Published on March 9, 2014
History of Civilization V. ANCIENT INDIA
TOPICS Indus Valley The Harappan Civilization Mohenjo-Daro and other cities Harappan Collapse and the Migration of Aryans Vedas and Emergence of Hinduism
3500 3000 2500 2000 Hatshepsut, Thutmose III Late Harappan Cemetery H 1500 1353 – 1323 BCE Amarna period Suppiluliuma I dies 1322 BCE 1279 – 1213 BCE Ramses II Hattusa destroyed ca. 1200 BCE 1479 BCE ca. 1531 BCE Mursili I sacks Babylon Mature Harappan Indus Valley Civilization ca. 1700 BCE Hammurabi ca. 1850 BCE Senusreth III ca. 2100 BCE Epic of Gilgamesh recorded ca. 2240 BCE Sargon Early Harappan ca. 2500 BCE Troy founded ca. 2580 BCE Khufu Invention of writing Mehrgarh ca. 3200 before 3300 BCE: early Uruk in Sumer ca. 3300 BCE the Flood ? CHRONOLOGY Harappan Early: Regionalization Mature: Integration Late: Localization Aryans move in Vedic 1000 BCE
MEHRGARH Neolithic culture Farming Sheep Wheat Barley Goats Cattle Ornaments Beads, Figurines Pottery Mud-brick farming village Periods: Earliest proto-dentistry Pre-cursor of Indus Valley Civilization I : Aceramic 7000 – 5500 BCE II, III : Ceramic, chalcolithic 5500 – 3500 BCE IV – VI 3500 – 3000 BCE
INDUS VALLEY: HARAPPAN CULTURE सिन्धु “Sim”+ “Dhu” → Body of trembling(water) (Sanskrit) Sindhu (Indus) Indus Valley: a cradle of civilization larger than its contemporaries High degree of uniformity across remote sites and multiple cities Many finds since 1920s are unexcavated, the script is not deciphered
MERCHANT CITIES Regular rectilinear layout Standardized fired and mortared bricks Mud-brick and wooden superstructures Outstanding hydraulic engineering: water supply, wells, baths, drains Some buildings had more than one floor Same weights and measures used in all settlements Dyer’s workshop in Mohenjo-Daro Small weights, binary graduated
MOHENJO-DARO One of the largest cities of ancient Indus civilization (est. ~40K inhabitants) One of the earliest known major urban centers of Bronze Age Site name means “Mound of the Dead” (Sindhi) Discovered in 1922 Stood above the flood plain Parts: Citadel, Lower city Periods: Regionalization 3500 – 2600 BCE Integration 2600 – 1900 BCE Localization 1900 – 1600 BCE
HARAPPA Urban center dominated Upper Indus valley Some 600 km from Mohenjo-Daro, close to Ravi river Built layers became mounds Excavated since 1920 ~24K inhabitants on 100 ha Great halls that might be or might not be granaries
LOTHAL Harappans created planned town and port after the earlier village was destroyed by flood ca. 2350 BCE Acropolis, bead factory World’s first known naval dock Dockyard solved problems of tides and river silt deposition Advanced tools (saws, drills) Refined copper
DHOLAVIRA Inhabited between 2650 and 1450 BCE Earliest found water conservation system Water reservoir with steps “Dholavira Signboard”
COMMON FEATURES Absence of clear social stratification Main urban dwellers: No wealth concentration No great disparity in burials No palaces or houses of nobility Tradesmen Merchants High level of urban planning Clusters of large non-residential More questions than answers buildings and sites
HARAPPAN ART Burial pottery Harappa, terracotta Figurines, seals Beads Exported to Mesopotamia Same technology as today “Dancing girl” Mohenjo-Daro, bronze “Priest-king” Mohenjo-Daro, soapstone
HARAPPAN RELIGION Great Mother Goddess Great Male Deity Diversity Procreator Master of Animals Lothal: Fire god, Sea goddess Sacrifices Animals Trees “Pashupathi Seal” Mohenjo-Daro, steatite, ca. 2600 – 1900 BCE Pashu pathi → Details uncertain Probably not proto-Hinduism पशपतिनाथ ु Animal Protector (Sanskrit)
INDUS SCRIPT More than 3700 seals and hundreds of inscriptions Earliest finds date around 3300 – 3200 BCE Systematic use ceased after 1900 BCE Possible evolution from pictorial to some 400 abstract signs No reliable decipherment Underlying language not identified Absence of documents per se No bilingual inscription
THE MERCHANTS Indus Valley exports: Ebony Lapis lazuli Sesame oil Transport Pack animals Boats Carts From coastal trade to links between civilizations Toy cart, Nausharo, ca. 2300 BCE Multiple finds in Mesopotamia: Harappan weights, measures Beads and luxuries
LATE HARAPPAN From 1900 BCE – 1700 BCE to ca. 1300 BCE: Decline Ruins of Mohenjo-Daro Cities abandoned Most of the urban settlements (probably hundreds of cities) were in ruins by 1500 BCE “Localization” meant population continued in farming villages Possible causes Draught Climate change Decline of trade Foreign invasion Urban decay
“CEMETERY H” CULTURE Named after “Area H” in archaeological digs in Harappa Geographical scope: Eastward shift Features Distinct style of pottery Cremation of deceased Transition to rice farming Red ware instead of faience Overlapping the area of archaeological finds with geography of rivers named in Rigveda Aryans move in Invasion or takeover? Evidence of conflict?
