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Early Indus River Valley Civilization

Early Indus River Valley Civilization

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Early Indus River Valley Civilization

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  1. Early Indus River Valley Civilization

  2. Geography • Indus and Ganges Rivers • Mostly the Indus, but the land extends towards the Ganges

  3. Geography (continued) • Indian Subcontinent (India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh) are separated from the rest of Asia by the Hindu Kush, Karakoram, and Himalayan Mountains. • Beyond the mountains is a huge, fertile plain formed by the Indus and Ganges Rivers (floods not predictable like Nile). • Monsoons dry the country in the Winter, and bring lots of rain in the Summer

  4. Geography (continued) • Due to unpredictable flooding and monsoons, farming was far less stable • Cut off by the mountains, and desert to the West, but Indus River provided access to sea, and they actually traded with Mesopotamians

  5. Harappa Civilization • 3000 BC – 1500 BC • Ancient civilization • Little is known aside from archaeological evidence because their language has still not been translated (not much knowledge of origins, but modern traditions started here) • Major Cities were Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro • They had brick walled homes (sometimes 3 stories), bathrooms with drainage systems, and other modern advances

  6. Harappa (continued) • Most discoveries were made at Harappa so it is often referred to as Harrapan Civilization • They were excellent city planners (which leads to likelihood of strong central government) • Streets on a grid system • Fortified citadel for major buildings • Residential districts • Plumbing and Sewage systems

  7. Aryan Invasion • Invaded around 1500 BC • Aryan – 2 possible translations • Literally “pertaining to ourselves,” and refers to the native people of Iran and India • Or “ar” as a root word for noble, or superior

  8. Aryans (continued) • Developed Sanskrit (writing system) which is still not fully translated; so we don’t know a whole lot about them either • Started an education system for sons, led by a Guru (teacher) • India’s landscape is diverse. Many economic activities took place; mostly farming (despite monsoons), herding, and trading

  9. Aryans (continued) • Their belief systems and way of life, eventually morphed into Hinduism and Buddhism (we will cover the religions in more depth later) • Also earlier Harappan traditions were predecessors to Hindu gods, and there were signs of cattle worship • Caste System – 5 social classes based on economic and social position • Brahmins = priests, Kshatriyas = warriors, Vaisyas = commoners, Sutras = non-Aryan peasants, Harijan/Untouchables = slaves

  10. Theories of Decline • The Harappan Civilizations declined around the same time as the takeover by the Aryans. There are several theories: • Indus changed course • Land was over used • Natural disaster • Aryan invasion