan phase is traceable to Rangpur and Rojdi in the Kathiawar peninsula in Gujarat. In addition, Dholavira, lying in the Kutch area of Gujarat, has Harappan fortification and all the three phases of the Harappan culture. These phases are also manifested in Rakhigarhi which is situated on the Ghaggar in Haryana and is much larger than Dholavira. In comparative terms, Dholavira covers 50 ha but Harappa 150 ha and Rakhigarhi 250 ha. However, the largest site is Mohenjo-daro, which covers 500 ha. In ancient times, a large part of this city was completely destroyed by massive floods.

Town Planning and Structures:

The Harappan culture was distinguished by its system of town planning. Both Harappa and Mohenjo-daro had a citadel or acropolis, and this was possibly occupied by members of the ruling class. Below the citadel in each city lay a lower town with brick houses, that were inhabited by the common people.

The remarkable thing about the arrangement of the houses in the cities is that they followed a grid system, with roads cutting across one another virtually at right angles. Mohenjo-daro scored over Harappa in terms of structures. The monuments of the cities symbolized the ability of the ruling class to mobilize labour and collect taxes the huge brick constructions were a means of impressing upon the common people the prestige and influence of their rulers.

The most important public place of Mohenjo-daro seems to have been the great bath, comprising the tank which is situated in the citadel mound, and is a fine example of beautiful brickwork. It measures 11.88 × 7.01 m and 2.43 m deep. Flights of steps at either end lead to the surface, and there are side rooms for changing clothes.

The floor of the bath was made of burnt bricks. Water was drawn from a large well in an adjacent room, and an outlet from the corner of the bath led to a drain. It has been suggested that the great bath was primarily intended for ritual bathing, which has been so vital to any religious ceremony in India. The large tank found in Dholavira may be compared to the great bath. The Dholavira tank was probably used for the same purpose as the great bath of Mohenjo-daro.

In Mohenjo-daro, the largest building is a granary, 45.71 m long and 15.23 m wide. In the citadel of Harappa, however, we find as many as six granaries. A series of brick platforms formed the basis for two rows of six granaries. Each granary measured 15.23 x 6.09 m and lay within a few metres of the river bank.

The combined floor space of the twelve units would be about 838 sq. m. It was approximately of the same area as the great granary at Mohenjo-daro. To the south of the granaries at Harappa lay working floors consisting of the rows of circular brick platforms. These were evidently meant for threshing grain, because wheat and barley were found in the crevices of the floors. Harappa also had two-roomed barracks which possibly accommodated labourers.

In the southern part of Kalibangan too, there are brick platforms, which may have been used for granaries. Thus, it would appear that granaries played an important role in Harappan cities. The use of burnt bricks in the Harappan cities is remarkable because in the contemporary buildings of Egypt dried bricks were primarily used. We find the use of baked bricks in contemporary Mesopotamia, but they were used to a much larger extent in the Harappan cities.

The drainage system of Mohenjo-daro was very impressive. In almost all the cities, every house, large or small, had its own courtyard and bathroom. In Kalibangan many houses had their own wells. Water flowed from the house to the streets which had drains. Sometimes these drains were covered with bricks and sometimes with stone slabs.

The remains of streets and drains have also been found at Banawali. Altogether, the quality of the domestic bathrooms and drains is remarkable, and the drainage system of Harappa is almost unique. Perhaps no other Bronze Age civilization paid so much attention to health and cleanliness as did the Harappan.

Comparatively rainless, the Indus region is not so fertile today, but the prosperous villages and towns of the past testify that it was fertile in ancient times. Today the rainfall is about 15 cm, but in the fourth century BC, one of the historians of Alexander informs us, that Sindh was a fertile part of India. In earlier times, the Indus region had more natural vegetation which contributed to rainfall.

It supplied timber for baking bricks and also for construction. In course of time, the natural vegetation was destroyed by the extension of agriculture, large-scale grazing, and supply of fuel. A far more important reason for the fertility of the area seems to have been the annual inundation of the Indus, which is the longest Himalayan river. Walls made of burnt bricks raised for protection indicate that floods were an annual event. Just as the Nile created Egypt and supported its people, so too the Indus created Sindh and fed its people.

The Indus people sowed seeds in the flood plains in November, and reaped their harvests of wheat and barley in April, before the next flood. No hoe or ploughshare has been discovered, but the furrows discovered in the pre-Harappan phase at Kalibangan indicate that the fields were ploughed in Rajasthan during the Harappan period.

The Harappans probably used the wooden plough drawn by oxen, and camels may also have been used for this purpose. Stone sickles may have been used for harvesting the crops. Gabarbands or nalas enclosed by dams for storing water were a feature in parts of Baluchistan and Afghanistan, but channel or canal irrigation was probably not practised.

Harappan villages, mostly situated near the flood plains, produced sufficient food grains not only for their inhabitants but also the towns people. They must have worked very hard to meet their own requirements as well as those of the artisans, merchants, and others who lived in the city and were not directly concerned with food-production activities.

The Indus people produced wheat, barley, rai, peas, and the like. Two types of wheat and barley were grown. A substantial quantity of barley was discovered at Banawali. In addition, sesamum and mustard were grown. However, the position seems to have been different with the Harappans at Lothal. It seems that as early as 1800 BC, the people of Lothal grew rice, the remains of which have been found. Food grains were stored in huge granaries in both Mohenjo-daro and Harappa, and possibly in Kalibangan.

In all probability, cereals were received as taxes from peasants and stored in granaries for the payment of wages as well as for use during emergencies. This can be surmised from the analogy of Mesopotamian cities where wages were paid in barley. The Indus people were the earliest people to produce cotton, and because of this, the Greeks called the area Sindon which is derived from Sindh.

Domestication of Animals:

Although the Harappans practised agriculture, animals were raised on a large scale. Oxen, buffaloes, goats, sheep, and pigs were domesticated. Humped bulls were favoured by the Harappans. There is evidence of dogs and cats from the outset, and asses and camels were bred and were obviously used as beasts of burden, and the latter may also have been used for ploughing.

Evidence of the horse comes from a superficial level of Mohenjo- daro and from a doubtful terracotta figurine from Lothal. The remains of a horse are reported from Surkotada, situated in west Gujarat, and relate to around 2000 BC but the identity is doubtful. In any case, the Harappan culture was not horse-centred. Neither the bones of a horse nor its representations have been traced in early and mature Harappan cultures.

Elephants were well known to the Harappans, who were also acquainted with the rhinoceros. The contemporary Sumerian cities in Mesopotamia produced virtually the same food grains and domesticated the same animals as did the Harappans, but the Harappans in Gujarat produced rice and domesticated elephants which was not the case with the Mesopotamians.

Technology and Crafts:

The rise of towns in the Indus zone was based on agricultural surplus, the making of bronze tools, various other crafts, and widespread trade and commerce. This is known as the first urbanization in India, and the Harappan urban culture belongs to the Bronze Age. The people of Harappa used many tools and implements of stone, but they were very well acquainted with the manufacture and use of bronze. Ordinarily bronze was made by smiths by mixing tin with copper, but they occasionally also mixed arsenic with copper for this purpose. As neither tin nor copper was easily available to the Harappans, bronze tools do not abound in the region.

The impurities of the ores show that copper was obtained from the Khetri copper mines of Rajasthan, although it could also be brought from Baluchistan. Tin was possibly brought with difficulty from Afghanistan, although its old workings are stated to have been found in Hazaribagh and Bastar. The bronze tools and weapons recovered from the Harappan sites contain a smaller percentage of tin. However, the kits used for the manufacture of bronze goods left by the Harappans are so numerous as to suggest that the bronze smiths constituted an important group of artisans in Harappan society. They produced not only images and utensils but also various tools and weapons such as axes, saws, knives, and spears.

Several other important crafts flourished in Harappan towns. A piece of woven cotton has been recovered from Mohenjo-daro, and textile impressions have been found on several objects. Spindle whorls were used for spinning. Weavers wove cloth of wool and cotton. Huge brick structures suggest that bricklaying was an important craft, and attest to the existence of a class of masons.

The Harappans also practised boat-making. As will be shown later, seal-making and terracotta manufacturing were also important crafts. The goldsmiths made jewelries of silver, gold, and precious stones the first two materials may have been obtained from Afghanistan and the last from south India. The Harappans were also expert bead makers. The potter’s wheel was extensively used, and the Harappans produced their characteristic glossy, gleaming pottery.

Trade and Commerce:

The importance of trade in the life of the Indus people is supported not only by granaries found at Harappa, Mohenjo-daro, and Lothal but also by finds of numerous seals, a uniform script, and regulated weights and measures covering a wide area. The Harappans conducted considerable trade in stone, metal, shell, etc., within the Indus culture zone. However, their cities did not have the necessary raw material for the commodities they produced.

They did not use metal money, and in all probability carried exchanges through a barter system. In return for finished goods and possibly food grains, they procured metals from the neighbouring areas by boat (they navigated the coast of the Arabian Sea) and bullock-cart. They were aware of the use of the wheel, and carts with solid wheels were in use in Harappa. It appears that the Harappans used a form of the modern ekka but not with the spoked wheel.

The Harappans had commercial links with Rajasthan, and also with Afghanistan and Iran. They set up a trading colony in northern Afghanistan which evidently facilitated trade with Central Asia. Their cities also had commercial links with the people of the Tigris and the Euphrates basins. Many Harappan seals have been discovered in Mesopotamia, and it appears that the Harappans imitated some cosmetics used by the urban people of Mesopotamia.

The Harappans carried on long-distance trade in lapis lazuli lapis objects may have contributed to the social prestige of the ruling class. The Mesopotamian records from about 2350 BC onwards refer to trade relations with Meluha, which was the ancient name given to the Indus region. The Mesopotamian texts speak of two intermediate trading stations called Dilmun and Makan, which lay between Mesopotamia and Meluha. Dilmun is probably identifiable with Bahrain on the Persian Gulf. Thousands of graves await excavation in that port city.

Social Organization:

Excavations indicate a hierarchy in urban habitation. Although only two localities are attributed to the city of Harappa, its structure evidences three distinct localities, and the latter is true also of Kalibangan and Dholavira. The citadel or the first locality was where the ruling class lived and the lowest tower was where the common people dwelt. The middle settlement may have been meant for bureaucrats and middle-class merchants. However, whether hierarchy in settlements corresponded to occupational divisions or socio-economic differentiation is not clear.

There is no doubt that the same city was inhabited by different housing groups which were not of the same size. Social differentiation is indicated by different residential structures, with the number of rooms varying from one to twelve. The city of Harappa had two-roomed houses, probably meant for artisans and labourers.

As the Harappan culture is more or less uniform over a large area, a central authority may have contributed to this. We may identify some important elements of the state in the Indus Valley. The Arthasbastra of Kautilya considers sovereignty, ministers, populated territory, forts, treasury, force, and friends to be the organs of the state. In the Harappan culture, the citadel may have been the seat of sovereign power, the middle town may have been the area where the bureaucrats lived or the seat of government, and the great granary at Mohenjo-daro may have been the treasury. It appears that taxes were collected in grain.

