Early Civilization in India

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Information about Early Civilization in India

Published on December 23, 2008

Author: aSGuest7937

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Words of the Week : Words of the Week incarcerate:  put in prison; jail; confine isotope: the form of a element with the same number of protons but a different number of neutrons monarchy: supreme power or sovereignty held by a single person Early Civilization in India : Early Civilization in India Chapter 3 Section 1 The Land of India : The Land of India India is a land of diversity Today, about 110 languages and more than 1,000 varieties of languages are spoken in India The Indian Subcontinent shaped like a triangle hanging from the southern ridge of Asia, is composed of a number of core regions, including mountain ranges, river valleys & a dry interior plateau The Land of India : The Land of India In the far North are the Himalaya The highest mountains in the world To the South of the Himalaya is the rich river valley of the Ganges River South of India’s Ganges River lies the Deccan Plateau The Interior of the plateau is relatively hilly and dry The Land of India : The Land of India The primary feature of India’s climate is the monsoon, a seasonal wind pattern in southern Asia In the summer a monsoon blows warm moist air from the southwest The southwest monsoon brings heavy rains, and throughout history Indian farmers have depended on these crops If these monsoon came to early, to late, or if the rainfall was too much, or too little then crops are destroyed and thousands starve. In the winter a monsoon blows cold dry air from the northeast India’s First Civilization : India’s First Civilization As in Mesopotamia and Egypt, early civilization in India and China emerged in river valleys The valleys of the Indus River valley of the River supported a flourishing civilization that extended hundreds of miles from the Himalayas to the coast of the Arabian Sea India’s First Civilization : India’s First Civilization Archeologists have more than a thousand settlements in the region Two of the major cities we are going to discuss are: Harappa Mohenjo-Daro Harappa & Mohenjo-Doro : Harappa & Mohenjo-Doro At its height, Harappa had 35,000 inhabitants Mohenjo-Daro had perhaps 35,000 to 40,000 Both cities were planned carefully Most buildings were constructed of mud bricks baked in oven and were square, forming a grid pattern Public wells provided a regular supply of water for all the inhabitants Rulers and the Economy : Rulers and the Economy As in Egypt and Mesopotamia, Harappan rulers based their power on a belief in divine assistance Also like those in Egypt and Mesopotamia, Harappan economy was based primarily on farming The Indus river flooded every year, providing rich soil for the growing of wheat, barely, and peas This Indus Valley civilization also traded with the city-states in Mesopotamia The Arrival of the Aryans : The Arrival of the Aryans Around 1500 BC a group of nomadic peoples known as the Aryans moved out of their homeland in central Asia They moved south into northern India and conquered the Harappans and created a new Indian society based on Aryan culture and institutions Aryan Ways of life : Aryan Ways of life Aryans were a pastoral nomadic people with a strong warrior tradition After settling in India, the Aryans gave up there nomadic ways for regular farming The introduction of Iron led to this change The use of the iron plow along with the use of irrigation made it possible for the people to clear the dense jungle growth and turn it into a rich farming area Aryan Ways of life : Aryan Ways of life The Aryans developed their first writing system known as Sanskrit This enabled them to write down the legends and religious chants and rituals that had previously been passed down from generation to generation The early writings of the Aryans revealed that India was a world of warring kingdoms and shifting alliances Various Aryan leaders known as rajas (princes) carved out small states and attacked one another’s fortresses and seized women, cattle, and treasure Society in Ancient India : Society in Ancient India The conquest by the Aryans had a lasting impact on Indian Society Out of the clash between conqueror and conquered came a set of social divisions that has lasted in India, with only minor changes to this present day The Caste System : The Caste System The caste system of ancient India was a set of rigid social categories that determined not only a persons occupation and economic potential, but also his or her position in society It was based on part on skin color The Aryan invaders looked down on their subjects who were dark skinned, despite the fact that the civilization of the dark skinned inhabitants of the Indus Valley was much more advanced than the Aryan Civilization The Caste System : The Caste System There were 5 major divisions of Indian classes (known castes in English) At the top were two castes that were clearly the ruling elites in Aryan Society: Priests Warriors The Caste System : The Caste System The priestly class known as Brahmans were considered at the top The second caste was the Kshatriyas, or warriors The third caste was in Indian Society was the Vaisyas, or commoners Most Vaisyas were merchants who engaged in commerce or farmers caring for the land The Caste System : The Caste System The fourth level in the