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Chapter 4 PowerPoint Presentation

Chapter 4

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Chapter 4

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  1. Chapter 4 Early Societies in South Asia

  2. Harappa society and its neighbors, ca 2000 BCE

  3. Foundations of Harappan Society • The Indus River • Silt-enriched water from mountain ranges • Major society built by Dravidian peoples, 3000-2500 BCE • Cultivation of cotton before 5000 BCE, early cultivation of poultry • Decline after 1900 BCE • Major cities: Harrapa (Punjab region and Mohenjo-daro (mouth of Indus River) • 70 smaller sites excavated (total 1,500)

  4. Mohenjo-daro Ruins • Population c. 40,000 • Regional center • Layout, architecture suggests public purpose • Broad streets, citadel, pool, sewage • Standardized weights evident throughout region • Specialized labor • Trade

  5. Harappan Society and Culture • Evidence of social stratification • Dwelling size, decoration • Harappan Civilization: influence on later Indian culture • Statues, figurines and illustrations reflect a tradition of art and metallurgy • Venerated goddesses of fertility

  6. Mysterious End of Harappan Civilization • Reasons for disappearance unclear • Excessive deforestation, loss of topsoil • Earthquakes? • Flooding? • Evidence of unburied dead • Disappearance by 1500 BCE • Harappan traditions survived – agricultural practices, religious beliefs, and urban traditions

  7. Aryan Migrations • Aryans, lighter-skinned invaders from the north • Dravidians, darker-skinned sedentary inhabitants of Harappa • Color Bias • Socio-Economic Implications • Difficulty of theory: no evidence of large-scale military conquest

  8. The Early Aryans • Pastoral economy: sheep, goats, horses, cattle • Vegetarianism not widespread until many centuries later • Religious and Literary works: The Vedas • Sanskrit: sacred tongue • Prakrit: everyday language, evolved into Hindi, Urdu, Bengali • Four Vedas (wisdom), most important Rig Veda • 1,028 hymns to gods

  9. The Vedic Age • Conflicts between Aryans and indigenous dasas (“enemies,” “subjects”) • Aryans fighting Dravidians • Also Aryans fighting each other • Chiefdoms: Rajas • Early concentration in Punjab, migrations further south • Development of iron metallurgy • Increasing reliance on agriculture • Tribal connections evolve into political structures

  10. Varna: The Caste System • Origins in Aryan domination of Dravidians • Brahmin, Priest • Kshatriya, Warrior • Vaishya, Merchant • Sudra, Commoner • Harijan: “Untouchables; Pariahs” • Jati system of subcastes • Related to urbanization, increasing social and economic complexity

  11. Patriarchy in Ancient Indian Society • “rule of the father” • A social order that stood alongside the caste system, and varna hierarchy • Enforced in the The Lawbook of Manu • Dealt with proper moral behavior and social relationships • Caste, Jati, inheritance through male line

  12. Aryan Religion • Major deity of Rig Veda: Indra, war god • Elaborate ritual sacrifices to gods • Role of Brahmins important • C. 800 BCE some movement away from sacrificial cults • Mystical thought, influenced by Dravidians

  13. Teachings of the Upanishads • Texts that represent blending of Aryan and Dravidian traditions • Composed 800-400 BCE, some later collections until 13th century CE • Brahman: the Universal Soul • Samsara: reincarnation • Karma: accounting for incarnations • Moksha: mystical ecstasy • Relationship to system of Varna