Also, the entire Harappan area was a well-populated territory. Fortification was a feature of several cities. Dholavira, in particular, had forts within forts. We have no clear idea of an organized force or standing army, but a heap of sling stones and the depiction of a soldier on a potsherd at Surkotada may suggest a standing army. In any case, the state was well established in the mature Harappan phase.

In sharp contrast to Egypt and Mesopotamia, no temples have been found at any Harappan site. No religious structures of any kind have been excavated apart from the great bath, which may have been used for ablution. It would, therefore, be wrong to think that priests ruled in Harappa as they did in the cities of lower Mesopotamia. The Harappan rulers were more concerned with commerce than with conquest, and Harappa was possibly ruled by a class of merchants. However, the Harappans did not have many weapons which might mean the lack of an effective warrior class.

Religious Practices:

In Harappa numerous terracotta figurines of women have been found. In one figurine, a plant is shown growing out of the embryo of a woman. The image probably represents the goddess of earth, and was intimately connected with the origin and growth of plants.

The Harappans, therefore, looked upon the earth as a fertility goddess and worshipped her in the same way as the Egyptians worshipped the Nile goddess Isis. We do not, however, know whether the Harappans were a matriarchal people like the Egyptians. In Egypt, the daughter inherited the throne or property, but we do not know about the nature of inheritance in Harappan society.

Some Vedic texts indicate a reverence for the earth goddess, although she is not given any prominence. It took a long time for the worship of the supreme goddess to develop on a large scale in Hinduism. Only from the sixth century ad onwards are various mother goddesses such as Durga, Amba, Kali, and Chandi are regarded as such in the Puranas and in tantra literature. In the course of time, every village came to have its own separate goddess.

The Male Deity in the Indus Valley:

The male deity is represented on a seal. This god has three-horned heads, and is represented in the sitting posture of a yogi, with one leg placed above the other. This god is surrounded by an elephant, a tiger, a rhinoceros, and below his throne there is a buffalo, and at his feet two deer. The god so depicted is identified as Pashupati Mahadeva, but the identification is doubtful because the bull is not represented here and horned gods also figure in other ancient civilizations. We also encounter the prevalence of the phallus worship, which in later times became so intimately connected with Shiva.

Numerous symbols of the phallus and female sex organs made of stone have been found in Harappa, and were possibly meant for worship. The Rig Veda speaks of non-Aryan people who were phallus worshippers. Phallus worship thus begun in the days of Harappa was later recognized as a respectable form of worship in Hindu society.

Tree and Animal Worship:

The people of the Indus region also worshipped trees. The depiction of a deity is represented on a seal amidst branches of the pipal. This tree continues to be worshipped to this day. Animals were also worshipped in Harappan times, and many of them are represented on seals. The most important of them is the one-horned animal unicorn which may be identified with the rhinoceros. Next in importance is the humped bull. Even today, when such a bull passes through the market streets, pious Hindus give way to it. Similarly, the animals surrounding ‘Pashupati Mahadeva’ indicate that these were worshipped.

Evidently, therefore, the inhabitants of the Indus region worshipped gods in the form of trees, animals, and human beings, but the gods were not placed in temples, a practice that was common in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. Nor can we say anything about the religious beliefs of the Harappans without being able to read their script. Amulets have been found in large numbers.

In all probability, the Harappans believed that ghosts and evil forces were capable of harming them and, therefore, they used amulets against them. The Atharva Veda, which is associated with the non-Aryan tradition, contains many charms and spells, and recommends amulets to ward off diseases and evil forces.

The Harappan Script:

The Harappans invented the art of writing like the people of ancient Mesopotamia. Although the earliest specimen of the Harappan script was discovered in 1853 and the complete script by 1923, it has yet to be deciphered. Some scholars try to connect it with the Dravidian or the proto- Dravidian language, others with Sanskrit, and yet others with the Sumerian language, but none of these readings is satisfactory. As the script has not been deciphered, we can neither judge the Harappan contribution to literature, nor say anything about their ideas and beliefs.

There are nearly 4000 specimens of Harappan writing on stone seals and other objects. Unlike the Egyptians and Mesopotamians, the Harappans did not write long inscriptions. Most inscriptions were recorded on seals and contain only a few words. These seals may have been used by the propertied to mark and identify their private property. Altogether we have about 250 to 400 pictographs, and in the form of a picture each letter stands for some sound, idea, or object.

The Harappan script is not alphabetical but largely pictographic. Attempts have been made to compare it with the contemporary scripts of Mesopotamia and Egypt, but it is the indigenous product of the Indus region and does not indicate any connection with the scripts of western Asia.

Weights and Measures:

The knowledge of a script must have helped in recording private property and the maintenance of accounts. The urban people of the Indus region also needed and used weights and measures for trade and other transactions. Numerous articles used as weights have been found. They show that in weighing, largely 16 or its multiples were used: for instance, 16, 64, 160, 320, and 640. Interestingly, the tradition of 16 has continued in India up to modern times and till recently, 16 annas constituted one rupee. The Harappans also knew the art of measurement. Sticks inscribed with measure marks have been found, and one of these is made of bronze.

Harappan Pottery:

The Harappans had great expertise in the use of the potter’s wheel. Discovered specimens are all red and include dish-on-stand. Numerous pots have been found painted with a variety of designs. Harappan pots were generally decorated with the designs of trees and circles, and images of men also figure on some pottery fragments.

Seals and Sealings:

The greatest artistic creations of the Harappan culture are seals. About 2000 seals have been found, and of these a great majority carry short inscriptions with pictures of one horned animals called unicorns, buffaloes, tigers, rhinoceroses, goats, elephants, antelopes, and crocodiles.

Seals were made of steatite or faience and served as symbols of authority. They were hence used for stamping. However, there are few stamped objects, called sealings, in contrast to Egypt and Mesopotamia. Seals were also used as amulets.

The Harappan artisans made beautiful images of metal. A woman dancer made of bronze is the best specimen, and she, apart from wearing a necklace, is naked. A few pieces of Harappan stone sculpture have been found. One steatite statue wears an ornamented robe passing over the left shoulder under the right arm like a shawl, and the short locks at the back of the head are held in place by a woven fillet.

Terracotta Figurines:

There are many figurines made of fire-baked earthen clay, commonly called terracotta. These were either used as toys or objects of worship. They represent birds, dogs, sheep, cattle, and monkeys. Men and women also find a place in the terracotta objects, and the second outnumber the first.

The seals and images were manufactured with great skill, but the terracotta pieces represent unsophisticated artistic works. The contrast between the two sets indicates the gap between the classes that utilized them, the first being used by members of the upper classes and the second by the common people.

We do not find much stone work in Harappa and Mohenjo-daro because stone could not be procured by the two great cities. The position was, however, different in Dholavira located in Kutch. The citadel of Dholavira built of stone is a monumental work and the most impressive among the Harappan citadels discovered so far. In Dholavira, dressed stone is used in masonry with mud bricks, which is remarkable. Stone slabs is used in three types of burials in Dholavira, and in one of these, above the grave there is a circle of stones resembling a Megalithic stone circle.

End of the Indus Culture:

The mature Harappan culture, broadly speaking, existed between 2500 and 1900 BC. Throughout the period of its existence, it seems to have retained the same kind of tools, weapons, and houses. The entire lifestyle appears to have been uniform: the same town planning, the same seals, the same terracotta works, and the same long chart blades. However, the view stressing changelessness cannot be pushed too far.

We do notice changes in the pottery of Mohenjo-daro over a period of time. By the nineteenth century BC, the two important cities of Harappan culture, Harappa and Mohenjo-daro, disappeared, but the Harappan culture at other sites faded out gradually and continued in its degenerate form in the outlying fringes of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana, and western UP until 1500 BC.

It is difficult to account for this cultural collapse. The environmental factor may have been important. In the Harappan zone, both the Yamuna and Sutlej moved away from the Sarasvati or the Hakra around 1700 BC. This meant loss in water supply. Similarly, rainfall decreased at about that time. Some speak of dam formation in the Indus leading to a massive flooding of Mohenjo-daro. These factors may have worked adversely, but failure in human activities cannot be discounted.

It appears that crafts and commerce collapsed because of the sudden end of the long-distance land and sea trade with Mesopotamia. This trade in luxurious articles, including lapis lazuli, beads, etc., mainly passed through Elam, which was located on the eastern border of Mesopotamia and covered a substantial part of Iran. The emergence of Elam as a powerful state around 2000 BC interrupted the supply of Harappan goods to Mesopotamia and the Mesopotamian imports, including tin, to the Harappan settlements.

Beads of hard materials, especially stone, were made in the Harappan zone and sent outside. The break in their exports to Mesopotamia deprived the craftsmen of their livelihood. Similarly, the break in the supply of tin to the Valley dealt a great blow to the artisans employed in making bronze.

The exhaustion of the soil may have diminished cereal production and starved the urban people. Once the aristocracy living in the cities failed to exercise its control over crafts and cultivation, Harappan culture collapsed.

Nearly 2800 Harappan sites have been identified. Of these, early and post- urban Harappan sites account for over half the total number. Mature Harappan settlements number 1022. Of them, 406 are located in Pakistan and 616 in India. Though mature Harappan sites are outnumbered by early and post-Harappan sites, because of their urban nature, the total area of the mature Harappan sites is larger than that of the early and post-urban sites.

The Harappan cities are indicative of well-planned growth, but their Mesopotamian counterparts show haphazard growth. Rectangular houses with brick-lined bathrooms and wells together with their stairways are found in all Harappan cities, but such town planning is not evident in the cities of western Asia.

No other people in antiquity had built such an excellent drainage system except perhaps those of Crete in Knossos, nor did the people of western Asia show such skill in the use of burnt bricks as did the Harappans. The Harappans produced their own characteristic pottery and seals, and, above all, they invented their own script, which neither resembled the Egyptian nor the Mesopotamian. No contemporary culture spread over such a wide area as did the Harappan.

Post-Urban Phase:

The Harappan culture seems to have flourished until 1900 BC. Subsequently, its urban phase marked by systematic town planning, extensive brickwork, the art of writing, standard weights and measures, distinction between the citadel and the lower town, use of bronze tools, and red-ware pottery painted with black designs, virtually disappeared as did its stylistic homogeneity.

Some traits of post-urban Harappan culture are to be found in Pakistan, and in central and western India, in Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Delhi, and western UP. They broadly cover the period from 1900 to 1200 BC. The post-urban phase of Harappan culture is also known as the sub-Indus culture and was earlier considered post-Harappan, but now is better known as post-urban Harappan culture.

