Indus

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Indus

  1. 1. Indus Valley Civilization <ul><li>a Primary Phase Culture </li></ul><ul><li>little or no continuity with the following cultures </li></ul><ul><li>forgotten until the 19th Century </li></ul><ul><ul><li>rediscovered by the British, while building railroads </li></ul></ul>
  2. 2. Harappan society and its neighbors, ca. 2000 B.C.E.
  3. 3. Harappan Culture <ul><li>Indus valley </li></ul><ul><ul><li>not desert </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>well-watered and heavily forested </li></ul></ul><ul><li>500 miles along the river valley </li></ul><ul><ul><li>10-20 times larger than Mesopotamia or Egypt </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Foundations of Harappan Society <ul><li>The Indus River </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Silt-enriched water from mountain ranges </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Major society built by Dravidian peoples, 3000-2500 BCE </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cultivation of cotton before 5000 BCE, early cultivation of poultry </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Decline after 1900 BCE </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Major cities: Harrapa (Punjab region and Mohenjo-Daro (mouth of Indus River) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>70 smaller sites excavated (total 1,500) </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. India
  6. 6. Harappan culture sites
  7. 7. Hydraulic Culture <ul><li>like Egypt and Mesopotamia </li></ul><ul><li>agriculture and flood-control </li></ul><ul><li>significant industry and trade </li></ul><ul><li>cities very common </li></ul>
  8. 8. Lack of Sources <ul><li>literate culture </li></ul><ul><ul><li>we cannot read the writing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>writing on bricks and seals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>did not use paper or clay tablets </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. “ Unicorn” seal + writing
  10. 10. More seals
  11. 11. … and more seals...
  12. 12. Seated “yogi” : early Shiva?
  13. 13. Ancient Indus
  14. 14. Reasonable generalizations <ul><li>rapid development: early 2,000s B.C. </li></ul><ul><li>roughly contemporary with Egypt and Mesopotamia </li></ul><ul><li>early village culture </li></ul><ul><li>changing rapidly to urban civilization </li></ul>
  15. 15. Comparative Timeline
  16. 16. Generalizations, con’t <ul><li>cities dominated both economic and political activity </li></ul><ul><li>origins of the people are unclear </li></ul><ul><ul><li>similar to the Mediterranean type </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Major Cities <ul><li>Harappa and Mohenjo-daro </li></ul><ul><ul><li>surrounded by smaller cities, towns, and villages </li></ul></ul><ul><li>one situated in the north </li></ul><ul><li>one situated in the south </li></ul>
  18. 18. Mohenjo-Daro Ruins <ul><li>Population c. 40,000 </li></ul><ul><li>Regional center </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Layout, architecture suggests public purpose </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Broad streets, citadel, pool, sewage </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Standardized weights evident throughout region </li></ul><ul><li>Specialized labor </li></ul><ul><li>Trade </li></ul>
  19. 19. Cities, con’t <ul><li>uniform culture over a wide area </li></ul><ul><li>cities built on a common plan </li></ul><ul><ul><li>a grid: always NS and EW axes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>with twelve smaller grids </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>kiln-dried brick </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Grid map of Mohenjo-daro
  21. 21. Mohenjo-daro : aerial view
  22. 22. Mohenjo-daro view of the “Citadel”
  23. 23. The “Great Bath”
  24. 24. another view of the “Great Bath”
  25. 25. view of a small, side street
  26. 26. looks like a small tower, but actually it is a neighborhood well
  27. 27. A bathroom on a private residence
  28. 28. A public well in Harappa, or perhaps an ancient laundromat...
  29. 29. A large drain or sewer
  30. 30. Monumental architecture <ul><li>very-large scale building </li></ul><ul><li>walled cites, with fortified citadels </li></ul><ul><li>always on the same scale </li></ul><ul><li>palaces, temples </li></ul>
  31. 31. Architecture, con’t <ul><li>large grain storage facilities near temples </li></ul><ul><li>a theocracy ?? </li></ul><ul><li>planned economy </li></ul>
  32. 32. Harappan granary
  33. 33. Cities <ul><li>very densely populated </li></ul><ul><li>houses: two to three stories </li></ul><ul><li>every house is laid out the same </li></ul>
  34. 34. Culture and Society <ul><li>advanced agriculture </li></ul><ul><li>surplus production </li></ul><ul><li>textiles: wool and cotton </li></ul><ul><li>domesticated animals and fish </li></ul>
  35. 35. Bronze Age technology <ul><li>no swords </li></ul><ul><li>spears and bows </li></ul><ul><li>stone arrow heads </li></ul>
  36. 36. Society <ul><li>dominated by priests ? </li></ul><ul><li>from the fortified palaces and temples ? </li></ul><ul><li>power base: fertility ? </li></ul><ul><li>deities: male and female, both nude </li></ul><ul><li>bull worship and phallic symbols </li></ul>
  37. 37. A priest? A bull
  38. 38. Trade <ul><li>with lower Mesopotamia </li></ul><ul><li>but gradually declined </li></ul>
  39. 39. Decline <ul><li>domination of an indigenous people ? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>who rebelled ? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>foreign invasion? </li></ul><ul><li>gradual decline ? </li></ul>
  40. 40. Combination of Changes <ul><li>climate shift: the monsoon patterns </li></ul><ul><li>flooding </li></ul><ul><li>destruction of the forests </li></ul><ul><li>migrations of new peoples: the Aryans </li></ul>
