Background:Indus Valley Civilization Grew in fertile river valley Largest of the world’s early civilizations Lasted about 1,000 years from 2500 B.C. to 1500 B.C.
Planned Cities Archaeologists have excavated several cities along the Indus River and Arabian Coast, such as the cities of Harappa and Mohenjo- Daro. Each city was carefully laid out with: Straight streets A walled fortress to protect city Warehouses to hold food supplies Had separate districts for home and public buildings This level of urban planning suggests that the government was well organized Archaeologists think that the cities of Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro were built as capitals of a strong empire Lie 350 miles apart Other towns were in between
Farming and trade Rulers of the Indus Valley civilization collected taxes in the form of food Most people were farmers They grew barley, wheat, peas, and sesame Had cattle, sheep, goats and water buffalo Probably the first people to grow cotton and domesticate, or tame, chickens Merchants of the Indus Valley civilization traded with people of the Middle East. Through trade, ideas passed back and forth
Unsolved Puzzles Hundreds of small clay seals were found in the Middle East Archaeologists state that they came from the Indus Valley. Pictographic writing and figures of animals were carved on the seals Scholars have been unable to decipher, or determine the meaning, of the writing Deciphering this ancient script might help us learn about the religion of the Indus Valley. Statues of women have been found that suggest people worshipped a mother goddess. Other statues suggest animals had a religious importance This idea influence later civilizations
Decline of Indus Valley Civilization No one knows for sure what caused the decline By about 2000 B.C., the cities showed signs of decay Towns were abandoned Broken streets Homes were divided into small tenement-like apartments Until recently scholars thought that the Indus Valley was conquered by invaders New evidence suggests that the decline was originally due to natural causes Climate was too dry to support farming so people went hungry Indus River changed course which affected food production Soil exhaustion due to extensive years of farming Floods People migrated to other parts of the Indian Subcontinent Scholars think the Dravidian people, who now live in southern India, may be descendents from the Indus Valley civilization.
Aryan Civilization The Aryans spread out across the northern plains- most of the information we know about them comes from the Vedas, which are oral religious traditions; hymns, prayers and ceremony rituals Vedas today are still part of Indian life Religious Beliefs - Aryans developed a written language called Sanskrit and their religious oral traditions were written down - Aryans worshipped many gods >the most important was Indra, a warrior god- he had many positive characteristics >the god Varuna governed the workings of the universe and punished sinners - Aryan worship centered around sacrifices which they believed if they were generous enough and offered correctly, the gods would reward them with wealth, healthy children, long life and success in war
Villages Aryans were both farmers and herders and they placed great value on cattle People measured wealth in terms of cattle - the Vedas compared the Earth to a cow, rain is like the cow’s milk and the sun is calf Rajahs, or hereditary chiefs, ruled villages - a council of warriors assisted the Rajah - the chief priest also held great power and carried out sacrifices to the gods Social Classes Aryans divided people into four social classes, called varna Social Class Brahmans - at the top of society; included priests Kshatriyas – warriors Vaisyas – landowners, merchants, and herders Sudras – servants and peasants who waited on others Over time, the social classes of the Aryans developed into a more rigid system of caste; social groups based on birth
Arrival of the Aryans The arrival of the nomadic and warlike people, the Aryans, contributed to the collapse of the Indus Valley The Aryans came to India through the Hindu Kush Mountains from the Caucascus Mountains They came in contact with the Middle East and learned how to make iron tools and weapons The Aryan migration took hundreds of years - they overran the towns and cities of the Indus valley with their weapons and horse-drawn war chariots Over time, the Aryans absorbed ideas from the Indus valley civilization
Ancient Animals of India Mostly inhabited the prehistoric Indo-Gangetic plains and Deccan plateau 15 species of elephant-like creatures -Gomphotheres: boar-sized elephants with tusks on upper and lower jaw and no trunk -Mastodons: similar to the Gomphotheres but 10 ft. tall -Stedodonganesa: closely resembles the present day elephant -In north India lived the largest creature ever to live -Baluchiterium: stood 18 ft. all, weighed as much as five modern day elephants, however he was harmless Smilodori: large, muscular cat with saber-like teeth -One of the most dangerous and vicious predators Parasuchus: fresh water crocodile that grew to lengths of 30 ft, maintained 30 sharp teeth, and came on land to hunt animals in the open plains
India One Million Years Ago Wandering men and woman settled on the plains -Lived in caves where they painted scenes from their hunts -Hunted bison and pigs -Used stone tools to skin their prey Himalayas stood as the largest barrier Secrets of agriculture were discovered near rivers such as Karnataka and the Narmada Valley Acquired the skill of grinding and polishing stone implements to make sickles and axes Wove baskets and created pots from clay
Early Indian Civilizations Most famous ancient cities of India: -Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa Located in the Indus River Valleys, the cities were divided by 350 miles Communicated through a river boat system The streets of the cities were laid out in a grid Courtyards surrounded the houses of the wealth Advanced drainage and water supply systems supported the people System of language united the people -remains un-deciphered till today Discovered cotton and the taming of the jungle fowl (chicken) Traded extensively with the Persian Gulf at the mouth of the Indus Maintained extremely peaceful relations