I. Indus Valley Civilization A. The Geography of South Asia The Land, the Mountains, and the Rivers

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Ancient India – Chapter 3

I. Indus Valley Civilization

A. The Geography of South Asia

1. The Land, the Mountains, and the Rivers

a. SUBCONTINENT – a large part of a continent that is geographically

separated from the rest of the continent

b. The Himalayas separate Indian subcontinent from Asia

c. Indo-Gangetic Plain, Indus R., Ganges R., Brahmaputra R., Deccan

Plateau, Western Ghats, Eastern Ghats, Bay of Bengal, Great

Indian (Thar) Desert

d. PLATEAU – a raised area of level land

2. The Climate

a. MONSOON – seasonal wind that creates a strong pattern of wet

and dry seasons in parts of Asia

b. Mid-June-October: wet season, wind from the Indian Ocean

c. October-May: dry season, winds from the land

d. Temp. in India: HOT

B. The Indus Valley Civilization

1. Farming and Trade

a. 3500 BC – settlement in Indus Valley increases

b. Trade items: cotton cloth, jewelry, furniture, cooking utensils, writing

sticks, back scratchers, dice, game pieces

c. Farms: wheat, barley, cotton, fruit

d. Stone, copper, and bronze tools

2. A Network of Settlements

a. Materials such as stone were imported from other places

b. People had trade connection with other villages

C. The Cities of Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro

1. Building Houses

a. CITADEL: fortress that commands a city, with bath house,

residential building, and granaries

b. Brick, most common building material

c. Advanced indoor plumbing

2. Communication and Crafts

a. Goods from one area found in others, suggests trade

b. Gold (S. India), copper (Afghanistan), and turquoise (Iran) suggest

seafaring traders

c. Indus goods found in Sumer

d. Dice, marbles, and other toys

D. Culture, Religion, and Decline

1. Writing and Language

a. Spoken language unknown

b. Written language not translated

2. Indus Valley Religion

a. Religion mostly unknown

b. Figurines of gods & goddesses

3. The Decline and Disappearance of the Indus Valley Civilization

a. Gradual climate change, people left

b. Indus river could have changed course

c. Natural disaster (flood, earthquake, disease)

d. Invasions from other tribes
II. Aryan Civilization

A. The Aryans

1. Aryan Migration

a. Entered through Khyber Pass

b. From southern Russia/central Asia looking for pastureland

2. Aryan People

a. Skilled warriors who conquered Indus people & settled N. India

b. Nomads who left behind few artifacts & had no written language

B. Aryans Society

1. The Vedas

a. VEDAS: earliest of Hindu sacred texts; collection of hymns,

prayers, & religious teachings

b. Written around 1500BC-1000BC

c. Other text: Upanishads, harder to understand

2. The Aryan Caste System

a. CASTE SYSTEM: Complex form of social organization that restricts

its members from certain jobs

b. 4 main groups: Brahmans (priests); Kshatriya (warrior-nobles);

Vaishayas (laborers); Sudra (servants)

c. Untouchables; so low, outside of caste, do worst jobs

d. Born into caste &it determined your whole life

3. Religious Beliefs

a. DIVINITIES: a divine being, a god

b. Indra; god of war, thunderbolt his weapon

c. Varuna: god of order & creation

d. Agni: god of fire

e. Brahman had control because they interpreted the Vedas & had

contact with the gods

C. Poems About the Vedas

1. Ramayana

a. EPIC: a long narrative poem about a hero and his actions

b. Plot: hero Rama tries to rescues bride Sita from kidnappers

c. Rama & Site symbolize ideal husband & wife to be an example to


2. Mahabharata

a. 100,000 verses long; one of the oldest poems in the world

b. One section, Bhagavad Gita, shows why people should fulfill their


D. Changes in Aryans Society

1. Nomads to Farmers

a. Grew wheat, barley, beans, peas, and sugar cane

b. People bartered to trade before coins were invented

2. Expanding Aryan Territory

a. East into plains of Ganges River

b. 1000bc: learned to make iron

c. Little unity among the people

III. Hinduism and Buddhism

A. Religious Traditions in Ancient India

1. Hinduism

a. Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism are all similar religions

b. no single founder, sacred text, identifiable beginning, or central


c. developed from religion of Aryans but is a blend from many different


2. Hindu Divinities – Many Out of One

a. can be considered polytheistic, but the many gods are all part of one

universal spirit called Brahman

b. Brahma – creator

c. Vishnu – preserver

d. Shiva – destroyer

e. all part of Brahman, the everlasting & endless, the beginning of all


3. Hindu Beliefs

a. REINCARNATION – rebirth of the soul into another body, animal or


b. KARMA – all actions in a person’s life that affect the next life; do

good & have a better next life, do bad and enter a lower existence

c. DHARMA – a person’s religious and moral duties, according to their


d. people accept the caste into which they are born, follow their

dharma to be reincarnated into a better life/caste

e. ahimsa – nonviolence to all living things; absence of desire to harm

yourself or others

4. Jainism

a. founded from Hindu tradition of ahimsa

b. nonviolence to all living things, including insects

c. could not farm and keep beliefs, so became merchants

d. declined after ad 1000

B. The Rise of Buddhism

1. The Enlightened One

a. Buddhism began around 500 bc in NE India

b. less formality than Hinduism

c. accepted reincarnation and karma, rejected caste system

d. founder: Siddhartha Gautama, aka The Buddha (Enlightened One)

2. In Search of Truth

a. Siddhartha’s dad did not want him to know worry

b. at 29, he left home to see the real world & find truth

c. meditated & came up with Four Noble Truths

i. All human existence is full of pain and suffering

II. The cause of suffering is selfish desire

iii. The only freedom from suffering is to overcome desire

iv. The only way to overcome desire is to follow the Eightfold Path

d. Eightfold Path: “right view, right intention, right speech, right action,

right way, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration”

IV. Ancient Indian Dynasties

A. The Mauryan Empire

1. The Reign of Chandragupta



2. Asoka Rules the Mauryan Empire



3. Mauryan Society



4. The Decline of the Empire



B. The Gupta Empire

1. Gupta Rule and Rulers



2. Art and Architecture



3. Literature



4. Advancement of Knowledge



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