...Yet there WAS ritual, with godlike figures pictured both with horns AND tree branches on top. Happy and bursting with the love of Nature, I'd like to think. Yet one can see severed human heads on little tables before the dieties. Does that show the horror of human sacrifice? In view of the generally peaceful nature of this society, I would speculate that these human (or animal) heads might just as well have been placed on their pedestals after a natural death, and that this observance was merely a funeral rite. Why not? Even the language hasn't been deciphered after 150 years of trying. And the famous priest-king statue may or may not show an advanced enlightened being, even as the depiction of yogic poses may or may not show the continuity of the Indian traditions. Until more is known for sure, one can either interpret these artifacts as evidence of a Golden Age, or not.
The Indus Vallley Civilization may have been a Golden Age. The skilled artisans at Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro erected no monuments to glorify an upper class. Although the cities were fortified, there were no depictions of warfare or conquered enemies. Power and status was indicated through the use of seals and fine jewelry, while the biggest extravagance was lavished on *water luxury* baths, whether or not some ritual was involved in their use.