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Indus River Civilizations

Indus River Civilizations



Describe Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro

Describe Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro



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    Indus River Civilizations Indus River Civilizations Presentation Transcript

    • Indus River Civilizations A Peaceable Kingdom?
    • Introduction to the Region
      • Indus River is located in today’s Pakistan
      • River rises in snow-capped Himalayas
      • Descends through Kashmir
      • Flows through Pakistani plains
      • Spring runoff
      • Floods the plains
      • Leave silt, a soil soft enough to turn without aid of plows
    • Neolithic Along the Indus
      • Mehrgarh
      • Villages formed around 6000 BC
      • Primary domesticates
      • Western Asiatic wheat
      • Animals native to the area
      • Zebu cattle (humped back)
      • Goats
      • Water buffalo
      • Trade routes in evidence even then
      • Linked Mesopotamia with Indus region
      • Became main routes with Harappan civilizations
    • Early Villages: 3200-2600 BC
      • Small villages with a few acres of land
      • Society: egalitarian
      • Enjoyed fertile, well-watered soils
      • Lacked metal ores
      • Trade soon developed
      • Baluchi Highlands: metals, semiprecious stones, timber
      • Symbiosis developed between Baluchistan and lowlanders (trade and also transhumance)
      • May have led to development of complex societies along Indus
    • Harappan Civilization (2700-1700 BC)
      • Trade with Sumeria may have contributed to Harappan growth
      • Sumeria expanded trade with Meluhha, probably in the Indus region
      • Through Dilmun, on island of Bahrain at the Persian Gulf
      • Items obtained from Meluhha: ivory, wool, cloth, leather, oils, cedar, and cereals
      • Others claim that Harappan civilization developed independently
    • Harappan Civilization: Cities
      • There were five cities, best know of which were
      • Harappa: namesake of the civilization
      • Mohenjo-Daro
      • Cities were known for their
      • Planned neighborhoods with grid pattern
      • Sophisticated drainage system (most had indoor bathrooms with sewage system)
      • Communal granaries
      • Bathhouses
      • Citadels or great structures (palaces, temples, granaries) built on hills (Left)
      • Population: 35,000 or more each
    • Harappan Civilization: Surrounding Regions
      • Hundreds of farming communities for each city
      • Comprising territory of 300,000 miles square (775,000 km square)
      • Other cities beyond region
      • Lothai: similar urban planning
      • Shortugai: a mining settlement (source of lapis lazuli) 621 mi east of Indus
    • Harappan Civilization: Public Urban Design
      • Primary source: Jane McIntosh A Peaceful Realm
      • Uniform design for Harappa, Mohenjo-Daro, and Kalibangan
      • Dominated by a citadel raised on a mud brick platform in western edge of city
      • Surrounded by large granaries, bathhouses, and other public buildings
      • Encompassed by a monumental wall
      • Residential areas spread out on eastern side
    • Harappan Civilization Residential Urban Design
      • Planning made well in advance of growth
      • Bricks for houses were standard size in 1:2:4 proportions (e.g. 7 X 14 X 28 cm)
      • Alignment of roads were laid out in precise grids of parallel and perpendicular routes
      • Streets comprised broad thoroughfares, separated by secondary streets, separated by narrow pathways leading to residences
    • Harappan Civilization: Economy
      • A standard of weights and measures was established.
      • Sections of cities were blocked off for craft specialists
      • Potters --Flint workers
      • Metal workers --Brick makers
      • Shell workers --Ivory carvers
      • Textile workers –Shell workers
      • Precious stone workers
      • Wood workers --Seal makers
      • Other workshops, such as bakeries and bead manufacturers
    • Harappan Civilization: Trade
      • Imported exotic raw materials
      • Gold --Lead
      • Lapis lazuli --Turquoise
      • Alabaster --Amethyst
      • Agate --Carnelian
      • Chalcedony
      • Exported finely finished goods
      • Harappan seals found in Sumeria
      • Bahrain was the transshipping point
    • Harappan Civilization: Political and Social Organization
      • Political organization was tight and centralized
      • Dwellings varied considerably
      • From mansion with several rooms and courtyards
      • To single-room apartments
      • Despite stratification,
      • Names of rulers are unknown
      • No lavish displays of wealth
      • No evidence of bombastic rulers boasting of their deeds on monument walls
    • Harappan Civilization: Militarism or Lack Thereof
      • McIntosh’s title Peaceful Realm summarizes the lack of militaristic evidence
      • No evidence of major defensive works around Indus cities or villages
      • No weaponry in the artifact assemblages
      • No cemeteries with skeletons reflecting war-related wounds
      • Art reflected a priestly class (upper left) and possibly fertility (lower left)
      • A remarkable exception to the general pattern of civilization: development via imperialistic war
    • Harappan Civilization: Writing
      • Writing is yet to be deciphered, so we know less than we otherwise might
      • 400 different pictographic symbols have been identified
      • Scholars agree they might be a mixture of sounds and concepts
      • But differ on what the common language was, or if there were more than one
      • Other depictions suggest forerunners to Hinduism
      • Seals depict three headed figure in yogic position
      • Surrounded by tigers, water buffalo, elephants, and other indigenous fauna
      • This figure may be Shiva, Lord of Beasts
      • Other seals depict cattle, symbol of Shiva
    • Causes of Decline
      • Possibly a major river, the Ghaggar-Hakra River, shifted, forcing the population to move elsewhere
      • Other Probable Factors
      • Shift in major trade routes
      • Deforestation and soil erosion
      • Flooding of the Indus River
    • Post-Harappan South Asia (1700-180 BC)
      • Population moved to the Ganges
      • Rice replaced wheat and barley
      • Iron technology emerged
      • 16 kingdoms later developed along the Ganges
      • Classic period of South Asia began
      • Brahmin religion
      • Buddhism also developed and spread
      • Invasion of outside powers
      • Darius of Persia incorporated Indus region to the Persian empire in 516 BC
      • Alexander the Great came along two centuries later, failed to conquer all of India
      • Mauryan Empire developed from vacuum and dominated India from ca 300 BC to 185 BC; sway extended from Nepal to Daccan region
    • Conclusion
      • Similarities with Other Civilizations:
      • High-yield subsistence base, supported by irrigation
      • Centralized authority with stratification
      • Presence of writing
      • Differences from Other Civilizations:
      • No evidence of extreme stratification
      • No evidence of warfare
      • Highly planned urban society
      • Standardized economy