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Transcript
Today’s Goal
• Understand the environmental, social,
political, and religious characteristics of
the Indus River Valley civilization
Civilizations of Ancient India
Indus River Valley
&
Aryan Transformation
Geography of Indian Subcontinent
• Mountains separate from rest of Asia
• Indus & Ganges Rivers
• Monsoons
Earliest Civilization = Harappan
3300 BCE - 2400 BCE
Harappan Planned Cities
•
•
•
•
Levees
Grid system
Fortified citadel
Oven-baked bricks of
standard
sizes
• Plumbing & sewage system
• Strong central gov’t!!!
Harappan Culture
•
•
•
•
•
Written language not deciphered
Social divisions
No weapons
Artifacts show prosperity
Polytheistic religion
– No temples
– Theocracy
Unicorn seal
• Thriving trade
Bull figurine
Decline of Harappan Civ.???
•
•
•
•
Cities fell into decay – but why?
Possible earthquakes & floods
Over-used soil
Invasion of Aryans
Aryans & The Vedic Age
(1500-500 BC)
Goal  How did the Aryans change
early Indian society & culture?
Aryans & The Vedic Age
(1500-500 BC)
• Indo-Europeans
• Aryan Migration
- Pastoral 
cattle
- Warriors 
chariots
The Vedas
• Sacred literature – four collections of prayers,
spells, & instructions
– Rig Veda  hymns to Aryan
gods
The Caste System Develops
• Aryan means “noble” (Sanskrit)
• Viewed themselves as superior to native
“dasas”
Varna (Social Hierarchy)
Brahmins
Kshatriyas
Vaishyas
Shudras
Pariahs [Dalits]  Untouchables
The Caste
System
WHO IS…
 The mouth?
 The arms?
Brahmins
Kshatriyas
 The legs?
 The feet?
Vaishyas
What is a JATI?
Shudras
Aryan Kingdoms Arise
• At first, Aryan chiefs were elected by the entire
tribe
• Minor kings struggled for land & power
• As a result, the major kingdom of Magadha
developed & expanded
• One of the great epics of India, “Mahabharata”
- Reflects the struggles that took place in India as
the Aryans expanded south
• This epic indicates that a blending of cultures
between Aryans & non-Aryans was taking place
Krishna was a semi-divine hero described as
“dark-faced”, and therefore non-Aryan
Statue of
Krishna