Post-urban Harappan cultures were primarily Chalcolithic in which tools of stone and copper were used. They did not have metal objects requiring complicated casting, although they had axes, chisels, knives, bangles, curved razors, fish-hooks, and spearheads.

The Chalcolithic people in the later, post-urban phase lived in villages, subsisting on agriculture, stock raising, hunting, and fishing. Probably the dissemination of metal technology in the rural areas promoted agriculture and settlements. Some places, such as Prabhas Patan (Somnath) and Rangpur, both in Gujarat, are the direct descendants of the Harappan culture.

However, in Ahar near Udaipur, only a few Harappan elements are found. Gilund, which seems to have been a regional centre of Ahar culture, even has brick structures which may be placed between 2000 and 1500 Bc. Otherwise, burnt bricks have not been found anywhere else except perhaps in the late Harappan phase at Bhagwanpura in Haryana. However, the dating of the Bhagwanpura layer to which the bricks relate is uncertain. Stray pieces occur at the OCP site of Lai Quila in Bulandshahr district in western UP. It should, however, be emphasized that few Harappan elements are to be found in the Chalcolithic culture of Malwa (c. 1700-1200 bc), which had its largest settlement at Navdatoli.

The same is true of the numerous Jorwe sites found in the valleys of the Tapi, Godavari, and Bhima. The largest of the Jorwe settlements was Daimabad which had about 22 ha of habitation with a possible population of 4000 and may be considered proto-urban. However, a vast majority of the Jorwe settlements were villages.

Some post-urbar, Harappan settlements were discovered in the Swat valley in Pakistan. Here, the people practiced a developed agriculture and cattle breeding together with pastoralism. They used black-grey burnished ware produced on a slow wheel. This ware resembles the pottery from the northern Iranian plateau during the third millennium BC and later.

The Swat valley people also produced black-on-red painted and wheel-turned pottery with a close linkage with the Indus pottery during the early post- urban period, that is, with the post-urban culture associated with Harappa. The Swat valley may, therefore, be regarded as the northernmost outpost of late Harappan culture. Several late or post-urban Harappan sites have been excavated in the Indian territories of Punjab, Haryana, UP, and also in Jammu. Mention may be made of Manda in Jammu, Chandigarh and Sanghol in Punjab, Daulatpur and Mitthal in Haryana, and Alamgirpur and Hulas in western UP.

It seems that the Harappans took to rice when they came to Daulatpur in Haryana and Hulas in Saharanpur district of UP. Ragi, or finger millet, is not so far known to have been grown at any Harappan site in north India. In Alamgirpur, the late Harappans probably produced cotton, as can be inferred from the cloth impression on Harappan pottery.

The painted Harappan pottery found in the late or post-urban Harappan sites in the northern and eastern areas is replaced with less intricate designs, although there are some new pot forms. Some late Harappan pot forms are found interlocked with Painted Grey Ware remains at Bhagwanpura, but by this time the Harappan culture seems to have reached a point of complete dilution.

In the post-urban Harappan phase, no object for measuring length has been found. In Gujarat, cubical stone weights and terracotta cakes were absent in the later period. Generally, all post-urban Harappan sites lack human figurines and the characteristic painted designs. Although faience went out of fashion in Gujarat, it was freely used in north India.

Percolation of New Peoples:

During the late phase of Harappan culture some exotic tools and pottery indicate the slow percolation of new peoples into the Indus basin. Some signs of insecurity and violence are evident in the last phase of Mohenjo- daro. Hoards of jewellery were buried at places, and skulls were huddled together at one place. New types of axes, daggers, knives with midribs, and flat tangs figure in the upper levels of Mohenjo-daro. They seem to betray some foreign intrusion. Traces of new peoples have been found in a cemetery related to the late phase of Harappa, where new kinds of pottery occur in the latest levels.

New types of pottery also occur in some Harappan sites in Baluchistan. Baluchistan indicates that the horse and Bactrian camel existed there in 1700 BC. The new peoples may have come from Iran and south Central Asia, but they did not come in such numbers as to completely overwhelm the Harappan sites in Punjab and Sindh.

Although the Rig Vedic people largely settled in the land of the Seven Rivers in which the Harappan culture once flourished, we have no archaeological evidence of any mass-scale confrontation between the late Harappans and the Indo-Aryans. Successive groups of the Vedic people may have entered the subcontinent in the post-urban Harappan phase between 1500 and 1200 BC.

Problem of Origin:

Several pre-Harappan agricultural settlements sprang up in the Hakra area in the Cholistan desert in Pakistan around 4000 BC. However, agricultural settlements first arose on the eastern fringe of Baluchistan around 7000 BC in the pre-ceramic Neolithic age on the border of the Indus plains. From that time onwards, people domesticated goats, sheep, and cattle. They also produced barley and wheat.

These practices of earning subsistence expanded from the fifth millennium BCwhen granaries were set up. In the fifth and fourth millennia BC, mud bricks began to be used. Painted pottery and female terracotta figurines also began to be made.

In the northern part of Baluchistan, a site called Rahman Dheri developed as the earliest town with planned roads and houses. This site was located virtually parallel to Harappa on the west. It is evident that the early Harappan and mature Harappan cultures developed from the Baluchistan settlements.

Sometimes the origin of Harappan culture is attributed principally to the natural environment. The current environment of the Harappan area is not favourable for crafts and cultivation, but in the third millennium BC arid and semi-desert conditions were not dominant there. In 3000-2000 BC we have evidence of both heavy rain and a substantial flow of water into the Indus and its tributary Sarasvati, virtually identical to the dried-up Hakra in Sindh. Sometimes the Indus culture is called the Sarasvati culture, but the flow of water in the Harappan Hakra was the contribution of the Yamuna and the Sutlej.

These two rivers joined the Sarasvati for some centuries due to tectonic developments in the Himalayas. Therefore, the credit for helping the Harappan culture should really go to these two rivers together with the Indus and not to the Sarasvati alone. Moreover, the evidence for heavy rainfall in the Indus area cannot be ignored.

Was the Harappan Culture Vedic?

Sometimes Harappan culture is called Rig Vedic, but its principal features do not figure in the Rig Veda. Planned towns, crafts, commerce, and large structures built of burnt bricks mark the mature Harappan phase. The Rig Veda does not feature these. The early Vedic people lived on cattle rearing supplemented by agriculture, and did not use bricks. The early Vedic people occupied virtually the entire Harappan zone, but also lived in Afghanistan.

The mature urban phase lasted from 2500 to 1900 BC, but the Rig Veda is placed around 1500 BC. Also, the Harappan and Vedic people were not aware of exactly the same plants and animals. The Rig Veda mentions only barley, but the Harappan knew about wheat, sesamum, and peas.

The rhinoceros was known to the Harappans but unknown to the early Vedic people. The same is true of the tiger. The Vedic chiefs were horse-centred, which is why this animal is mentioned 215 times in the Rig Veda, but the horse was hardly known to the urban Harappans. The Harappan terracottas represent the elephant, but unlike the horse it is not important in the earliest Veda.

The Harappan writing, called the Indus script, has not been deciphered so far, but no Indo-Aryan inscriptions of Vedic times have been found in India. We have no clear idea about the languages of the Harappans, though the Indo-Aryan language spoken by the Vedic people continues in South Asia in a variety of forms.

Problem of Continuity:

Some scholars speak about the continuity of the Harappan culture, others of its change from urbanization to de-urbanization. As urbanism was the basic feature of the Harappan culture, with its collapse we cannot think of cultural continuity. Similarly, the de-urbanization of the Harappan city is not a simple transformation but meant the disappearance of towns, script, and burnt bricks for about 1500 years. These elements did not disappear in north India after the end of the Kushan towns.

It is said that the Harappan culture continued in the Gangetic plains and elsewhere in north India after its end in 1900 BC. However, no important Harappan feature appears in the Painted Grey Ware culture attributed to the first half of the first millennium BC. The PG W culture does not evidence great buildings, burnt bricks, bronze, urbanism, and writing, but it has its own characteristic pottery.

Though one or two instances of burnt bricks of about 1500 BC are adduced, really fired bricks appear in north India around 300 BC in the phase of the Northern Black Polished Ware culture. Similarly, once the Harappan culture ended, writing came into currency during the NBPW phase in the form of the Brahmi script.

It was, however, written from left to right whereas the Harappan script was written from right to left. Similarly, the NBP pottery cannot be related to Harappan pottery. The effective use of iron in the NBPW phase gave rise to a new socio­economic structure in the mid-Gangetic plains in the fifth century BC. However, neither iron nor coinage, which marked the NBPW phase, was characteristic of the Indus culture.

Though some stray beads of the Indus culture reached the Gangetic plains, they cannot be considered an important Indus trait. Similarly, a few Harappan ceramic items and terracottas continued after 2000 BC, but these objects alone cannot represent the entirety of the mature Harappan culture. However, stray elements of the Indus culture continued in the Chalcolithic cultures of Rajasthan, Malwa, Gujarat, and upper Deccan.

It appears that after the end of the urban Harappan culture in 1900BC, there was some give and take between the Indo-Aryan and the existing cultures. The Munda and proto-Dravidian languages attributed to the Harappans continued. Through the interaction, both the Aryan and pre-Aryan languages were enriched. We find pre-Aryan words for pottery and agriculture in Sanskrit, but the balance weighed in favour of the Indo-Aryans whose language spread in a major part of the subcontinent.

The Breheimen Bronze Age Bow – 1300 BC

On 7 September 2011, an advanced constructed and complete bow was found at the edge of the Åndfonne glacier in Breheimen mountain range. The C14 dating shows that Norway’s oldest and best preserved bow is 3300 years old.

The 131 centimeters long bow was discovered by archaeologists in connection with the last check before summer fieldwork was completed. The bow was found at the ice edge about 1700 meters above sea level. This shows how important it is that archaeologists are present just when the ice is melting.

Findings of complete bows are very rare, and it turned out even rarer after the results of the C14 dating returned from the laboratory in the U.S.: The bow turned out to be 3300 years old – dating back to about 1300 BC – in other words from the early Bronze Age.

It is the oldest bow ever found in Norway, and in addition it is in perfect condition! It is made from one piece of hardwood. Analysis of the design shows that there has been an experienced and skilled bow maker who designed it.

The bow is broken at one end, probably during hunting, which is probably why it was left behind by the owner.

Findings of both arrows and scare sticks dated back to the Iron Age shows that the Åndfonne glacier in Breheimen National Park has been an attractive hunting area for thousands of years. In the summer, reindeer and other animals seek glaciers and snowfields to escape insects, and hunters hid at the edge of the ice.

Facts about the Breheimen-bow

(Based on a note from archaeologist and bow maker Ivar Malde)

Findings of bows in Norway, and in the rest of the world, are very rare. This is probably primarily due to the fact that bows are made ​​of materials that quickly decompose. The so far oldest finding in Norway is parts of a longbow made ​​of yew from the Veiem tomb in Grong, Nord – Trøndelag County. The tomb is dated to the 500’s AD. Approximately half a bow from the Gokstad find dating back to around 900-905 AD is also preserved.

