Chapter 3: Ancient IndiaSection 1: Indus Valley Civilization By: CZ World Studies
A. The Geography of South Asia • Main Idea: Geography helped shaped the development of the Indus Valley Civilization
A. The Geography of South Asia • The Land, The Mountains, and the Rivers • The northern border of the Indian Subcontinent is marked by the rough but beautiful Himalayas, the world’s tallest mountain. • The Brahmaputra River makes surrounding areas fertile, in which farming is possible. • South of the rivers is the Deccan Plateau, which is a raised area of level land. It makes up most of the interior of the Indian subcontinent.
A. The Geography of South Asia • The Climate • The climate of the Indian subcontinent varies. • Indian climate is shaped by a pattern called a monsoon. Monsoons are seasonal winds from the Indian Ocean. The monsoon winds bring very heavy rainfall during part of the year. However these winds reverse directions at certain times of the year. • The Bay of Bengal receives some of the heaviest rainfall in the world, with an annual average of 450 inches.
B. The Indus Valley Civilization • Main Idea: The Indus Valley civilization was the first great civilization of ancient India.
B. The Indus Valley Civilization • Farming and Trade • The Himalayas form a protective barrier from the harsh, northern winds blowing in from central Asia. • The Indus Valley people had many items to use for trade. Skilled craftspeople in the cities wove cotton and made jewelry and furniture. • Farmers raised wheat, barley, cotton, and fruit on farmlands near cities . Their technology was based on stone, copper, and bronze materials.
B. The Indus Valley Civilization • A Network of Settlement • The settlement of the Indus Valley had links with other villages located on or near the Indus River and beyond the Indus Valley itself. • For example, stone tools and beads began to appear in the villages. They must have imported , or brought in, the stones from other areas.
C. The Cities of Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro • Main Idea: Excavations at the sites of the ancient cities of Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro reveal many similarities in the way the cities were planned.
C. The Cities of Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro • Building Houses • The most common building material at Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro was brick. • The sizes of these houses varied from one-room barracks to large homes with a central courtyard . • Many of the larger homes had upper stories. Some had private wells for drinking and bath water. • Families were housed in certain areas of the settlements, according to their specialized work.
C. The Cities of Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro • Communication andCrafts • Historians believe that contact among the settlements of the Indus Valley occurred. They believe this because Indus Valley goods have been found in several neighboring areas. • People of the Indus Valley may been seafarers and traders who sailed along the coastline and on the region’s many rivers. • Archaeologists have found gold, copper, turquoise, and Indus pottery. Indus Valley used seals to stamp labels on trade goods.
D. Culture, Religion, and Decline • Main Idea: Many questions remain about the Indus Valley civilization and the reason it disappeared.
D. Culture, Religion, and Decline • Writing and Language • One of the greatest unsolved mysteries about the Indus Valley civilization is the language of the Indus people. • It appears that they had some sort of writing, but it is unclear what language they spoke. • Archaeologists have found some seals with a type of script carved on them.
D. Culture, Religion, and Decline • Indus Valley Religion • It is not clear what role religion played in the Indus Valley civilization. • Archaeologists have identified some building as having a religious purpose, such as the Great Bath and Mohenjo-Daro. • Many terra cotta figurines, mostly of females, appear to represent gods or goddesses. • Numerous seals have been unearthed. They show animals standing in front of an object that may refer to scenes with religious meaning. Bodies of the dead were buried with their heads to the north.
D. Culture, Religion, and Decline • The Decline and Disappearance of the Indus Valley Civilization • We still do not know why the Indus Valley civilization disappeared. • There may have been a sudden , catastrophic event or maybe a gradual change in the climate that forced people to abandon the city. The Indus River could have changed its course, so that the water no longer fertilized the crops. • Invasions from other tribes could have occurred. Archaeologists have found the remains of some bodies that seem to never have been buried.
A. The Aryans • Main Idea: The Aryans were nomads who entered the Indian subcontinent around 1500 B.C.
A. The Aryans • Aryan Migrations • Common historical belief has been that invaders called the Aryans came through the Khyber Pass into northwestern India. • It is believed they were nomads from southern Russia and central Asia. • Historians believe they were in search of pastureland for their sheep, goats, and cows.
