Ancient India Geography and Indian Life Physical Geography of ancient India 1. India is subcontinent: a large landmass that is smaller than a continent. 2. This area is called: South Asia and it is kite shaped 3. India moved north colliding with southern Asia and this collision created mountains. Mountains and waterways to the north are the Hindu Kush and the Himalaya mountain ranges. The Ganges and the Indus Rivers make the land fertile The area where ancient Indians settled was called Indus River Valley Geography and Indian Life Climate: The mountain ranges block most of the cold winds keeping it warm. India has a dry season in the winter and rainy season in the summer due to the monsoons: seasonal winds India’s rainy season can cause severe flooding. Review: When the summer monsoon hits it rains a lot…the rivers flood, leave silt for fertile soil. Rain helps the crops grow. This allows a civilization to develop. Cities in the Indus Valley Why was the earliest Indian Civilization located near the Indus River Valley? They settled near the Indus Valley because they were near a river which allowed a civilization to develop. Civilization here began with: It began with farming, by making copper and bronze tools. They farmed: Wheat, barley, and cotton. They domesticated: cattle, sheep, goats, and chickens. They became a more complex culture because? They became a complex culture by the wealth they got from trade. They traded timber, ivory, and beads. They received silver, tin, and woolen cloth. Great Cities: Harappan Civilization and Harappan Culture BY 2500 B.C… Some villages have grown to become great cities. At least 35,000 people lived in the largest and best known cities Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa. The Harappan city became an Ancient culture. It is called the Harappan Civilization. A planned city is? City built by design. City streets crossed each other. Heavy brick protective walls. Along the streets there were homes, factories, and shops. The cities also had large public building that were used for religious or government functions. Problems in large cities. One of the problems was removing human waste. Another problem was planning an organization to build such complex cities. Great Cities: Harappan Civilization and Harappan Culture cont… Harappan Culture. Mysterious forms of writing (nobody has figured how to read it). Some of the seals may have indicated types of trade goods. There were 500 pictographs or picture signs in the Harappan Culture. Harappan culture spread to a region 2 times the size of Texas. Artifacts show they had more than just what they needed Harappan Religion Archaeologists haven’t found any temples for specific gods. Archaeologists have found figures of animals such as bulls that Indians still regard as holy. They also found clay figures that may have been goddesses or dolls. What happened to Harappan life? Around 2000-1500 BC there were many earthquakes This made some rivers dry up while others may have flooded. These events may have made people leave their cities and the Harappan civilization went into decline. Lesson 2: The Origins of Hinduism Vocabulary: Aryans: People who traveled east into India around 1500 BC. They were herders (people who gather and bring animals from place to place), they lived simple lives in simple houses and they spoke an Indo-European language called Sanskrit Caste: members of a social class that is determined by their job. People were born into their caste and they could not change their caste. Brahmanism: the Aryans started the early religions and later became the name of their priests AKA Brahmins. Worshipped many gods (deities) and sacrificed dead animals to the gods. Later their ideas changed to the belief in one god. Hinduism: The major religion of India. It came from Brahmanism and they worshipped many gods, most important: Brahma: the creator Shiva: destroyer Vishnu: the protector They believed in reincarnation Reincarnation: a belief that you have many lives…come back another soul. IF you were good on earth your next life would be better. If you were bad your next life would be worse. In the afterlife you could change life form. Animals and humans were the highest form of life. Reincarnation is a constant cycle birth, death, re-birth. Karma: what you did in your previous life will affect your next life. What goes around comes around. Lesson 3: Buddhism and India’s Golden Age Vocabulary: Ahimsa: the belief in nonviolence Buddhism: a religion taught by Buddha… Siddhartha Gautama: he is a prince who gave up his role to look for the meaning of life: He became the Buddha Nirvana: the end of suffering Dharma: collected teaching of Buddha Asoka: the greatest Buddhist king/ Maurya The Rise of Buddhism Jainism started in India. Jains practice non-violence or Ahimsa. They think nothing should be hurt because… they believe everything has a soul Buddhism was started by Siddhartha Gautama . He was actually a spoiled prince who decided to search for the meaning of Life. Buddha wandered for 6 years until he finally leaned the 4 Truths sitting under a fig tree. One of these Truths tells of following the Eightfold Path. This path can lead to nirvana. Buddha believed in non-violence, did not worship the Hindu Gods, nor did he believe in the caste system. Buddha is still worshipped today as a divine being. The Maurya Empire After a long time of India being made up of many Aryan kingdoms a King named Chandragupta Maurya took over in 321 BC. The Maurya Empire took up most of India. Chandragupta ruled by using spies and taxing the crops. Maurya’s grandson was a Buddhist King named Asoka. He decided to rule with Buddhist teachings after fighting a bloody war…he gave up warfare. He also converted others to Buddhism while allowing people to practice their own religion. Some of the positive things he did during his rule are: he improved the way people could travel: rest stops. He also set up hospitals, dug wells, and planted trees to make it look nicer. Many people stopped practicing Hinduism during this time for several reasons such as… only priests could perform the sacrifices, the rites in Sanskrit which most people could not understand…people did not feel connected to their gods. The result is Hinduism changed so that everyone could understand it not just those who spoke Sanskrit. Buddhism then declined in India but had already begun to spread in more Asian countries. The Golden Age of the Guptas After Asoka dies there was about 500 years of conflicts. In 320 AD the Gupta family took over. The first thing Chandra Gupta I did as ruler was he married a king’s daughter so he could gain more land. His son enlarged the kingdom even more by fighting wars. The greatest ruler of the Gupta Empire was Chandra Gupta II and during his rule India had its time of great accomplishment which is called The Golden Age. There were many accomplishments during the golden age. Some are: trade expanded, designed temples, created Pi (3.14 the circumference of a circle) wrote Sanskrit poems and plays and is considered one of the greatest writers in India. Developed the decimal system, a symbol for 0, Ayurvedic medicine, made new metals. Why it matters: Hinduism and Buddhism shaped Asia’s cultures for years to come.