indian civilizations l.
Skip this Video
Loading SlideShow in 5 Seconds..
Indian Civilizations PowerPoint Presentation
Download Presentation
Indian Civilizations

Loading in 2 Seconds...

play fullscreen
1 / 73

Indian Civilizations - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

  • Uploaded on

Indian Civilizations Paleolithic and Neolithic Cultures Diverse Paleolithic Cultures on Indian subcontinent Neolithic pottery and hunting tools in present-day Pakistan, c. 5500 bc.

I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
Download Presentation

PowerPoint Slideshow about 'Indian Civilizations' - paul

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript
paleolithic and neolithic cultures
Paleolithic and Neolithic Cultures
  • Diverse Paleolithic Cultures on Indian subcontinent
  • Neolithic pottery and hunting tools in present-day Pakistan, c. 5500 bc.
  • Although a bit later than Near East, cultures are generally considered of independent origin on most, if not all of Indian subcontinent.
indus valley civilization c 2500 1750 bc
Indus Valley Civilizationc. 2500-1750 bc
  • Fertile floodplains of Indus River
  • 2 major cities: Harappa and Mohenjo Dara
  • Civilization flourished for about 500 years
indus valley civilization
Indus Valley Civilization
  • Vast territory united in homogeneous culture suggests strong centralized government, integrated economy and good internal communications
city layout in harappa and mohenjo daro
City Layout in Harappa and Mohenjo-daro
  • N-S, E-W grid of avenues
  • walled citadel on western edge of city
  • cemeteries on periphery
  • private houses built around central courtyard
  • large granary for food storage
mohenjo daro
  • Elaborate plumbing facilities unequalled until Roman times

Private baths

Household wells

  • Indus inscriptions are found only on small objects, mostly stone seals and on pottery.
  • About 3700 inscriptions are presently known.
  • The inscriptions are all extremely brief, averaging not more than about five signs in a text. Longer inscriptions might have been written on palm leaves or cloth which have perished.
  • Sanskrit or Dravidian language?




material culture
Material Culture
  • Fine bronze and stone statues
  • Copper and bronze tools and vessels
  • Black-on-red painted pottery
  • Silver and gold vessels and jewelry
  • Dyed woven fabric
  • Flat stamp stone seals
cooking pots and vessels
Cooking Pots and Vessels






  • Thriving agriculture: wheat, barley, peas, lentils, sesame, cotton
  • Cattle, dogs, sheep, fowl, water buffalo
  • Cotton weaving, metalworking, wheel-driven pottery
  • Trade contacts in Mesopotamia, central Asia, possibly Arabia and prehistoric Greek cultures
  • Elaborate bathing facilities suggest ritual bathing and purification rites
  • Recurrent images:
    • pipal tree & swastika -- also in Hindu imagery
    • humped bull -- animal worship?
    • tiger, snake, unicorn
    • “Lord of All Creatures” -- merges with Shiva
    • pregnant & madonna female figures -- prefiguration of Devi, Shiva’s consort
three headed totemic animal
Three-headed Totemic Animal




end of indus civilization
End of Indus Civilization
  • Began to decline during early 2nd millenium bce
  • Possible causes:
    • abnormal flooding of Indus River
    • ecological destruction -- baked bricks of construction led to deforestation
    • no firm evidence that invading Aryans destroyed civilization

Dravidan Hero Stone

indo aryan invasions c 2000 bce 1500 bce
Indo-Aryan Invasionsc.2000 bce-1500 bce
  • Aryas -- name of peoples who migrated from steppelands between Eastern Europe and Central Asia into Europe, Greece, Anatolia, the Iranian plateau and India in the 2nd and 1st millenia bc.
  • Warlike peoples with horse-drawn chariots conquered the Dravidians of central India
  • “Aryan” -- 19th c. term used to describe language group now called Indo-European.
vedic aryan culture
Vedic-Aryan Culture
  • Semi-nomadic warriors -- migrated in small tribal groups
  • Cattle herders and horsemen
  • Culture flourished for nearly a millenium without writing or building large cities
  • Language: Vedic Sanskrit > Sanskrit
vedic texts
Vedic Texts
  • Texts date from 1700 bc - 500 bc
  • Veda means “Knowledge” -- the eternal wisdom realized by ancient seers and preserved over thousands of years by professional reciters in unbroken oral transmission
  • 4 main texts:
    • Rig Veda -- 1028 hymns --c.1700 bc-1000 bc
    • Upanishads -- philosophical poems -- c.700 bc
    • Valmiki’s Ramayana -- epic -- 6th c. bc
    • The Mahabharata -- epic -- 400 bc-400 ad
  • Patrilineal descent and inheritance
  • Patriarchal family -- monogamous, widows could remarry
  • Kinship groups -- tribes ruled by rajas/ kings (cf. Latin rex), warrior leader
  • Brahman -- chief priest. Powers of priestly class increased with those of king
  • Two classes -- noble and common --evolved into four classes
caste system
Caste System
  • Four classes:
    • Brahman -- priestly
    • Kshatriya -- warrior/noble
    • Vaishya -- peasant/tradesman
    • Shudra-- servant
    • Numerous subgroups known as castes within the four classes
  • Dasas -- darker, conquered peoples -- socially excluded
material culture38
Material Culture
  • Gray painted pottery
  • Wood and thatch, mud-walled houses
  • Measured wealth in cattle
  • Gold ornamentation
  • Wool
  • Alcoholic drink and soma
  • Highly developed music -- singing and dancing
  • Gambling -- especially dice games
  • Writing -- c. 700 bc-500 bc -- scorned for sacred texts