A. The Aryans • Aryan People • Described as a fierce people, the Aryans were said to be skillful fighters who led horse-drawn chariots into battle. • It has been said that Aryans conquered the Indus Valley peoples. • They eventually conquered the entire northern plain. The descendants of the Aryans became the rulers of many kingdoms in the subcontinent. • Aryans never built cities, they left no ruins to tell their story. They had no written languages .
B. Aryan Society • Main Idea: Knowledge about Aryan society comes from sacred writings first handed down orally by priests.
B. Aryan Society • The Vedas • The Vedas were memorized by priests and handed down orally for a thousand years before they were written. • They have been recited daily by generations of people, like an unbroken chain. • The message of the Vedas is one of peace and harmony: “ Let your aim be one and single, Let your hearts be joined in one, The mind at rest in unison At peace with all, so may you be.”
B. Aryan Society • The Aryan Caste System • From the Vedas we know that Aryan society divided people into groups. This method of social division, called the caste system, may have been used to limit contact between Aryans and other people. • The castes were divided into four main groups. the Brahmans, who were the priests and educated people; the Kshatriyas, who were rulers and warriors, the Vaisyas, who were merchants, farmers, traders, and artisans; and the Sudras, who were laborers and servants to upper castes. • A group ranked below the Sudra caste was called the untouchables. They lived a very difficult life. • In Aryan society, people were born into their caste for life. Their place in the caste determined what type of work they did, who they married, who they could eat with, and where they could worship.
B. Aryan Society • Religious Beliefs • Indra was the god of war and the thunderbolt was his weapon. He used the thunderbolt to destroy demons and to announce the arrival of the rain that was so important to Indian life. • Other major gods included Varuna, the god of order and creation, and Agni, the god of fire. Agni was also a messenger who communicated between humans and gods. • Priests could interpret the Vedas. They also performed complicated rituals and offered sacrifices of food and drink to the gods. The Aryans believed they could call on the gods to bring them health and safety during the war.
C. Poems About the Vedas • Main Idea: Two long poems based on stories from the Vedas spread throughout Southeast Asia.
C. Poems About the Vedas • Ramayana • The Ramayana is a shorter epic that tells about the deeds of the hero Rama and his bride, Sita. Shortly after the wedding, Sita was kidnapped by Ravana, a demon-king. • Rama is helped by a monkey-general named Hanuman. Ravana kills a duplicate of Sita before Rama’s eyes try to trick him. • Rama continues to fight and wins his wife Sita back. Rama and Sita symbolize the ideal husband and wife because of their duty and devotion to each other through many hardships.
C. Poems About the Vedas • Mahabharata • The Mahabharata, at almost 100,000 verses, is one of the longest poems in the world. It resembles the Old Testament of the Bible. • The Mahabharata describes a war between cousins in Aryan society for control of the kingdom. • One section of the Mahabharata is called the Bhagavad. This section emphasizes that the highest fulfillment in life is doing one’s moral duty.
D. Changes in Aryan Society • Main Idea: The Aryan economy, society, and religion changed during the Vedic period.
D. Changes in Aryan Society • Nomads to Farmers • The Vedic period was a time of change from a nomadic to a village economy. • In these villages they tended cattle and grew crops. • Villages began trading with one another.
D. Changes in Aryan Society • Expanding Aryan Territory • Aryans began expanding their territory, they moved eastward into the plain of the Ganges River. • They learned to make iron by 1000 B.C. They used iron axes to clear land and establish villages and farming. • There was little unity because they often battled for control of land.
A. Religious Traditions in Ancient India • Main Idea: Hinduism became the dominant religion in ancient India.
A. Religious Traditions in Ancient India • Hinduism • Hinduism is one of the world’s most complex religions. Unlike most religions, Hinduism has no single founder and no single text. • It has no central authority or organization. Different beliefs are emphasized by various groups. It’s difficult to define the religion. • Hinduism embraces several aspects of Indian culture, it is a religion, a history, and a way of life.