  41. 41. The Aryan “Invasion” <ul><li>Aryans, lighter-skinned invaders from the north </li></ul><ul><li>Dravidians, darker-skinned sedentary inhabitants of Harappa </li></ul><ul><li>Color Bias </li></ul><ul><li>Socio-Economic Implications </li></ul><ul><li>Difficulty of theory: no evidence of large-scale military conquest </li></ul>
  42. 42. Possible route of the Aryan invasions
  43. 43. The Aryans <ul><li>not to be confused with Hitler’s “Aryans” </li></ul><ul><li>these Aryans speak an Indo-European dialect </li></ul><ul><li>related to other languages like Greek and Latin </li></ul>
  44. 44. The Aryans, con’t <ul><li>they called themselves “Aryans” </li></ul><ul><li>their land: “Aryavarta” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>land of the Aryans </li></ul></ul>
  45. 45. The Early Aryans <ul><li>Pastoral economy: sheep, goats, horses, cattle </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Vegetarianism not widespread until many centuries later </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Religious and Literary works: The Vedas </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sanskrit: sacred tongue </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prakrit: everyday language, evolved into Hindi, Urdu, Bengali </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Four Vedas, most important Rig Veda </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>1,028 hymms to gods </li></ul></ul></ul>
  46. 46. Gradual settlement <ul><li>over a long period of time </li></ul><ul><li>gradual infiltration </li></ul><ul><li>more primitive than the earlier culture </li></ul>
  47. 47. Settlement, con’t <ul><li>new society by 1,200 B.C. or so </li></ul><ul><li>little evidence </li></ul><ul><li>not literate </li></ul><ul><li>no record system </li></ul>
  48. 48. Oral Tradition <ul><li>passed down from priests and singers </li></ul><ul><li>written down in the 500’s </li></ul><ul><li>The Vedas </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“Veda” means “knowledge” </li></ul></ul>
  49. 49. The Vedas <ul><li>our primary source </li></ul><ul><ul><li>early Aryan tradition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>later Hindu religion </li></ul></ul><ul><li>four “vedas” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>the Rig Veda is the oldest </li></ul></ul>
  50. 50. Krishna with Arjuna on the battlefield of Kuruksketra 2 points to the first person who can tell whether this is a modern or ancient painting and why?
  51. 51. Krishna reveals himself to Arjuna in his manifold aspects
  52. 52. The Vedas <ul><li>oral poetry </li></ul><ul><li>come to have a sacred character </li></ul><ul><li>provide some historical information </li></ul>
  53. 53. The Aryans <ul><li>restless, warlike people </li></ul><ul><li>tall, blue-eyed, fair-skinned </li></ul><ul><li>describe the indigenous population as </li></ul><ul><ul><li>short, “black”, noseless, and slaves </li></ul></ul>
  54. 54. The Aryans, con’t <ul><li>villages and kingdoms constantly fighting </li></ul><ul><li>warchiefs and kings </li></ul><ul><li>aristocrats and freemen </li></ul>
  55. 55. The Aryans, con’t <ul><li>fond of fighting, drinking, chariot racing, gambling chasing women and bragging about their spears </li></ul><ul><ul><li>any modern comparisons ??? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>fond of taking soma </li></ul><ul><ul><li>a psychedelic drug </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>probably psychotropic mushrooms </li></ul></ul>
  56. 56. Aryans and Hindus <ul><li>Aryans give rise to Hindu society </li></ul><ul><li>but different characteristics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>cows: they ate them </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>classes, but no castes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>priests subordinate to the nobility </li></ul></ul><ul><li>the Mahabharata </li></ul>
  57. 57. The Iron Age: new sources <ul><li>the Vedas : passed on orally </li></ul><ul><li>the Brahamanas: interpretations on the Vedas </li></ul><ul><li>the Upanishads: interpretations and symbolic studies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>forerunners of later dissenting literature </li></ul></ul>
  58. 58. Strain of change <ul><li>Iron Age change causes strain on the class system </li></ul><ul><li>blurring of lines between Aryans and Daas </li></ul><ul><ul><li>answered with the caste system </li></ul></ul>
  59. 59. Caste System, 1000 BC <ul><li>skin color </li></ul><ul><li>ritual purity </li></ul><ul><li>“Us--Them” feelings </li></ul><ul><li>divine order of four castes </li></ul>
  60. 60. Caste System (“Varnas”) <ul><li>Brahmins : the priests </li></ul><ul><li>Kshatriyas : the warriors </li></ul><ul><li>Vaisyas : merchants and peasants </li></ul><ul><li>Sudras : non-Aryans </li></ul>
  61. 61. Caste system, con’t <ul><li>produced by Brahmins </li></ul><ul><li>literature emphasized the divine order </li></ul><ul><li>hierarchical relationship </li></ul><ul><li>inheritance and marriage </li></ul>
  62. 62. Caste system in practice <ul><li>warrior class did not always accept it </li></ul><ul><li>nor the other classes </li></ul><ul><li>the process of evolution is still going on </li></ul><ul><li>the most powerful organizer of Indian society </li></ul><ul><ul><li>thousand of castes today </li></ul></ul>
  63. 63. Castes <ul><li>define a person’s social universe </li></ul><ul><li>define a person’s standard of conduct </li></ul><ul><li>define a person’s expectations </li></ul><ul><li>define a person’s future </li></ul><ul><li>define how a person deals with others </li></ul>
  64. 64. Books you can read, if you read <ul><li>Bridget and Raymond Allchin. The Rise of Civilization in India and Pakistan. </li></ul><ul><li>A.L. Basham. The Wonder That Was India. </li></ul><ul><li>Walter A. Fairservis. The Roots of Indian Tradition </li></ul><ul><li>Jonathana Mark Kenoyer. Ancient Cities of the Indus Valley Civilization </li></ul><ul><li>Juan Mascaro, trans. The Upanishads </li></ul><ul><li>Stuart Piggott. Prehistoric India </li></ul><ul><li>Romila Thapar. A History of India </li></ul><ul><li>Romila Thapar. Recent Perspectives of Early Indian History </li></ul>

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