INDOEUROPEAN LANGUAGES Centum & Satem Contemporary map
PROTO-INDO-EUROPEANS Indo-Europeans Urheimat → “The ultimate homeland” (German) Proto-IndoEuropean language and place of origin “Out of India”? Georges Dumézil 1898 – 1986 Nostratic language? Schleicher’s fable (1868) “h₂óuis h₁éḱuōs-kʷe” ̯ ̯ Odin, Thor, Freyr Trifunctional division Swastika seals from Indus valley (British Museum) Sacral (sovereignty) Martial (military) Economic (productivity)
INDO-ARYAN MIGRATION The oldest literature Substrata in Vedic Sanskrit Rigveda (1st wave, Indian) Avesta (2nd wave, Iranian) Harappan Dravidian Arya → आर्य Noble (Sanskrit) Kurgan → Mound (Turkic) Mittani connection: Kurgan hypothesis Mittani under Shaushtatar
Rg veda → RIGVEDA ऋग्वेद Knowledge of Praise Sacred collection of (Sanskrit) Sanskrit hymns The oldest of four canonical Vedas of Hinduism Oldest extant text in any Indo-European language Started in oral form between 1700 BCE and 1100 BCE after Indo-Iranian separation Extant version based on collection ca. 1100 BCE, ten mandalas structured as Mandala / sukta / pada : = book / hymn / stanza Location: Punjab ? “No tigers, no rice, no cotton”
VEDIC DEITIES Deva → दे व Deity (Sanskrit) Aditi (अदिति = "limitless ") Infinite celestial source Space and Speech Synthesis of all things Aditi Aditi Aditi Aditi is the sky is the air is all gods ... is the Mother, the Father, and Son Aditi is whatever shall be born Rig Veda, I.89.10 Asura → असर ु Non-godly (deity), = demon 7 sons, Adityas perfect celestial deities: Mitra Aryaman Bhaga Varuna Anśa Dhatri Indra Indra 289 Agni 218 Soma 123 Vishvadevas 70 the Aśvins 56 Varuna 46
INDRA इन्र Supreme ruler of the gods God of thunder Leader of devas Chief hero, Slayer of Vritra ? Possible / disputed interpretation: hero of the conquest of Indus valley (and defeat of Harappans) ? Indra on Airavata
VARUNA वरुण Oldest of Adityas Twin brother of Mitra Solar deity Master of truth Supreme keeper of order Planet Venus Rtam → ऋिं Order, Truth Varuna on Makara In Hinduism – Varuna is less important than Vishnu or Shiva Focus is not on Rta but on Satya, Dharma, and Karma
AGNI AND SOMA Agni I laud, the high priest, god, minister of sacrifice, The invoker, lavishest of wealth. Fire and acceptor of sacrifices Faces: Life and Immortality िोम अग्नि Goddess, Plant, and Energy Drink Haoma in Avesta Botanical identity unclear Cf. Brave New World
ANGIRAS & RECOVERY OF STOLEN COWS Sarama (dawn) Panis (darkness) Quick-footed and beloved, traveler and seeker… Knowing path of the Truth Deva-shuni = Divine bitch Demons and misers Kidnapped the cows (rays of light? rain clouds?) Saptarishi (seven sages) Hearers Big dipper Angiras Rishi (sage) who heard most of Atharva Veda Ancestor of Humans
FOUR VEDAS Rig Veda – mantras Sama Veda – songs Yajur Veda – rituals Atharva Veda – spells Society: Pastoralist and egalitarian Limited property Some trade exchanges Patriarchal community War and slavery Yajna ritual worships More than 400 in Vedas 21 are compulsory Chanting of mantras Pouring of herbal oblations into ritual fire
NON-RELIGIOUS VEDIC POEMS Danastuti hymns Songs of victory Praise of generosity Poetry of gratitude Work song – satire on human desires Song of the Gambler Penitence of sinner Loss of happiness Good life of others Yearning for new beginning Vedanga, “limbs of Veda” Six auxiliary disciplines Other texts from Vedic times Anatomy and medicine Numbers and math
EVOLUTION OF HINDUISM Brahmanas are commentaries on Vedas Each Vedic school had own Brahmana Mantras are considered to have infallible power Brahman means real truth Upanishad → उपतिषि ् “Sitting down near” Brahman is real, world is unreal Upanishads are texts containing revealed truth Product of later Vedic religion Earliest emergence of canon and central concepts of Hinduism Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva
EARLY MAHA JANAPADAS Later Vedic period: 1000 – 500 BCE Transition: from semi-nomadic to settled agriculture from tribes to kingdoms Emergence of hierarchy Urbanization Codification of Sanskrit Panchala becomes focus of tribal confederation Maha Jana Pada = “Great Tribe Foothold”
END OF VEDIC PERIOD Ascendance of king instead of rajan and tribal council Development of agriculture Division into social groups Use of iron implements Rishikesh: Upper Ganges Development of Hinduism Birth of Mahavira Birth of Siddhartha Gautama Sanskrit grammar by Panini Great Sanskrit epics composed: Panchala: Rice fields Mahabharata Ramayana
SUMMARY Indus valley was a cradle of civilization claiming multiple firsts in human history Indo-Aryan tribes migrated into Northern India and developed sacred texts of Vedas Vedic culture evolved and became foundation of Hindu tradition
IN THE NEXT CHAPTER: Yellow River Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors Bronze Age in Far East Xia Dynasty Shang Dynasty Red River valley and Ancient Vietnam From Shang to Zhou
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