subcontinent - large land mass that separates from the rest of the continent.
regulate - control according to set of rules
commercial - trade centers
artisans - craftworkers
inscriptions - written messages
urban planning - thoughtful design of a city
citadel - large fort like structures
granaries - grain storage buildings
assimilated - made a part of
monsoon - seasonal wind shift with heavy rain.
( India,Pakistan, and Bangladesh are all modern day India)
The Indus River tumbles from high mountain tops onto hot dry floodplain in present day Pakistan. Each spring for thousands of years, the Indus River has flooded leaving gravel, rocks, and sediment along banks. This left fertile soil for farmers.
Does this sound familiar? Did the Tigris and Euphrates river flood as well? What about the Nile. After the flooding, did these rivers leave a rich deposit of soil for farmers to plant .
The people made villages on mounds of mud. This was to protect them from flooding. Over time this civilization grew and became one of the earliest and largest civilizations. It was called the Harappan civilization named after the city of Harappa when it was discovered in 1920. Today we know these countries to be: Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India.
Harappa is one of at least eight important ancient cities and flourished in the Indus Valley. Other cities were: Mohenjo Daro and Lothal. All cities were trade centers.
The people of the Indus Valley traded with nearby farming villages (cotton, lumber, grain and livestock) Transportation: pack animals, river barges, animal drawn carts.
Artisans - produced decorative objects on: bones, shells and ivory (jewelry and game pieces)
copper and bronze - pots, pans, tools
baked mud instead of drying in sun to make bricks
silver - religious symbols, seals with inscriptions of drawings and animals.
Mohenjo - Daro - best known of the Indus cities. A true model of urban planning. T his city had strong government built city using a grid system. (streets crisscrossed the city)
Only wealthy families lived in houses - poor small mud huts
people showered by pouring water over themselves, left over water drained away in pipes. Had a trash collecting system at scheduled times outside near the street had a large bath house for bathing and religious ceremonies.
How did this civilization end? flooding, change of the course of river, natural disaster (earthquake or monsoon)
The Huang He Valley
Huang He - Yellow river (carries large amounts of loess , sandy yellow soil ) fertile loess deposited in the floodplain made the area perfect for farming.
Give great soil, but is also called China's sorrow (floods have brought death)
Yu the Great and the Great Flood is a famous Chinese legend. There was a time when the great flood covered much of the Huang He valley, even the hills, people could find no food anywhere. King Shun the ruler, ordered Yu (a government official) to try and control the flood. Yu organized the leaders and told them to cut channels to drain away the water to the sea (like irrigation channels) Yu worked for 13 years before he was able to bring the flood under control. King Shun was so
so impressed, he passed his throne on to Yu. Yu became known as Yu the great, a legendary ruler of China.
Myth or reality, some thought he really existed and ruled in the Xia (Syah) dynasty. Archaeologists however, have not found proof they existed. What do you think?
Founded by Tang the Successful ruled this dynasty for 600 years. They came to power by force. Shang had powerful army with great weapons. Shang people had many gods (nature gods) gods of: wind, rain, fire, north, south,etc. Their highest god was Shang Di "god on high" they thought he lived in the sky.
Shang believed deceased relatives could plead with the gods for them. They believed the spirits of their ancestors were wise
of the living. (Movie / Mulan - Mooshoo summoned up ancient spirits to help Mulan through her difficult task)
Oracle bones - first horoscope or magic 8 ball. Bones, shells used to answer questions about the future.
Early chinese writing - had characters or symbols that looks like today's writing. Shang characters are like Egyptian hieroglyphics. They started as pictographs, or drawings. They had over 3,000 characters.
Writing was different in various city states so everyone didn't understand the language. So they developed a standardized writing system. This system has not changed much through the years.
The Fall of the Shang
The Shang Dynasty lasted around 600 years. With 31 kings and going through 17 generations. Last ruler was a tyrant.
He had many cruel laws for slaves and poor people. The king favored the rich, and ignored the poor.
A tribe called the Zhou (Joh) attacked and overthrew the Shang. They said the Shang wasn't morally good enough and lacked virtues to rule. So the Mandate of Heaven became established. A ruler could only keep his right to rule as long as they were morally "good" and had virtue. If they were bad, they lost their right to rule.