The bow from Breheimen is a surprising finding. Very few bows are known from the Bronze Age: The closest we come is the so-called De Zilk-bow from the Netherlands made ​​of yew dated to between 1950 and 1680 BC, and a bow from Fiavé-Carera, Italy dated to 1600-1400 BC. Both of these bows have a narrowed and thickened grip that is also found in Danish Stone Age bows. However, the bow from Breheimen has no marked grip which is similar to the later longbows (…).

The Breheimen-bow’s cross section is interesting. It appears to be oval in the middle part, while the outer parts have a triangular cross-section. The back, which faces away from the archer, consists of outer year ring of the original tree stem. This provides a very safe bow, with continuous fibers throughout the bow’s length. The belly, the side facing the archer, is shaped so that the pressure from being bent is distributed as evenly as possible along the entire length.

The ends with triangular cross-sections are a known technical tricks that you see on some prehistoric and historic types of bows. By giving the belly a sharp “keel”, the bow feels smoother to pull and stores more energy. Stiff, lightweight endings also provide a rapid straightening of the bow, which further increases the speed of the arrow.

Thus, this is no primitive “stick”, but a carefully designed and crafted tool. Moreover, the quality of craftsmanship is high – with a nicely shaped cross-section and slender lightweight endings.

The Breheimen-bow is currently on display at the Norwegian Mountain Museum in Lom.

A History Lesson In Bodybuilding

Find out how bodybuilding has evolved over the years, broken down by different eras!

The physical culture of muscle-building has attracted followers for many years well before the advent of competitive bodybuilding as we know it today.

Followers of the iron game will know that bodybuilding in its popular form began in earnest in the 1890s with the arrival of Mr. Eugene Sandow, whom the Mr. Olympia statue is modelled on.

However, weight training as a general athletic activity was initially practiced as a means to gain strength and measure power in ancient Egyptian and Greek societies. These societies would primarily use stones of various sizes and weights (a practice that would occur in one form or another throughout history) in their quest for body transformation. The celebration of the human body through muscular development was, in fact, one of the Greek ideals.

Physical culture (distinguishable from bodybuilding per se due to the lack of specific physical display as an end goal) can be traced back to 11th century India where stone dumbbell weights, known as Nals, were lifted by those wanting to develop their bodies to enhance health and stamina to help overcome the challenges of daily life. Gyms were commonplace in India during this period, and by the 16th century, weight training is thought to have been India's national pastime.

There was to be a long period between the 16th century physical movement in India and the beginning of bodybuilding (defined as training and dieting to develop one's body specifically for exhibitive purposes) as we know it today.

The Early Period 1890-1929

Toward the end of the 19th century, weight-training took on a new meaning for many, as the ancient tradition of stone-lifting, practiced initially by the Greeks and Egyptians, made way for a completely new system of training, with a new end-goal. Weightlifting for entertainment purposes emerged in Europe, signalling the beginning of a physical culture never before seen.

The intention was not to develop one's physique into a glorious spectacle per se, but to thrill crowds with amazing feats of strength&mdashthe professional strongman was the outcome of this intensified interest in weight-training. The modern sport of weightlifting was somewhat of a natural evolution from the comparatively primitive practice of stone-lifting in dark, dank dungeons.

Not surprisingly, weightlifting exponentially grew in popularity so much so that today the practices during the early period of 1890 to 1929 would seem, at best, archaic. The practices of the late 19th century strongmen included issuing challenges to fellow strongmen to see who could outlift the other as they traveled from town to town.

Other practices included pulling carts and lifting animals, much to the amusement of onlookers. The public loved to watch these men compete, possibly for the novelty value if nothing else. How their physiques looked did not factor into these men's displays of physical prowess. Indeed, a protruding stomach and thick, fatty limbs were commonplace among these competitors.

Symmetry and aesthetics were a foreign concept at this point. However, as the 20th century approached, a man who was to bridge the gap between the overweight and unsightly strongman and the bodybuilder as we know him today was to emerge.

Officially know as the first famous bodybuilder and the father of modern bodybuilding, Eugene Sandow (born Friedrich Muller), born in 1867, immediately became a phenomenon with his unprecedented combination of muscle quality and strength. He became a turn-of-the-century physical cultural icon who is referred to as one of bodybuilding's greatest, even in today's climate of genetic freaks.

Before the emergence of Sandow, proponents of physical culture were trying to find new ways to promote healthy lifestyles in line with the new phenomenon of weight training for the sake of physical demonstration. Tired of the overweight strongman image with its lack of emphasis on correct eating and high body-fat levels, they were looking for a representative who could promote the chiseled physique, and the subsequent ways of achieving this look. They found their man in Sandow.

Sandow himself started out in Europe as a professional strongman, outdoing all other strongmen to make a name for himself. He traveled to America in the 1890s to be billed as the world's strongest man, travelling the country and impressing people with his extraordinary feats of strength.

The most amazing thing about Sandow, however, was his beautifully symmetrical and densely muscular physique, which eventually positioned him as the first real bodybuilder and promoter of bodybuilding. Indeed, Sandow published the first bodybuilding magazine (Physical Culture), developed some of the first bodybuilding machinery, and appeared in numerous books and postcards, while continuing to tour America posing to sold-out audiences.

While Sandow continued to promote bodybuilding, weight-lifting contests were officially held for the first time with the World Championships in England in 1891. Weightlifting was also featured in the first modern Olympic Games in 1896, in Athens, Greece. Due to Sandow's influence, sales of barbells and dumbbells increased by a wide margin, and a whole bodybuilding industry was created, with Sandow earning thousands of dollars a week.

Sadly, Sandow suffered a fatal brain hemorrhage when, according to legend, he tried to pull his car from a ditch in the interests of physical display. Sandow's legacy lives on in the increasing popularization of bodybuilding as a sport into the 21st century. Sandow judged the first bodybuilding contest ever held, and his image is immortalized on the current Mr. Olympia statue.

The First Bodybuilding Contest Ever Held

The Qualities Sandow Looked for

  • General development
  • Equality or balance of development
  • The condition and tone of the tissues
  • General health
  • Condition of the skin

The first bodybuilding show, staged in 1891 and billed as "The Great Show," was developed and promoted by none other than the great Eugene Sandow.

After popularizing bodybuilding though frequent strength exhibitions and posing displays across Europe and America, Sandow, 34, decided, after three years of planning, that the time was right. He would provide all Sandow students in the U.K with the opportunity to display their physiques in a competition setting replete with a full judging panel and paying audience.

The contest was advertised three years in advance in the first edition of Sandow's magazine to promote the further spread of physical display and pride in one's physique. "To afford encouragement to those who are anxious to perfect their physiques," was the statement issued, and many enthusiasts took this sentiment to heart, as exemplified by the large turnout of contestants and sold-out crowd of 2000.

The total prize money came to 1,000 guineas, which equated to more than $5,000 at the time. First place would receive the equivalent of $2,500 and a gold Sandow statuette, while second and third would take home silver and bronze statuettes respectively.

In order to compete in this contest of contests, all competitors first had to have placed in a smaller regional show&mdasha bold move on Sandow's part at the time. However, this system proved viable, and on Saturday, September 14, 1901, England's Royal Albert Hall was packed to overflowing with spectators and competitors. Sandow believed in giving his audience their money's worth, and provided various athletic displays as a form of precompetition entertainment.

These displays included wrestling, gymnastics, and fencing, and, at their completion, the real athletes, the bodybuilders, made their entrance. The bodybuilders, of which there were 60, marched to the beat of Sandow's own composition, The March of the Athletes, wearing the required costume: black tights, black jockey belt, and leopard skins.

As for the physiques, the paying public was highly impressed. One journalist remarked, "To stand in these men's ranks is a distinction."

The judging criteria was stringent, and Sandow made it clear that points would be awarded for attributes other than sheer size. Indeed, Sandow was looking for symmetrically even development&mdashthe qualities that many say are overlooked in bodybuilding today.

The man judged to have had the right combination of all of these qualities was William L. Murray of Nottingham, Great Britain, who took home the gold Sandow and the title: Winner Of The World's First Big Bodybuilding Contest.

Following this contest, bodybuilding culture became increasingly widespread. Many entrepreneurs seized upon the notion of physical development, and began distributing bodybuilding equipment and literature. Bernarr Macfadden, who became referred to as the father of physical culture, sold his popular chest expander and went on to become one of the greatest physical identities on the early 20th century.

He published one of the first bodybuilding magazines, "Physical Culture," and eventually became the most successful magazine publisher ever. In 1921, Macfadden helped to push another major protagonist for the physical movement,Charles Atlas, into the spotlight.

Well-developed for that time, but smooth and underdeveloped by today's standards, Atlas (Real name Angelo Siciliano) became immensely popular and, through his standing as an expert on physical development, acquired the rights to a mail-order course called dynamic tension, an exercise system developed by Macfadden 20 years earlier.

The advertisements featuring the young man getting sand kicked into his face, only to retreat into a world of physical self-development, and eventually turn the tables on his bullying perpetrator, served as inspiration for many who took up bodybuilding upon seeing them. This advertisement is thought to be part of the most successful advertising campaign in history.

By the end of the 1920s, barbells, dumbbells and various other exercise devices were sold the world over as the general public grew to acknowledge the importance of becoming fit and strong. Famous bodybuilders were becoming household names, and bodybuilding contests were being held frequently. Bodybuilding finally broke free of the association with weightlifting for the purposes of getting strong, and became, for many, a worthwhile pursuit in its own right.

The Culture Solidifies 1930-1970s

As the bodybuilding movement progressed into the 1930s, adherents were becoming more interested in developing balanced physiques and losing body fat as training techniques and new developments in exercise equipment advanced. The '30s were the beginning of what is affectionately know as the golden age of bodybuilding, where gyms and the associated practices of training in groups and posing in front of mirrors become commonplace among followers.

On the California Coast, weightlifting on the beachfront became popular among both amateur and professional bodybuilders. The most famous of these hangouts was situated in Santa Monica, and was called Muscle Beach.

Bodybuilding competition intensified when the AAU (the Amateur Athletic Union) established the Mr. America in 1939, where participants, although not strictly bodybuilders, were required to demonstrate athletic skills. These competitors were advised to get into the best possible shape to increase their chances of winning, and the more they trained specifically to improve their bodies, the bigger the weight-training emphasis became.

By 1940, the first modern bodybuilding event had arrived, the Mr. America, which was won by John Grimek, who also won it the following year. Grimek, unparalleled in muscular development up until that point, became the catalyst for a new direction in physical improvement. As bodybuilding became more popular, the quality of physique improved.

With physiques arguably more impressive than Grimek, Clancy Ross and Steve Reeves made their mark in the '40s. Ross won the Mr. America in 1945, and many believe him to have been the first modern bodybuilder, although at this time bodybuilding was still regarded with skepticism by many.