caste system was the Sudras, who made a great bulk of the Indian population The Sudras were not Aryans, and the term “Sudras” probably referred to conquered dark skinned natives Most Sudras were peasants and people who worked at other forms of manual labor The Caste System : The Caste System At the lowest level of Indian society – and in fact not even considered as a part of the caste system were the Untouchables The Untouchables were given degrading tasks such as collecting trash and handling dead bodies They made up of about 5 percent of ancient India The Caste System : The Caste System The untouchables were not even considered human, and there very presence was considered harmful to the members of other classes No Indian would touch or eat food handled by an Untouchable Untouchables lived in separate areas than the rest of the population When they traveled outside their areas, they were required to tap two sticks together so others would hear them coming and avoid them The Family in Ancient India : The Family in Ancient India Life in Ancient India was patriarchal The superiority of males in ancient Indian society was evident in a number of ways Only males could inherit property, except in a few cases where their were no sons Women were not allowed to serve as priest, and generally, only males were educated The Family in Ancient India : The Family in Ancient India Perhaps the most vivid symbol of the men’s dominance was a ritual of suttee. During this ritual the dead was placed on a heap of burning materials The suttee required a wife to throw herself on her dead husband’s flaming pile Most women did this gladly Women who refused were held in disgrace Hinduism : Hinduism Early Hindus believed in the existence of a single force in the universe, a form of ultimate reality or God called Brahman Reincarnation had soon become apart of Hinduism Reincarnation is the belief that the individual soul is reborn in a different form after death According to Hinduism, all living beings seek to achieve this goal Hinduism : Hinduism Important top this process is the idea of karma Karma is the force generated by a person’s actions that determines how the person will be reborn in the next life. According to this Idea, what people do in their present lives determines what they will be in their next lives So the current status of an individual is not an accident, it is a result of actions in a past existence Hinduism : Hinduism The concept of karma is ruled by the dharma, or the divine law This law required all people to do their duty The system of reincarnation provided a religious basis for the rigid class division in Indian society This system justified the privileges of the higher class people After all, they would not have these privileges if they were not deserving Hinduism : Hinduism Hindus developed the practice of yoga to achieve a oneness with the gods. There are hundreds of deities in the Hindu Religion including three chief ones: Brahma the Creator Vishnu the Preserver Siva the Destroyer Buddhism : Buddhism In the 6th century B.C., a new doctrine called Buddhism, appeared in India and soon became a rival of Hinduism The Story of Buddha : The Story of Buddha The founder of Buddhism was Siddhartha Gautama, known as the Buddha, or the “Enlightened One” Buddha was the son of a ruling family, he was next in line for king He decided to give all of that up to find the true meaning of life He practiced ascetics, which is a practice of self denial to achieve an understanding of ultimate reality The Story of Buddha : The Story of Buddha The practice of ascetics however led to a close brush with death from not eating He went into a long period of meditation where it was said he found the true meaning of life He spent the rest of his life preaching what he had discovered The Basic Principles of Buddhism : The Basic Principles of Buddhism Buddha denied the reality of the material world The physical surroundings of humans, he believed were simply illusions The pain, poverty, and sorrow that affect human beings are caused by their attachment to things of this world The Basic Principles of Buddhism : The Basic Principles of Buddhism Achieving wisdom is a key step to achieving nirvana, or ultimate reality – the end of the self and a reunion with the Great World Soul Buddha accepted the idea of reincarnation, but he rejected the Hindu division of human beings into different caste based on previous reincarnation The Basic Principles of Buddhism : The Basic Principles of Buddhism Buddhism also rejected the multitude of gods that have become identified with Hinduism He forbade his followers to worship him or his image after his death For that reason, many Buddhist see Buddhism as a philosophy rather than a religion The Basic Principles of Buddhism : The Basic Principles of Buddhism After his death, his followers traveled throughout India, spreading his message Temples sprang up through out the countryside Buddhist monasteries were also established to promote his teaching and provide housing and training for monks dedicated to the simple life and the pursuit of wisdom Review : Review What were the natural borders of ancient India? What were the two major civilizations of ancient India? Who conquered the Harappans and what year? What did the Caste System provide? Who were the Untouchables? What is Nirvana? Class work : Class work Pg 79 1,2,4,6

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