Indus Valley Civilization • Built along the banks of the river system • Because of the huge mountains north and west of the Indus River, contact w/ other civilizations was limited • The Khyber Pass through the Hindu Kush Mountains provided a connection • Used by merchants and traders • Later it was used by invaders
Indus Valley Civilization • 2500 to 1500 B.C.E. stretched for 900 miles • Two major cities, Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro were home to about 100,000 people • Enormous cities for ancient standards
Indus Valley Civilization • Cities were master-planned, uniformly constructed, and had sophisticated wastewater systems • Strong centralized government, led by priest-king • Polytheistic • Potter’s wheel • Farmers grew cotton
Indus Valley Civilization • Sometime around 1900 B.C.E. the cities of the Indus Valley were abandoned, for reasons that remain unknown today • All that is known is that, by 1500 B.C.E. the civilization crumbled with the arrival of the Aryans
The Arrival of Aryans • The Aryans were a nomadic tribe from north of the Caucasus Mountains • Used horses and advance weapons to easily defeat the populations of the Indus Valley • They gave up their nomadic lifestyle and settled in the Indus Valley
The Arrival of Aryans • Aryan conquest of the Indus Valley established their religious beliefs on the Indian subcontinent , in particular their belief in reincarnation • They recorded their beliefs and traditions in the Vedas and Upanishads • Later formed the basis for Hinduism
The Arrival of Aryans • The Aryan social system also had a major impact on India. • Caste system • Initially it was divided into 3 classes (warriors, priest, and peasants) • In early days there was movement in the classes but eventually social mobility was prohibited
The Mauryan Empire • Around 321 B.C.E. the largest empire arose in India • Spanning from the Indus River Valley eastward through the Ganges River Valley and Southward through the Deccan Plateau • Founded by Chandragupta Maurya but it would be his grandson AshokaMaurya who would take the empire to new heights
The Mauryan Empire • Became very powerful and wealthy due to trade and the military • Indian merchants traded cotton, silk, and elephants to Mesopotamia and eastern Roman Empire • Military used elephants in fighting
The Mauryan Empire • Ashoka was successful only after a savage war, whose consequences changed Ashoka's views on war and led him to pledge never to wage a war. • Stricken with remorse for a very violent and bloody victory his forced claimed in Kalinga in southeast India, Ashoka converted to Buddhism.
Battle of Kalinga • It is said that in the aftermath of the Battle of Kalinga the Daya River running next to the battle field turned red with the blood of the slain; about 100,000 Kalinga civilians and more than 10,000 of Ashoka's own warriors were among those slain.
Rock and Pillar Edicts • The Edicts reminded Mauryans to live generous and peaceful lives. • Following Ashoka’s conversion and commitment to Buddhism, the religion spread to Southeast Asia. • After Ashoka’s death 232 B.C.E. the empire began to decline rapidly mainly because of economic problems and attacks from the northeast.