However, Steve Reeves came along and further popularized bodybuilding due to his movie star looks and perfectly proportioned physique. Reeves eventually became revered as the greatest bodybuilder of all time after winning the Mr. America and the Mr. Universe (the other big contest to have sprung up in light of the success of Mr. America). He went on to become one of the first heroic movie stars, gaining a fan base of thousands.

Other bodybuilders, such as Reg Park, followed Reeves' example, and became great champions. Bodybuilding was truly developing at an exponential rate with the IFBB (the International Federation of Bodybuilders) being formed by Ben Weider in 1946 and NABBA (the National Amateur Bodybuilders Association) being formed in England in 1950.

The first large-scale bodybuilding competitions were held by these organizations: the Mr. Olympia in 1965 by the IFBB and the Mr. Universe in 1950 by NABBA. The 1960s marked the period during which the most influential bodybuilder of all time would make his mark. Arnold Schwarzenegger beat Dennis Tinereno for the Mr. America title in 1967 and immediately began dominating the international competition. He would go on to win Mr. Universe on five occasions and Mr. Olympia seven times.

The Mr. Olympia had been won first by Larry Scott in 1965, who went on to win again in '66. Sergio Oliva won in '67, '68 and '69. Arnold cemented his spot as the number one bodybuilder in the world by winning the Olympia for the next five years straight, and again in 1980. He would also conquer the movie world, becoming a Hollywood star.

As bodybuilding increased in popularity into the 1970s, Arnold and other superstars such as three-time Mr. Olympia winner Frank Zane, Dave Draper, and Mike Mentzer became household names. The movie industry often specifically targeted muscular actors, such was the marketability of this type of physique. As the muscular body became more desirable, the gym industry gained momentum, and the industry as a whole became lucrative.

In the 1970s, the IFBB rose to prominence as the dominant bodybuilding organization. Toward the end of this period, the IFBB consisted of more than 100 member countries, and had become the sixth-largest sporting federation in the world.

Bodybuilding was regarded as a legitimate sport, had become a multibillion-dollar-industry and had adherents in all major countries.

Bodybuilding's Recent History 1980-Present Time

By the 1980s, bodybuilding had become a popular sport with great crossover appeal. Film stars and athletes from many sports were increasingly using bodybuilding to improve their marketability and performance. Actors like Sylvester Stallone and Chuck Norris had become noticeably more muscular, as had athletes Ben Johnson and Carl Lewis, for example.

The practices of weight training and dieting, so central to the bodybuilding ethos, had clearly been adopted by mainstream society to increase profile and enhance performance.

Competitive bodybuilders were also becoming more muscular as an increasing emphasis on size dictated a more extreme approach to physical development. Anabolic steroids had been used during the '60s, and their use correspondingly increased as bodybuilding grew in popularity.

Prize money, sponsorships, and endorsements had increased due to the growth of the bodybuilding industry, and had become a major motivating factor for many entering the sport.

A general trend in aesthetics and balance gave way to a mass-at-all-costs approach, and top placers were generally those carrying the most size, especially into the '90s and beyond 2000.

Although steroids were used prior to the '80s, the stacking of various types of steroids (using more than one at any one time) and use of dangerous growth hormones and insulin were becoming commonplace as the '80s drew to a close.

Amateurs and professionals alike engaged in this disturbing trend, with the intention of making a name for themselves and increasing their earning potential.

Indeed, with the increase in competing bodybuilders came increased competition among these athletes.

This would mean a great bodybuilder would have to become greater to distance themselves from the closest rival, who would be taking the same extreme approach to developing their physique.

As the '90s approached, the quality of physique improved due to advances in training techniques, dietary strategies, and, yes, drugs. The '80s witnessed the rise of Lee Haney, who won seven Mr. Olympia's. His physique at around 240 pounds had surpassed any other bodybuilder up until that point.

When he retired, Haney had beaten Arnold's record of six Olympias, and in the eyes of many, surpassed him in terms of muscular development.

Other notable bodybuilders of this period were Lee Labrada, (one of the few successful under-200-pound professional bodybuilders due to his classical symmetry and presentation skills), Vince Taylor, Shawn Ray, and Mike Quinn. Shawn Ray would go on to compete throughout the '90s, placing highly in every Olympia he entered.

The '90s could truly be defined as the era where competitors demonstrated a leap forward in terms of muscle mass. Dorian Yates won five Mr. Olympias between 1992 and 1997, and heralded a new benchmark in mass at 265 pounds ripped.

In fact, all professional bodybuilders of this era demonstrated a distinctly different, more massively defined physique to that of the '80s, as extreme practices prevailed. And just when everyone thought that Yates had redefined the massive physique, along came a man who would surpass him by at least 20 pounds.

Ronnie Coleman routinely competed at around 290 pounds, and took the competition physique beyond what was, up until 10 years ago, thought possible. Co-competitors Jay Cutler and Dexter Jackson also competed light years ahead of anything seen throughout the '80s and '90s.

Legendary bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger played an active role in bodybuilding's development throughout the '90s and beyond. He began promoting the Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic bodybuilding championships in 1989, a contest that gradually incorporated other fitness-related events to become one of the most popular athletic events in the world.

In the '90s, Arnold became the Chairman for the President's Council on Fitness, and used bodybuilding-related practices to inspire the American public to get fit and active.

Bodybuilding also became popularized through various media publications, most notably Muscle and Fitness (spawned from '60s publication Muscle Builder and Power) which hit the stands in 1980, and its offshoot, Flex magazine, released in 1983.

In 2004, Arnold Schwarzenegger became the executive editor of both Muscle and Fitness and Flex Magazine, magazines he appeared on the cover of 30 and 20 times respectively.

Media across the board have seized the opportunity to capitalize on bodybuilding's success. Pay-per-view have broadcast the Mr. Olympia while programs promoting the bodybuilding lifestyle such as Cory Everson's show on ESPN gained momentum.

The Internet has also exploded with thousand of bodybuilding sites, many very professionally done, with worldwide followings. Bodybuilding.com ranks as probably the biggest and best of these, with thousand of articles and information on all aspects of the sport.

Bodybuilding clearly has come a long way since its primitive beginnings, back in the early 1890s. Its popularity cannot be denied, and it will continue to grow if its current rate of growth is anything to go by. However, with the number of professional shows increasing coupled with the availability of an increasing array of sophisticated performance enhancing drugs (and other substances such as synthanol and implants (Lou Feriggno)) the actual sport of bodybuilding will probably continue to be characterized as a curiosity of physical extremes.

On the other hand, bodybuilding also has a growing natural movement where competitors compete free of potentially harmful substances, and enjoy corresponding health benefits.

Ultimately, the practices of weight training and eating a balanced diet, central to bodybuilding success at all levels, will enhance the lives of many. In this respect, bodybuilding can be seen in a positive light, as a beneficial sport.

On the competitive side, many bodybuilders will continue to use drugs to enhance their chances of winning. As to the future of the sport, only time will tell.

Bronze Age

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Bronze Age, third phase in the development of material culture among the ancient peoples of Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, following the Paleolithic and Neolithic periods (Old Stone Age and New Stone Age, respectively). The term also denotes the first period in which metal was used. The date at which the age began varied with regions in Greece and China, for instance, the Bronze Age began before 3000 bce , whereas in Britain it did not start until about 1900 bce .

When did the Bronze Age begin?

The date at which the Bronze Age began varied with regions in Greece and China, for instance, it began, before 3000 BCE, whereas in Britain, it did not start until about 1900 BCE.

What is the Chalcolithic period?

The beginning of the Bronze Age is sometimes called the Chalcolithic (Copper-Stone) Age, referring to the initial use of pure copper. Scarce at first, copper was initially used only for small or precious objects. Its use was known in eastern Anatolia by 6500 BCE, and it soon became widespread.

How did the Bronze Age end?

From about 1000 BCE, the ability to heat and forge another metal, iron, brought the Bronze Age to an end, and led to the beginning of the Iron Age.

When did the use of bronze increase?

During the 2nd millennium, the use of true bronze greatly increased. The tin deposits at Cornwall, England, were much used and were responsible for a considerable part of the large production of bronze objects during that time. The age was also marked by increased specialization and the invention of the wheel and the ox-drawn plow.

The beginning of the period is sometimes called the Chalcolithic (Copper-Stone) Age, referring to the initial use of pure copper (along with its predecessor toolmaking material, stone). Scarce at first, copper was initially used only for small or precious objects. Its use was known in eastern Anatolia by 6500 bce , and it soon became widespread. By the middle of the 4th millennium, a rapidly developing copper metallurgy, with cast tools and weapons, was a factor leading to urbanization in Mesopotamia. By 3000 the use of copper was well known in the Middle East, had extended westward into the Mediterranean area, and was beginning to infiltrate the Neolithic cultures of Europe.

This early copper phase is commonly thought of as part of the Bronze Age, though true bronze, an alloy of copper and tin, was used only rarely at first. During the 2nd millennium the use of true bronze greatly increased the tin deposits at Cornwall, England, were much used and were responsible for a considerable part of the large production of bronze objects at that time. The age was also marked by increased specialization and the invention of the wheel and the ox-drawn plow. From about 1000 bce the ability to heat and forge another metal, iron, brought the Bronze Age to an end, and the Iron Age began.

This article was most recently revised and updated by Adam Augustyn, Managing Editor, Reference Content.

Bronze Weights - History

Three Pounder "Grasshopper"

At Guilford CH NPS Visitors Center

Light guns like the 3 pounder were not new in the Revolution. In the early 1600s Gustavus Adolphus fielded light guns very effectively, usually in support of a specific regiment, but their use goes back to the infancy of gunpowder artillery. Although largely ineffective against other artillery, light guns were effective anti-personnel weapons and improved infantry morale.

Larger guns were formed into batteries and deployed along the line of battle. By the Napoleonic Wars of the early 1800s, most European armies had adopted the 12 pounder as the standard battery field piece, while the 9 pounder was more common in British service. These larger guns were effective in silencing enemy artillery and killing enemy infantry and cavalry, but during the American Revolution, the British rarely fielded anything larger than a 6 pounder because of the difficult roads in America. They were often used in small groups like larger guns. Fewer and smaller guns along with difficult logistics, open order infantry formations, and a smaller percentage of cavalry tended to make battle less decisive, a significant hindrance to the British war effort.

Although eighteenth century weapons may seem crude today, at the time they were expensive leading edge technology. Many decades, in fact centuries, of refinements had been made to artillery.

Iron gun barrels were easiest and cheapest to construct but were somewhat heavy, and heavier barrels needed heavier carriages. Guns were pulled by horses. Unless it was readily and reliably available, forage to feed the horses was transported to the army on horse-pulled wagons. These transport horses, in turn, had to be fed, requiring additional horse-transported forage - in a nearly endless cycle! So there were great incentives to reduce weight, and since competing bronze guns had other advantages, by the 1700s iron guns were mainly used aboard ships where weight was less important.

