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Most of the Indian subcontinent was conquered by the Maurya Empire during the 4th and 3rd centuries BCE.
The Mature Indus civilisation flourished from about 2600 to 1900 BCE, marking the beginning of urban civilisation on the subcontinent.
This civilisation collapsed at the start of the second millennium BCE and was later followed by the Iron Age Vedic Civilisation.
The era saw the composition of the Vedas, the seminal texts of Hinduism, coalesce into Janapadas (monarchical, state-level polities), and social stratification based on caste.
The civilisation included urban centres such as Dholavira, Kalibangan, Ropar, Rakhigarhi, and Lothal in modern-day India, as well as Harappa, Ganeriwala, and Mohenjo-daro in modern-day Pakistan.
The civilisation is noted for its cities built of brick, roadside drainage system, and multi-storeyed houses and is thought to have had some kind of municipal organisation.
Another influential periodisation is the division into "ancient, classical, medieval and modern periods", although this periodisation has also been criticised.