Objectives: Examine ancient Indus
Valley Civilization
DO NOW: WHAT ARE THE
CORNERSTONES OF CIVILIZATION
INDUS VALLEY CIVILIZATION
Indus Valley Civilization
 Many cities existed but
we will focus on:
 Mohenjo Daro
 Harappa
 Which countries does the
Indus Valley Civilization Lie
Within?
Harappa: (Another Name of the
Civilization)
Comparative Timeline
 For timeline
purposes=2500BCE
 Early Harappa
 3300-2800BCE
 Mature Harappa
 2500BCE
 Late Harappa
 Through 1700BCE
The Gateway to Harappa
The Story According to the
Experts
 Harappa (Indus Valley)
Civilization
 Settled in the Indus
River Valley
 Developed efficient
agricultural methods
 Cities built near
irrigation systems
 System of writing (seals
have been found)
 Never deciphered
Life Giving Floods
 Farmers planted after the floods in mid to
late summer and harvested in spring before
drought.
 Wheat, barley and other crops provided food.
Goats were also domesticated
 Stone walls (citadels) were erected to stop
violent floods. These walls became the walls
of densely populated cities.
Harappa
Mohenjo Daro
Cities
 Well planned
 Straight streets laid out in grid pattern to
facilitate easy movement
 Houses were well built and protected
 Huge citadels protected the cities from floods
 Hygiene was seen as important so the cities
were clean.
Citadel of Mohenjo Daro
Indoor Plumbing
 Cities pumped
water from
reservoirs and wells
into houses.
 Working plumbing
drained from
houses to central
locations in the
cities
 This helped keep
cities clean
Trading
Extensive trading took place
 Single mast small vessels were built
 Metals, pottery and beads were traded
 Internal trade was established
 Food and Ornamental Objects
Government and
System of Weights and Measures
 Municipal governments
provided order to the
settlements
 They established an amazingly
accurate system of weights and
measures that facilitated trade
and provided a foundation for
accurate architectural planning
Legacy
 One of the most advanced civilizations of the
period.
 Declined in 1700BCE
 Probably due to invaders and the cooling and
drying of the land. The rivers began diverting and
drying.
1700bc—Declined due to
 climate shift: the monsoon patterns
 Flooding
 destruction of the forests
 migrations of new peoples: the Aryans
The Aryans
 Not to be confused with Hitler’s “Aryans”
 These Aryans speak an Indo-European dialect
 Related to other languages like Greek and
Latin
The Aryan “Invasion”
 Aryans, lighter-skinned invaders from the north
 Dravidians, darker-skinned sedentary inhabitants of
Harappa
 Color Bias
 Socio-Economic Implications
 Implications of Theory?
The Aryans
 Restless, warlike
people
 Tall, blue-eyed, fairskinned
 Describe the
indigenous population
as

short, “black”, noseless,
and slaves
 villages and kingdoms
constantly fighting
 war chiefs and kings
 aristocrats and
freemen
Possible route of the Aryan invasions
The Aryans
 They called
themselves
“Aryans”
 Their land:
“Aryavarta”

land of the
Aryans
The Early Aryans
 Pastoral economy: sheep, goats,
horses, cattle
 Vegetarianism not widespread until many
centuries later
 Religious and Literary works: The
Vedas
 Sanskrit: Sacred tongue
 Prakrit: Everyday language, evolved into
Hindi, Urdu, Bengali
 Four Vedas, most important Rig Veda
 1,028 hymns to gods
Oral Tradition
 Passed down from priests and singers
 Written down in the 500’s
 The Vedas

“Veda” means “knowledge”
The Vedas
 Our primary source


early Aryan tradition
later Hindu religion
 4 “Vedas”=Literary works=foundation of
Hinduism

the Rig Veda is the oldest
Varna=Caste
 There are 4 castes




Brahmin– Priests and teachers
Kshatriya– Warriors and Nobility
Vaishya– Merchants and Agriculturalists
Shudra– Servants and Labor
 Panchama=Dalits, Untouchables or Outcastes
 More recently referred to as Harijans by Gandhi
Subcaste/Jati
 Jati refers to a subcaste system
 Members of Jati are linked to the group
economically.
 Determines who a person can exchange food with
 Most importantly, it determines who you can
marry.
 Sanskritization– The ability to change jati.
 Act like a Jati above your own—
 Marry into that Jati
How did this take shape?
No universally accepted theory
 Aryan Invasion– Aryans put themselves on
top and it developed from there
 Vedas make little mention of Varna
 Bhagavad Gita and the Manusmriti– Varna
Originated from god
 Marry within caste and
usually within Jati
 Usually arranged
marriages but children
are often allowed input
 Very important
celebration that may
last up to 3 days.
 Couple takes 7 steps
around flames to bond
themselves together for
life
 Diet, Clothing and
Employment
Life in the
Caste System
So What




Negative
Social stratification
Unemployment
Human Rights?
Constitution Outlaws
Caste System





Positive
Provides structure and
stability
It is the traditional way
of life
Falls in line with Hindu
beliefs of Samsara,
Karma and Dharma
Determines Identity
Creates a Community of
Support
Sanskrit




The earliest of the ancient languages
The language of the Vedas
Only studied by the upper castes
Used mostly in religious rituals
Temples, Symbols and Holidays
 Temples were not
important early but
are now more
common
 Some important
symbols
 Om or Aum– Is a
symbol and a sound
of Brahman (god)
often used in
 Diwali- Hindu New
Year
 Holi- Spring
celebration– the
coming of Krishna
Hindu Trinity
Other Gods
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Indus Valley Civilization