Rama and his allies begin the attack on Lanka, by Sahib Din. From a manuscript of the Ramayana, Udaipur, 1652

vedic religion
Vedic Religion
  • Priests (Brahmans) serving a military aristocracy
  • Numerous gods connected to natural forces
    • Indra -- god of war and storms
    • Varuna -- guarded cosmic order
    • Agni -- god of fire -- sacrifices, hearth, home
    • Vishnu -- god of the sun
    • Rudra -- the archer
    • Soma -- god of hallucinogenic soma plant
    • Ushas -- goddess of dawn -- one of few female divinities
  • Vardhamana Mahavira was born in a village near Vaishali in north Bihar. His father was a ruler of that area and his mother a princess. At the age of thirty. he left home and started practicing penances in search of knowledge. After twelve years, he attained the state called Nirvana (enlightenment).

Mahavira (540 BC - 467 BC) founded the sect of Jainism.

  • Emerged 6th c. bce
  • Total respect for animal life
  • Made farming and husbandry impossible
  • Jains became merchants – art patrons and now among the the wealthiest inhabitants of India

A carved ceiling in the Jain temple at Mt. Abu, ca. 9th-13th century A D.

evolution of hinduism indus influences
Evolution of Hinduism:Indus Influences
  • Mother goddess
  • Bull figure: Nandi – still the symbol of Congress Party
  • Shiva cult:
    • seals with Shiva figure
    • lingam stones -- emblem of Shiva
    • Shiva cult may be world’s oldest surviving cult
evolution of hinduism vedic influences
Evolution of Hinduism:Vedic Influences
  • Vishnu – preserver god
  • Sanskrit as language of religious learning
  • Vedic hymns -- nucleus for more abstract religious thought
  • Notions of Hell (House of Clay) and Heaven (World of the Fathers)
  • Karma: action determines destiny
  • Upanishads: through philosophical interpretation -- inner meaning of traditional truths, ascetic teachings
hinduism all embracing structure of thought
Hinduism:all-embracing structure of thought
  • All creation linked in huge web of being
  • Transmigration of souls through various life forms
  • Proper behavior linked to purgation and renewal
  • Dharma: the duty of the believer
invasion of alexander the great 327 325 bce
Invasion of Alexander the Great327-325 bce
  • Spring of 327 BC, Alexander and his army marched into India
  • His goal was to reach the Ocean on the southern edge of the world
  • Alexander sought out, the Brahmins, and debated them on philosophical issues.
maurya empire 4th c bce 2nd c bce
Maurya Empire4th c. bce -- 2nd c. bce
  • Response to power-vacuum created by Alexander the Great’s conquest of northern India c. 326 bce
  • First emperor Chandragupta Maurya (r.324-301 bce)
  • Ashoka (r.269-232 bce) conquered and ruled almost entire sub-continent: encouraged spread of Buddhism
  • Last emperor assassinated 184 bc
siddhartha gautama sakya buddha ca 563 483 bce
Siddhartha Gautama Sakya: Buddha ca. 563-483 bce
  • Prophesied to be king or world redeemer at birth
  • A prince who gave up his wealth to find escape from human suffering
  • Studied with Hindu masters
  • Became an ascetic
  • Meditated under Bo tree for 49 days and nights until he experienced enlightenment
  • Became a wandering preacher and teacher dedicated to help others achieve Nirvana
  • A religion without a god
  • Each individual must find his/her own way to enlightenment
  • Four Noble Truths:
    • Life consists of suffering, impermanence, imperfection, incompleteness
    • The cause of suffering is selfishness
    • Suffering and selfishness can be brought to an end
    • The answer to the problem of suffering is the Eight-fold Path
the eight fold path
The Eight-Fold Path
  • Knowledge of the Four Noble Truths
  • Right aspiration toward enlightenment
  • Right speech that is honest and charitable
  • Right conduct: no drinking, killing, lying, lust
  • Right living
  • Right effort
  • Right thinking with emphasis on self-awareness
  • Right use of meditation
gupta era 320 ce 550 ce
Gupta Era 320 ce — 550 ce
  • Gupta dynasty was founded by Chandra Gupta I
  • Development of Mahayana Buddhism
  • Classical Age in north India
  • Cave paintings at Ajanta
  • Shakuntala, Jataka, Panchatantra and Kamasutra were written
  • Aryabhatta’s Astronomy.


