Indus Valley Civilization 2600 to 1900 BCE
Mohenjo-Daro What can this photo tell us about the Indus Valley Civilization?
Crash Course: Indus Valley • Watch John Green quickly explain the Indus Valley…
Indus Valley • The Indus Valley civilization flourished around 2,500 B.C. in the western part of South Asia, in what today is Pakistan and western India. • It is often referred to as Harappan Civilizationafter its first discovered city, Harappa. • The nearby city of Mohenjo-Daro is the largest and most familiar archaeological dig in this region. • It was not discovered until the 1920's. Most of its ruins, even its major cities, remain to be excavated.
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Conclusions made about IVC • Mountains block cold air & give the area a warm climate • Indus carries a lot of silt and floods regularly twice a year. • Access to river water for irrigation allowed farmers to produce two crops a year. • Monsoons= seasonal winds that affect the climate and way of life • Summer monsoons bring heavy rains, causing flooding that helps the soil • People depended on monsoons to grow crops • Monsoons sometimes unpredictable
Conclusions made about ivc • Identically planned cities and construction suggests a strong central government • High degree of standardization in city building and even in the size of bricks • used a grid pattern • A fortress (citadel) built on a brick platform overlooked each city – probably the center of government and religion • The settlement was thought to house roughly 5,000 people, and had houses, a granary, baths, assembly halls and towers. • Peaceful people – few weapons found
Conclusions made about IVC • Houses were made of oven-baked bricks -Each house had at least one bathroom with plumbing to sewers -Houses rose to several stories and had enclosed courtyards • Similarity in housing indicates little differences between social classes.
Conclusions made about ivc • Technological advancements included extensive irrigation systems, the potter’s wheel, kiln-baked bricks, sophisticated bronze metallurgy, and a system of writing.
Conclusions made about ivc • Extensive trade with the northwestern mountain areas, Iran, Afghanistan, and artifacts found show that Indus and Sumer (in Mesopotamia) traded • Trade = bronze and copper tools; jewelry out of gold, shells, ivory; clay pots; woven cloth; silver containers • People had better access to metal; artisans used metal to make utilitarian and luxury items • Majority of objects found hand been tools
Conclusions made about ivc Had a system of writing, but has not yet been deciphered.
Conclusions made about IvC • Size of settled region larger than Egypt or Mesopotamia. • Religious objects and symbols clearly linked to Hinduism
Conclusions about ivc All of what we know comes from physical archeological evidence.
Theories about the end • The end of the Indus Valley Civilization around 1500BCE • Researchers believe that the decline of the Indus Valley Civilization was due to breakdown caused by natural disasters and ecological change • Suggestions: Drying up of Hakra river, salinization, and erosion. • Urban centers collapsing meant the elite way of life, but its probable peasants adapted and survived.
Partner Work: each student record in notebook • How do you know that this archeological find is the remnants of a river valley civilization and not just a Neolithic farming village? Explain. (Hint: What makes a civilization a civilization?) • Compare Indus Valley with Mesopotamia. What do these places have in common? What are some differences? (Discuss 3 of each) • What don’t we know about the Indus Valley? What is missing from the information we have that would fill in the gaps? (Discuss at least 3 items)