Bronze, an alloy of about 90% copper and 10% tin, was more expensive than iron, probably around six times more expensive. Bronze as a material is actually heavier, but it made a more durable, stronger and thinner barrel which was therefore lighter than its iron counterpart and which therefore required a correspondingly lighter carriage. Bronze was less likely to burst because it was more flexible. It was also more durable, and the metal was more easily reused after the gun was worn out.

As the park service sign says, these guns were cast solid then bored out. This made for greater accuracy as the bore was better aligned with the gun's exterior, and it also allowed production of guns in greater numbers. The more precise boring technique also allowed a reduction in windage, the gap between the cannonball and the bore. Another artillery development was the spherical powder chamber with ignition near the center of the charge. This produced a quicker, more powerful explosion. These two developments reduced the powder needed per shot by half - to one third of the weight of the ball, allowing a much thinner and lighter barrel. (In the early days of gunpowder artillery, a charge of several times the weight of the ball was used.) Lighter barrels allowed lighter carriages. The 500 pound weight listed is a truly amazing achievement.

Britain was not alone in these developments. Austrian developments in the 1750s led to an artillery arms race on the Continent, and France soon reformed its artillery. The new French 12 pounder of the Gribeauval system was roughly half the weight of the gun it replaced. With guns more numerous and more easily deployed in the field, and with developments and experimentation with light infantry and columns, the way was paved for the decisive battles of the Napoleonic era.

Incidentally, in Britain, cannon boring technology made possible the high pressure steam engines which were a vital part of the Industrial Revolution - an event which would make modern Western man as rich as any king of the eighteenth century.

As with all field artillery of the era, the spokes of the wheels extended outward at an angle from the hubs, forming a saucer shaped wheel, to give a slightly softer ride and give better strength in cornering. This also tended to keep mud from flying into the faces of troops on the march. Since a vertical saucer shaped wheel would otherwise encounter greater stress, the wheels were slanted so that the lower spokes were vertical. And, since the slanted wheels would also create stress, axle tree arm (projecting from the axle into the hub) was tilted forward.

A water-filled bucket was used for sponging the barrel after each round. Although the British 3 pounder and many other European armies used cartridges, for larger guns, the British used a ladle to load powder into the barrel. The wooden poles, called handspikes, were placed in the carriage's iron fittings to move the guns. Several men with handspikes could carry the cannon over rough terrain or the whole piece could be disassembled and carried by pack animals.

You can see the touchhole at the top of the barrel and the makers' names, Jan and Pieter Verbruggen. Below the writing are the numbers 1:3:10. This is the barrel's weight. The first number is hundred weight, the second quarters of hundred weight, and the third pounds. Since a hundred weight is 112 pounds, this barrel weighs 206 pounds. In comparison, a Prussian 3 pounder barrel from twenty years before weighed 455 pounds, not much less than the weight of an entire "Grasshopper." For further comparison, markings on the barrel of a 3 pounder on display in the Tower of London dated 1685 indicate a weight of 891 pounds.

To prevent any material in the barrel from staying alight during swabbing, a crewmember covered the touchhole with a piece of leather on his thumb, a job which could become very uncomfortable after a few firings. Propping up the barrel is the wooden wedge, or quoin, used for vertical aiming - a somewhat dated technique and possibly an inaccuracy in this reproduction. Screws to elevate the barrel had been developed in Sweden in the early 1700s, and they were adopted in France during the 1760s as part of the new Gribeauval system.

Compared with modern propellants, 18th century powder was quick burning. Today's slower burning propellants mean that the projectile can accelerate along the entire length of a much longer barrel and attain a much faster muzzle velocity. Many eighteenth century field guns were limited to a length of around 14 times the caliber, or width of the bore - considerably shorter than the guns which preceded them. British guns generally lacked the ornamentation of early artillery pieces and guns of other European countries, and the Grasshopper had even less decoration than normal. Notice, however, the British broad arrow, the aiming notch on the end of the barrel, and the reinforcing bands - an unnecessary carryover from the past which would be eliminated from guns in the early 1800s. During manufacturing, cannon barrels were cast vertically with the muzzle on top. The weight of molten metal would strengthen the breech area, but tin would settle more toward the bottom leaving the muzzle weaker. To compensate, muzzles were strengthened by flaring them out into a swell, but at the cost of slightly greater weight.

Among the many changes made over the decades was not only the reduction of barrel weight, but the refinement of its weight distribution on the carriage. Trial and error led to the lengthwise position along the barrel of the trunnions, the round projections of the barrel resting in the carriage topped by iron mounts. The trunnions tended to be near the barrel's center of gravity to ease vertical aiming. Another refinement was the position of the trunnions over the axle these weight distributions had to account not only for the gun's aiming and firing but also for its transport. By the 1750s it was found that moving the trunnions from the underside of the barrel to the middle reduced stress on the carriage. Clearly, a lot of thought and refinement was put into the design of cannon.

Diorama at Tannenbaum Park

This diorama shows three pounders in action. Behind the guns are the limbers used secondarily to store ammunition. Developed originally in the 1680s, limbers began mounting ammunition boxes after 1750. During transport, the trail of the gun was attached to the limber. With the three pounder, a single horse could pull both gun and limber.

Most guns had a quick source of ammunition in sideboxes astride the barrel. This three pounder also had a box along the trail for storing miscellaneous items. To the right of the trail, you can see the sponge used to put out any remaining fire in the barrel before inserting a new round. Failure to do this properly could lead to premature firing as the rammer (the other end of the sponge) was used to push the new round down the barrel. Theoretically after each round the double corkscrew called the worm was run down the barrel and twisted to remove any remains of wadding or cartridge from the previous round.

Minoan Bull Leaper

  1. A bronze sculpture showing an acrobat leaping over a bull's head. © Trustees of the British Museum
  2. A 'recortador' (trimmer) jumps over a bull during a modern bullfight. LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images
  3. Map showing where this object was found. © Trustees of the British Museum

This bronze figurine depicts a man somersaulting over a bull. It comes from the island of Crete and was probably used in a shrine or a cave sanctuary. Bulls were the largest animals on Crete and were of great social significance. Bull jumping was probably performed during religious ceremonies, although a leap such as this would have been almost impossible. In Greek myth, Crete was the home of the labyrinth and the fearsome Minotaur - half bull and half man.

The Minoan people of Crete built magnificent palaces, developed systems of writing and were able to make tools and sculptures from bronze. Crete had no natural sources of copper or tin to make bronze however, and relied on an extensive maritime trade network to obtain these materials. The Minoans were proficient sailors and traded with Egypt, Greece and the Middle East. Trade also spread Minoan ideas and art around the Eastern Mediterranean.

Bull leaping still takes place today in south-west France and Spain

Connecting to the past in shipwrecks

The small bronze statuette from Minoan Crete, unique as it is, is also a very good indicator of this key commodity, bronze, that was sought after throughout the eastern Mediterranean.

Bronze is essentially made up of copper in large quantities and tin in smaller quantities, and it was bronze that underpinned the incredibly complex and expansive trade networks that developed across the eastern Mediterranean in the Late Bronze Age. This trade depended on sophisticated ships and a deep knowledge of the sea by their sailors.

The evidence we have for this trade is in the form of imported artefacts that we find around the coastlines and the islands of the eastern Mediterranean in this period. Unfortunately there is only a limited number of shipwrecks to substantiate these trading activities but one of the most important shipwrecks that we have is that of the Uluburun. This was a vessel that sank off the Turkish coast 3,400 years ago.

The Uluburun was carrying 15 tons of cargo, nine tons of which was copper, copper in the form of ingots, which was the essential raw material to make up bronze. In addition to the copper ingots the Uluburun was carrying a very rich cargo, not only of additional raw materials such as glass, but amber from the Baltic, pomegranates, pistachio nuts and olives. Organic materials rarely survive on land. But in an underwater context when they’re buried in the sediments these organic materials will survive.

So, a shipwreck gives us an insight into elements of trade that are lost in the terrestrial archaeological record. In addition there is also a wealth of manufactured goods, including bronze and gold statuettes, beads, tools and weapons. There was even a wooden diptych, the first form of filofax, that would have been carried on board with wax inside where they would have kept a note of the different cargoes that were being exchanged.

Shipwrecks show just how connected the different cultures of the Bronze Age Mediterranean were and, most importantly, were connected by sea.

The small bronze statuette from Minoan Crete, unique as it is, is also a very good indicator of this key commodity, bronze, that was sought after throughout the eastern Mediterranean.

Bronze is essentially made up of copper in large quantities and tin in smaller quantities, and it was bronze that underpinned the incredibly complex and expansive trade networks that developed across the eastern Mediterranean in the Late Bronze Age. This trade depended on sophisticated ships and a deep knowledge of the sea by their sailors.

The evidence we have for this trade is in the form of imported artefacts that we find around the coastlines and the islands of the eastern Mediterranean in this period. Unfortunately there is only a limited number of shipwrecks to substantiate these trading activities but one of the most important shipwrecks that we have is that of the Uluburun. This was a vessel that sank off the Turkish coast 3,400 years ago.

The Uluburun was carrying 15 tons of cargo, nine tons of which was copper, copper in the form of ingots, which was the essential raw material to make up bronze. In addition to the copper ingots the Uluburun was carrying a very rich cargo, not only of additional raw materials such as glass, but amber from the Baltic, pomegranates, pistachio nuts and olives. Organic materials rarely survive on land. But in an underwater context when they’re buried in the sediments these organic materials will survive.

So, a shipwreck gives us an insight into elements of trade that are lost in the terrestrial archaeological record. In addition there is also a wealth of manufactured goods, including bronze and gold statuettes, beads, tools and weapons. There was even a wooden diptych, the first form of filofax, that would have been carried on board with wax inside where they would have kept a note of the different cargoes that were being exchanged.

Shipwrecks show just how connected the different cultures of the Bronze Age Mediterranean were and, most importantly, were connected by sea.

Lucy Blue, Archaeologist, University of Southampton

Bull-leaping in Crete

Before humans settled on Crete in about 7000 BC, there were no bulls on the island. Instead, now-extinct species of deer and dwarf hippos and elephants thrived, free from natural predators.

It is not known whether humans ever encountered these strange creatures, but we do know that the settlers brought more familiar animals with them in their boats: cattle, pigs, sheep and goats.

These domestic animals took the place of the earlier herbivores, and bulls became the largest and most dangerous animal on the island. It is no accident, then, that bulls came to take a prominent place in the art of Bronze Age (Minoan) Crete.

The Bronze Age began in about 3200 BC on Crete, marked by the arrival of bronze tools and weapons. Bronze came to be used for objects such as this bull-leaper.