A. Religious Traditions in Ancient India • Hindu Divinities—Many Out of One • Hinduism accepts the worship of all gods and goddesses. • Some people think that Hinduism is a polytheistic religion, with a belief in and worship of more than one god. • The most important Hindu gods are Brahma who is the creator of the universe; Vishnu, its preserver; and Shiva, its destroyer.
A. Religious Traditions in Ancient India • Hindu Beliefs • Hindu believe in reincarnation and the law of Karma states that every action in a person life influences how the soul will be reborn in the next life. • The importance of dharma , a person religious and moral duties, is seen as a way for a person to escape the constant cycle of death and rebirth. • Another belief of Hinduism is the concept of ahimsa, or nonviolence to all living creatures.
A. Religious Traditions in Ancient India • Jainism • Jainism is a religion in India that was founded on the Hindu tradition of ahimsa. • The rule against violence to animals kept many Jains from farming. They did not want to kill worms or other creatures in the earth. • Many Jains became merchants. Jainism began to decline after about A.D. 1000.
B. The Rise of Buddhism • Main Idea: Buddhism arose as an alternative to the formality of Hindu religious practices.
B. The Rise of Buddhism • The Enlightened One • Buddhism accepted some Hindu beliefs while rejecting others. The Hindu beliefs of karma and reincarnation were generally accepted by Buddhists. • The founder of Buddhism was Siddhartha Gautama, known as the Buddha. Buddhist tradition claims that Buddha lived many lives before his birth as Siddhartha Gautama. • Buddha was born to a ruling class family.
B. The Rise of Buddhism • In Search of Truth • Buddha taught others the Four Noble Truths. • All human existence is full of pain and suffering. • The cause of suffering is selfish desire. • The only freedom from suffering is to overcome desire. • The only way to overcome desire is to follow the Eightfold Path.
A. The Mauryan Empire • Main Idea: The Mauryan Empire was successful, because it united several different parts of the subcontinent into one political unit.
A. The Mauryan Empire • The Reign of Chandragupta • Chandragupta possessed a huge army of 700,000 men , 9,000 elephants, and 10,000 chariots. This massive army helped control his empire. • Chandragupta had canals built to provide a steady water supply for farms. This increased the crops supply. • Chandragupta built a road system that linked all parts of the empire, making it easier to transport goods.
A. The Mauryan Empire • Mauryan Society • The Mauryan Empire was greatly improved by Asoka’s conversion to Buddhism. • Asoka had wells dug along the major roadways to provide water for travelers and animals. • Asoka grew medicinal herbs and attempted to provide medical care for all including animals.
A. The Mauryan Empire • The Decline of the Empire • With the death of Asoka in 232 B.C., the Mauryan Empire began its decline. The Empire lost vast amounts of land. • The decline of the Empire may have been due to the weakening of the economy or agriculture may have not been kept up with population growth. • The Gupta Empire replaced the Mauryan Empire.
B. The Gupta Empire • Main Idea: The Gupta Empire, which lasted for almost 300 years, marked a high point in Indian culture.
B. The Gupta Empire • Gupta Rule and Ruler • The Gupta Empire was divided into separate territories, governed by members of the royal family. • Chandragupta I, was the first of the great Gupta rulers. His marriage brought him fame, power, and more resources. • His son Samudragupta became king about A.D. 330. The decline of the Gupta Empire began during the reign of his son, Chandragupta II’s grandson, Skandagupta.
B. The Gupta Empire • Art and Architecture • The rulers of the Gupta Empire supported arts, architecture, mathematics, and science. Art expressed Hindu and Buddhist beliefs. • Gupta rulers built magnificent stone temples, these temples housed an image of a god. • Asoka built thousands of shrines used for worshiping or devotion.
B. The Gupta Empire • Literature • The Sanskrit language was the official language during the Gupta period. • India’s greatest Sanskrit poet was Kalidasa. He wrote a hundred-verse poem called The Cloud Messenger. • A collection of animal fables called the Panchatantra was well known in India.
B. The Gupta Empire • Advancement of knowledge • Science, medicine, and education flourished during the Gupta Empire. Gupta teachers formed the Empire’s great universities. • Indian culture was responsible for a number system with a decimal point and a zero. • Aryabhata, was one of the first to use Algebra. He also devised a decimal system of counting by tens.