  • During the 4th century A. D. in a remote valley, work began on the Ajanta caves to create a complex of Buddhist monasteries and prayer halls.
  • As centuries passed, numerous Buddhist monks and artisans dug out a set of twenty-nine caves, converting some to cells, and others to monasteries and Buddhist temples.
  • These caves are adorned with elaborate sculptures and paintings which have withstood the ravages of time
kalidasa fl 5 th c
Kalidasafl. 5th c.
  • The dramatist and poet is regarded as the greatest figure in classical Sanskrit literature.
  • His three surviving plays are Sakuntala (or Shakuntala), Vikramorvasi, and Malavikagnimitra.
  • These court dramas in verse (nataka) relate fanciful or mythological tales of profound romantic love intensified and matured by adversity.
  • In Kalidasa's two epics, Raghuvansa and Kumarasambhava, delicate descriptions of nature are mingled with battle scenes.
  • The other poems of Kalidasa are shorter and almost purely lyrical.
aryabhatta 476 550
Aryabhatta (476-550?)
  • Hindu astronomer and mathematician
  • Known to Arabs as Arjehir
  • 499: calculated pi as 3.1416
  • 499: calculated the length of the solar year as 365.358 days.
  • Postulated that the Earth was a sphere rotating on its own axis and revolving around the Sun
  • Discovered the exact cause of eclipses.
muslim dominance
Muslim Dominance
  • 711 -- Arabs take Sind
  • 11th c. -- Invasions of Muslims from Central Asia led to political dominance of Muslims in N. India and introduction of Persian culture and Islam into South Asia
  • Development of Sufism
timur lang tamerlane sacks delhi 1398 99
Timur Lang (Tamerlane) sacks Delhi 1398-99
  • Mongol ruler who attempted to reclaim Genghis Khan’s empire
  • Attacked India and conquered Delhi after slaughtering 100,000 captives
vasco da gama reaches india 1498
Vasco da Gama reaches India 1498
  • Opened the Indian or Cape Route for regular sailings between East and West
  • Expansion and consolidation of Portugese empire and trade, dissemination of Portugese culture and Christianity
  • Portugese settlements in Goa and Cochin
  • 1524: Da Gama named Portugese viceroy in India by King John III.
moghul empire islamic 1526 1858
Moghul Empire(Islamic) 1526-1858
  • Unification of N. India and parts of S. India under its rule
  • Amalgam of Persian and Indian culture created in courts and territories
  • Establishment of trading outposts in India by Europeans:
    • 1609: Dutch
    • 1612: English
    • 1674: French
rise of regional powers
Rise of Regional Powers
  • Weakening of Moghul authority frees local Muslim rulers
  • Rise of indigenous regional powers
    • Sikhs -- Punjab
    • Rajputs -- Rajasthan
    • Marathas -- West India
  • 1757: Battle of Plassey: victory of Nawab of Bengal gives East India Company control of Bengal and begins expansion of British power in India
british empire 1800 1947
British Empire1800 - 1947
  • Political dominance of British introduces Western culture, language, methods of government and technology into urban centers

Paddle-steamer on the Hooghly, watercolour over a lithographed outline, Kalighat painting by Becaram Das Datta, 1857

independence 1947
  • Independence from British rule
  • Partition of Indian subcontinent into countries of India and Pakistan (East and West)
  • 1971: creation of Bangladesh from East Pakistan

Mahatma Gandhi, 1869-1948

indian independence jawaharal nehru 1889 1964
Indian IndependenceJawaharal Nehru (1889-1964)
  • Nehru graduated from Cambridge University, and returned to India in 1912
  • . Over the next thirty years, he rose to become the top political leader of the Indian National Congress Party and its struggle for independence from Britain.
  • He was jailed seven times.
  • After independence he served as India first Prime Minister from 1947 until he died in May, 1964.
  • He was also a great internationalist, and one of the founders of the non-aligned movement.
creation of pakistan mohammad ali jinnah 1876 1948
Creation of Pakistan Mohammad Ali Jinnah (1876-1948)
  • In Pakistan, Jinnah is known as "Quaid-e-Azam," or Father of the Nation
  • An early member of the Congress Party and "Ambassador of Hindu-Muslim Unity," he later parted ways with Gandhi and Nehru and worked for an independent homeland for the Muslims of British India
  • Served as President of the All-India Muslim League from 1934 onwards.
  • At midnight between August 14th and 15th, 1947 he led Pakistan into simultaneous freedom with India from the British Empire.