However, the first known representation of something similar to bull-leaping is a clay vessel dating to before 2000 BC, now in the Heraklion Museum in Crete. It shows a bull with small clay figurines of humans hanging on to its horns. There is an exaggerated difference in size between bull and humans – the bull is very large and the humans much smaller - perhaps indicating the difficulty in controlling these animals.

This feat is at the heart of bull-leaping, although it appears to have become more of a staged performance than a practical part of farming animals.

Bull-wrestling and bull-leaping are more frequently depicted in the period of the Minoan palaces, particularly from 1700 BC. Scenes of bull-leaping are known from sealstones and gold rings, and also the preserved clay impressions of such objects. These were found in the palace at Knossos, along with frescoes (wall-paintings) of bull-leaping and an ivory model of a bull-leaper.

Records from Crete show that cattle were also used for farming. Tablets written in the Linear B script that were created by Knossos administrators give the names, or at least descriptions (White Foot, Ugly), of plough oxen (castrated bulls).

Yet ploughing was never shown on frescoes or sealstones at the palace at Knossos. Instead images of the staged performances with cattle demonstrated the metaphorical control of the palaces over these animals.

Fantastic bulls, such as the famous Minotaur, were to become a central part of the later mythology surrounding Crete. In the Bronze Age, however, bulls and cattle were seen as large, valuable and potentially dangerous animals: controlling them was central to Minoan society.

Before humans settled on Crete in about 7000 BC, there were no bulls on the island. Instead, now-extinct species of deer and dwarf hippos and elephants thrived, free from natural predators.

It is not known whether humans ever encountered these strange creatures, but we do know that the settlers brought more familiar animals with them in their boats: cattle, pigs, sheep and goats.

These domestic animals took the place of the earlier herbivores, and bulls became the largest and most dangerous animal on the island. It is no accident, then, that bulls came to take a prominent place in the art of Bronze Age (Minoan) Crete.

The Bronze Age began in about 3200 BC on Crete, marked by the arrival of bronze tools and weapons. Bronze came to be used for objects such as this bull-leaper.

However, the first known representation of something similar to bull-leaping is a clay vessel dating to before 2000 BC, now in the Heraklion Museum in Crete. It shows a bull with small clay figurines of humans hanging on to its horns. There is an exaggerated difference in size between bull and humans – the bull is very large and the humans much smaller - perhaps indicating the difficulty in controlling these animals.

This feat is at the heart of bull-leaping, although it appears to have become more of a staged performance than a practical part of farming animals.

Bull-wrestling and bull-leaping are more frequently depicted in the period of the Minoan palaces, particularly from 1700 BC. Scenes of bull-leaping are known from sealstones and gold rings, and also the preserved clay impressions of such objects. These were found in the palace at Knossos, along with frescoes (wall-paintings) of bull-leaping and an ivory model of a bull-leaper.

Records from Crete show that cattle were also used for farming. Tablets written in the Linear B script that were created by Knossos administrators give the names, or at least descriptions (White Foot, Ugly), of plough oxen (castrated bulls).

Yet ploughing was never shown on frescoes or sealstones at the palace at Knossos. Instead images of the staged performances with cattle demonstrated the metaphorical control of the palaces over these animals.

Fantastic bulls, such as the famous Minotaur, were to become a central part of the later mythology surrounding Crete. In the Bronze Age, however, bulls and cattle were seen as large, valuable and potentially dangerous animals: controlling them was central to Minoan society.

Andrew Shapland, Curator, British Museum

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In 1963 I attended a meeting of the Portuguese and Spanish Anaesthetists in Lisbon. One evening we were taken to the Bullring to see a show called Toreros Antiguas ? the art of ancient bullfighting.
There were three teams competing to throw a bull. Each team was dressed in full toreador dress and consisted of eight men. The first team lined up in the empty arena facing the centre in line as though for a throw in at rugby. When they were lined up a bull was led into the ring on the opposite side and the line advanced towards the bull and the leader gesticulated and tempted the bull towards him.
Eventually the bull charged the man who then jumped over its horns put his hands around the neck and the following six members of the team jumped on top of him while the eighth man ran around and held the bull by the tail. Together, they threw the bull to the ground. They got off, the bull got up and was led away looking rather embarrassed

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History of the Bronze Rocky Statue

When the script for Rocky III was finished in 1982, a scene in the film called for a large crowd to attend a dedication ceremony at the Philadelphia Museum of Art to honor heavyweight boxing champ Rocky Balboa. After the speeches and formalities, a nearly 9-foot-tall 2,000-pound bronze statue of the Italian Stallion would be revealed to the adoring throng of fans.

This is the backstory on how that iconic piece of American art, titled “ROCKY”, actually came to be.


When Sylvester Stallone and the producers of Rocky III needed a source for this magnificently imposing piece to be featured in the film, they looked to Colorado based sculptor A. Thomas Schomberg.

“Mr. Stallone had been a long-time patron of my father,” explains the artist’s daughter (and coincidentally, the director and CEO of the Rocky Division of Schomberg Studios), Robin Schomberg-Nicholls. “My father’s early career is best known for his sports sculptures in bronze. Mr. Stallone saw and purchased the boxing-themed pieces “Mountain Rivera” and “The Knockout”, in Las Vegas during an exhibit of my father’s work. As a significant patron, Mr Stallone was very familiar with my father’s work – and his ability to capture grace and the emotion of the athletic moment – which contributed to his decision to commission my father to create ROCKY.”

By the early 1980’s, sculptor A. Thomas Schomberg had established an impressive and varied client base including museum curators, professional athletes, and movie stars with Sylvester Stallone numbering among them. In later years, the artist would go on to create the monumental statue “Down But Not Out….Lost But Not Forgotten” which is a memorial to the US amateur Olympic boxing team killed in a 1980 plane crash in Poland. This statue is located at the US Olympic Training center in Colorado Springs, CO and Warsaw, Poland. Schomberg’s stunningly powerful works are both collected and exhibited internationally.

Sly contacted Schomberg at his Denver, Colorado studio to commission a statue of Rocky Balboa for use in the film. According to the artist, Sly said that he wanted the Rocky Statue to symbolize the iconic hero, which is why the statue is posed with his gloved fists raised over his head in victory representing the apex of Balboa’s boxing career.

Once work on the statue had begun (with an estimated price tag of $50,000), it was necessary that Sylvester Stallone be fitted with a plaster life mask at Schomberg’s studio to capture the actor’s facial features.

“He was quite the gentleman when he did the life mask for my father,” Schomberg-Nicholls recalls. “It was not a comfortable task, for which Mr. Stallone was the consummate professional.” Sylvester Stallone’s original life mask is still within Schomberg’s private collection.

From this plaster cast, Schomberg went about re-creating Stallone’s face as the character of Rocky Balboa. Then, a 28” model was used as the reference for “pointing-up” the statue to the monumental size. This 28″ inch model is also still in existence, however, all of the original molds for the statue have been destroyed. Though the facial features were captured without a hitch, the wax sculpted body took a bit of Stallone’s input before it could be “set in stone”, so to speak.

Schomberg’s initial clay model for the Rocky Statue had a physique more representative of Sylvester Stallone’s body as he last appeared on screen as Rocky, in 1979’s Rocky II. By 1982, Stallone decided that he wanted his signature character to be a classic boxer rather than a bruiser and spent the prep time before filming began sculpting his own body to match the vision he had for Rocky’s. Some reports claim that after his absolutely grueling workout regime (which he later admitted went over the top) Sly’s body fat percentage was down to an unbelievable 2.8% on his lighter 155 pound frame.

Due to his newly slimmed and cut appearance at this time, Stallone requested that the model for the statue be altered to more closely resemble his current physique. A. Thomas Schomberg obliged, cutting away bits of clay to reveal a less meaty version of the Italian Stallion.


The Rocky statue measures an imposing 8’6” and is cast entirely in bronze, weighing in at 2,000 pounds. The bronzed “ROCKY” is positioned in a “classic contrapposto pose”, as Schomberg’s Studio describes it, and stands atop a large base, lifting him higher still. The statue wears traditional style boxing shorts on which is written “Rocky” in a script text.

Schomberg actually held the rights to create not just one, but three identical copies of his Rocky statue.

One was the statue seen for the first time in the series in Rocky 3 which now is a permanent fixture at the foot of the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art the second statue is located in San Diego, California and is displayed in the San Diego Hall of Champions Sports Museum.

The third Rocky statue was planned, but was not cast at the time of the other two in the early 1980’s. Twenty-four years later in 2006, the Schomberg studio finally created the third statue which marks the final representation of the original piece and thus, the statue cannot be recreated again. This more recent cast was, by some news reports, listed on eBay three separate times between 2002-2005, with an opening bid of $5,000,000, then $3,000,000, and finally $1,000,000, but the statue failed to sell. Robin Schomberg-Nicholls tells us that as of 2015, the third Rocky statue is still available for purchase.

She explains: “A few years ago, a private auction house listed the statue for sale on behalf of a private athletics and dance museum. This organization was attempting to sell the statue for a higher price than we would sell it at as a direct sale. The purpose for this “overage” in price was that the excess monies were to have acted as the funding agent for the establishment of this private museum. To our knowledge the statue was never on eBay. However, the private firm was not able to sell at the “overage” price and, therefore, the 3rd statue is still available.”

There has been significant interest in the third statue and several serious parties have entertained its purchase over the years. “However,” Schomberg-Nicholls says, “to-date these inquiries haven’t materialized into a sale of the statue but we do continue to get inquiries and interest.”

Currently, the price of the third Rocky statue is over $1 million dollars.

A limited edition bust-only version of the Rocky statue was also produced by Schomberg in 1982. The 80-pound bronze bust measures 26″ inches high and was created from the same cast as the full-size statue in Philadelphia. Only eight bronze Rocky busts were made.


When the Philly location shoots for Rocky 3 had been wrapped, the bronze boxer stood for several months at the top of the Art Museum’s 72-step entrance – Sylvester Stallone left the statue in place as a gift to the city of Philadelphia. City Commerce Director Dick Doran was thrilled with the gesture and was quoted saying that Stallone had done more for the city’s image “than anyone since Ben Franklin.”

Cultural and museum officials, however, were horrified.

In their eyes the statue, though beautifully created by a prominent artist, was merely an unattractive “movie prop.” The public flooded the newspapers and city Art Commission with tons of mail, both for and against the statue. The debate raged for months with Philadelphia’s people equally divided on the very definition of “art”.

“Put it near the Liberty Bell,” wrote a Daily News reader. “Dump it in the Schuylkill [a local Philadelphia river],” wrote another. Countless tourists and residents climbed the steps to see and be photographed next to ROCKY. People who would never normally dream of going to an art museum at least got close to its entrance. The statue, in its original Rocky 3 position on the steps, can even be glimpsed in the opening credits of Eddie Murphy’s 1983 comedy Trading Places.

In the end, the Art Commission decided that the Wachovia Spectrum should be bronze Rocky’s new home. The Spectrum (re-dubbed Wachovia Spectrum in 2003) did at least have a strong Rocky connection – this real-life arena was the location of Rocky and Apollo’s fictional first and second boxing matches, and is also mentioned in the first film when Rocky invites Adrian to a basketball game at the Spectrum.


During the late 1980’s, the statue was also captured on film in the movies Mannequin and a few years later in Tom Hanks’ Philadelphia, in both instances the statue had been briefly moved back to the steps for filming. The memories of the battle for the statue’s placement rose again in 1990 when it was moved yet again to the top of the art museum’s steps temporarily for the filming of Rocky V. However, once Rocky V wrapped, so did the statue’s time at the museum. Back it went to its position at the Spectrum arena, leaving many fans confused as to it’s official home location.

In an effort to leave some sort of Rocky remnant at the Museum, the statue’s position at the top of the steps was replaced with a bronze inlay of Rocky-style Converse sneaker footprints with the name “Rocky” imprinted above them. Thousands of fans each year slip their feet into the footprints, much as they do Sylvester Stallone’s hand and foot prints at the Chinese Theater forecourt in Hollywood, California.

When Sylvester Stallone returned to the city of Philadelphia in 2005 to begin filming on location for Rocky Balboa, he contacted his friend James Binns, Sr., a former Pennsylvania boxing commissioner, and asked if it would be possible to find out if the Rocky statue could be moved somewhere near the Museum. After negotiations with Mayor John F. Street and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, it was announced that the statue would make a comeback to the Museum, narrowly missing an opportunity to appear on screen again in Rocky Balboa, but just in time for the 30th anniversary of the original Rocky.

“Look, if art is supposed to inspire, then this is it,” Binns said at the time. “Rocky was a winner, and now he’s a winner in his proper place, by the steps he made famous.”

In 2006, the statue made its final trek from the Spectrum to the base of the steps of the Art Museum. The Spectrum – incidentally – was ultimately demolished in 2011, and during one of its last public events in 2009, the “Rocky” theme music was played over the stadium speakers.

On September 8, 2006, the ROCKY statue was returned to its rightful place at the Art Museum and placed on a pedestal in a grassy area near the foot of the steps to the right of the Museum. The unveiling ceremony included live music, the debut of the first trailer for Rocky Balboa, and a screening of the original Rocky. At the ceremony, Philadelphia Mayor John Street said that the steps were one of Philly’s biggest tourist attractions, and that Sylvester Stallone had become “the city’s favorite adopted son.”

Sylvester Stallone himself attended the ceremony, posing for photos with his bronzed likeness. “All you want is a slice of the American dream,” Stallone said in a moving speech. “That’s what Rocky was about. Having the opportunity. Not to win. Not to set records. Not someday to be made into a statue. But just the opportunity to run the race and see if you can finish.” The Rocky statue, Sly said, “is not about me. It’s about you. Because inside of every one of you, there’s a real Rocky.”


Today, the Rocky Statue is visited by millions each year who stop by the Philadelphia Museum of Art to enjoy the artwork within the building, or to run up the Rocky Steps in glory, imitating their hero. (Click here to submit your photo of yourself with the Rocky statue!)

“It is unbelievable what an icon it is for visitors and residents alike,” said Philadelphia’s Director of Commerce Stephanie Naidoff in 2006. “There is no doubt that lots of people are now coming just to see the statue, and then a good number of them are attracted to the museum.”

ROCKY stands triumphant in a garden area just to the right of the base of the flight of steps heading up to the museum and is even visible from the street to countless passing cars, trucks and tour buses. Fans flock to the statue at all hours of the day and late into the night, smiling and snapping photos with their idol. In fact … they’re out there right now, arms raised, and hearts on fire.

The inscription at the base of ROCKY reads, fittingly:

“Thunder in His Heart. The character who represents the courageous spirit of the great city of Philadelphia and the brotherhood of it’s people.”

Difference Between Iron and Bronze

Iron vs Bronze

Iron and bronze are two metals that have been in use for time immemorial. These were the first metals discovered by men. Well, iron and bronze differ in many ways, such as in their properties and usage.

With regards to the origin of the two metals, it was bronze that was discovered first. Bronze was discovered around 3000 BC, and it was during 1000 BC that iron started being used.

Well, what is bronze, and what is iron? Bronze is an alloy of tin/copper. On the other hand, iron is a naturally occurring metal.

One of the differences that can be seen between the two metals is that bronze is denser than iron. Unlike bronze, iron can easily be bent. Another thing that can be seen is that bronze can be stronger than simple iron, but it is weaker than carburized iron.

When comparing their melting points, iron has a higher meting point. While iron has a melting point of 1600 degrees Celsius, bronze has a melting point of 1000 degrees Celsius.

Well, bronze is easier to cast, but it is harder to forge. When heated, iron retains heat, whereas bronze cools immediately. Another difference that can be seen is that iron rusts, while bronze does not. Unlike bronze, iron has magnetic properties.

Bronze is also less brittle than iron. This makes it hard to work with bronze metals. When comparing the color of the two metals, pure iron comes in a silver-white color, whereas bronze comes in a copper-yellow, or dark gray color.

Although both metals are used for industrial purposes, bronze is widely used in machine parts, as it causes less friction than iron.

1. Bronze is an alloy of tin and copper. On the other hand, iron is a naturally occurring metal.

2. Bronze is denser than iron.

3. While iron has a melting point of 1600 degrees Celsius, bronze has a melting point of 1000 degrees Celsius.

4. Bronze is easier to cast, but it is harder to forge.

5. Iron rusts, while bronze does not.

6. Unlike bronze, iron has magnetic properties.

7. Bronze is also less brittle than iron. This makes it hard to work with bronze metals.

8. Bronze is stronger than simple iron, but it is weaker than carburized iron.

Men From Early Middle Ages Were Nearly As Tall As Modern People

COLUMBUS, Ohio &ndash Northern European men living during the early Middle Ages were nearly as tall as their modern-day American descendants, a finding that defies conventional wisdom about progress in living standards during the last millennium.

"Men living during the early Middle Ages (the ninth to 11th centuries) were several centimeters taller than men who lived hundreds of years later, on the eve of the Industrial Revolution," said Richard Steckel, a professor of economics at Ohio State University and the author of a new study that looks at changes in average heights during the last millennium.

"Height is an indicator of overall health and economic well-being, and learning that people were so well-off 1,000 to 1,200 years ago was surprising," he said.

Steckel analyzed height data from thousands of skeletons excavated from burial sites in northern Europe and dating from the ninth to the 19th centuries. Average height declined slightly during the 12th through 16th centuries, and hit an all-time low during the 17th and 18th centuries.

Northern European men had lost an average 2.5 inches of height by the 1700s, a loss that was not fully recovered until the first half of the 20th century.

Steckel believes a variety of factors contributed to the drop &ndash and subsequent regain &ndash in average height during the last millennium. These factors include climate change the growth of cities and the resulting spread of communicable diseases changes in political structures and changes in agricultural production.

"Average height is a good way to measure the availability and consumption of basic necessities such as food, clothing, shelter, medical care and exposure to disease," Steckel said. "Height is also sensitive to the degree of inequality between populations."

The study appears in a recent issue of the journal Social Science History.

Steckel analyzed skeletal data from 30 previous studies. The bones had been excavated from burial sites in northern European countries, including Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Great Britain and Denmark. In most cases, the length of the femur, or thighbone, was used to estimate skeletal height. The longest bone in the body, the femur comprises about a quarter of a person's height.

According to Steckel's analysis, heights decreased from an average of 68.27 inches (173.4 centimeters) in the early Middle Ages to an average low of roughly 65.75 inches (167 cm) during the 17th and 18th centuries.

"This decline of two-and-a-half inches substantially exceeds any height fluctuations seen during the various industrial revolutions of the 19th century," Steckel said.

Reasons for such tall heights during the early Middle Ages may have to do with climate. Steckel points out that agriculture from 900 to 1300 benefited from a warm period &ndash temperatures were as much as 2 to 3 degrees warmer than subsequent centuries. Theoretically, smaller populations had more land to choose from when producing crops and raising livestock.

"The temperature difference was enough to extend the growing season by three to four weeks in many settled regions of northern Europe," Steckel said. "It also allowed for cultivation of previously unavailable land at higher elevations."

Also, populations were relatively isolated during the Middle Ages &ndash large cities were absent from northern Europe until the late Middle Ages. This isolation in the era before effective public health measures probably helped to protect people from communicable diseases, Steckel said.

"It is notable that bubonic plague made its dramatic appearance in the late Middle Ages, when trade really took off," he said.

Steckel cites several possible reasons why height declined toward the end of the Middle Ages:

* The climate changed rather dramatically in the 1300s, when the Little Ice Age triggered a cooling trend that wreaked havoc on northern Europe for the following 400 to 500 years.

Colder temperatures meant lower food production as well as greater use of resources for heating. But many temperature fluctuations, ranging in length from about 15 to 40 years, kept people from fully adapting to a colder climate, Steckel said.

"These brief periods of warming disguised the long-term trend of cooler temperatures, so people were less likely to move to warmer regions and were more likely to stick with traditional farming methods that ultimately failed," he said. "Climate change was likely to have imposed serious economic and health costs on northern Europeans, which in turn may have caused a downward trend in average height."

* Urbanization and the growth of trade gained considerable momentum in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Both brought people together, which encouraged the spread of disease. And global exploration and trade led to the worldwide diffusion of many diseases into previously isolated areas.

"Height studies for the late 18th and early 19th centuries show that large cities were particularly hazardous for health," Steckel said. "Urban centers were reservoirs for the spread of communicable diseases."

* Inequality in Europe grew considerably during the 16th century and stayed high until the 20th century &ndash the rich grew richer from soaring land rents while the poor paid higher prices for food, housing and land.

"In poor countries, or among the poor in moderate-income nations, large numbers of people are biologically stressed or deprived, which can lead to stunted growth," Steckel said. "It's plausible that growing inequality could have increased stress in ways that reduced average heights in the centuries immediately following the Middle Ages."

* Political changes and strife also brought people together as well as put demand on resources.

"Wars decreased population density, which could be credited with improving health, but at a large cost of disrupting production and spreading disease," Steckel said. "Also, urbanization and inequality put increasing pressure on resources, which may have helped lead to a smaller stature."

Exactly why average height began to increase during the 18th and 19th centuries isn't completely clear, but Steckel surmises that climate change as well as improvements in agriculture helped.

"Increased height may have been due partly to the retreat of the Little Ice Age, which would have contributed to higher yields in agriculture. Also improvements in agricultural productivity that began in the 18th century made food more plentiful to more people.

This study is part of the Global History of Health Project, an initiative funded by the National Science Foundation to analyze human health throughout the past 10,000 years.

Steckel wants to continue looking at, and interpreting, fluctuations in height across thousands of years

"I want to go much further back in time and look at more diverse populations to see if this general relationship holds over 10,000 years," he said.

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