Arky 325 wk 4 Harappa 2019.pdf - 1 Indus Valley Civilizations Arky 325 2 South Asia 3 South Asia \u2022 Geographically defined by major barriers \u2022

Arky 325 wk 4 Harappa 2019.pdf - 1 Indus Valley...

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Unformatted text preview: 1/28/19 1 Indus Valley Civilizations Arky 325 2 South Asia 3 South Asia • Geographically defined by major barriers • Himalayas to the north – massive chain of mountains with passes and gorges to access Afghanistan, Tibet, Central Asia, Arabian Peninsula • Tropical forest to the east • Physical barriers created distinct civilizations with mixed cultures, languages and religions • 4 Background • Climate for region stabilized about 8000 BC • Monsoons May to September and December to March bring rains for agriculture • Monsoons fluctuate over time: during Indus civilization t he climate was wetter 5 Discovery • Harappa civilization was unknown until the 20th century • 1856 British Engineers were building part of the East India Railroad and needed ballast (The material that supports the train tracks) • Looted burnt mudbrick from Harappan sites to use for ballast (Harappa, Mohenjo-­Daro) • Harappan seals were found in 1912 • Excavated in the 1920s by archaeologists: Sir John Hubert Marshall, Rai Bahadur Daya Ram Sahni and Madho Sarup Vats 6 Harappa civilization • Harappa civilization emerges in the Indus Valley of Pakistan and India • Indus river source is in Tibet in the Himalayas then descends onto the semiarid Indus plain • The Indus river lays down rich silt in the annual floods (keeps the 1 y 1/28/19 ( p land fertile) • Hot dry summers, cold winters • Farmers depended on seasonal rivers and streams for irrigation • The annual flooding has buried some sites with more than 10 m of silt 7 Indus Valley • Indus floods between June and September • Settlements were built above the highest flood level • The floodplain is a desert environment and farmers built a system of irrigation canals to water their fields • Unlike the Nile & Euphrates rivers, the Indus river has a major system of tributaries • Saraswati river was another ancient river that disappeared 4000 BC • Settlements were spread out along the rivers and tributaries • The floodplain has no minerals or metals (need to trade with surrounding mountain areas) but it was more forested in the past and has sources of c lay and rich agriculture 8 Neolithic: early farmers 9 Mehrgarh: 7000 -­2600 BC • Mehrgarh (in modern state of Pakistan) is the earliest Neolithic site in the northwest Indian subcontinent • Site is important because it is located near the Bolan Pass, a trade route between the Indus Valley and what is now Afghanistan • Wheat, barley, sheep, goat, domesticated local zebu cattle • Eventually add chickpea, lentil and sesame • Within 1000 years the people lived in substantial mud-­brick houses with 4 internal divisions laid out in a defined orientation • worked local copper ore 10 Mehrgarh • People were buried in brick lined tombs with bitumen-­lined baskets (absence of pottery), bone & stone tools, bangles, turquoise & shell beads, & ornaments of lapiz lazuli, limestone, sandstone • Oldest known lost-­wax technique for casting copper in form of a wheel-­shaped amulet 2 p • Some animal sacrifices 11 6000-­5500 BC • Pottery introduced • Zebu are domesticated • Possibly earliest evidence of cotton in the world • figurines of females and animals (oldest figurines in South Asia) placed in graves • 12 Mehrgarh dentistry • Proto-­dentistry • Evidence that bead making skills were used on nine individual’s teeth (molars) • Archaeologists found 11 molars in skeletons in the cemetery that showed clear drilling marks • No filling • But individuals survived as there were wear marks over the drilling marks! • Probably used flint drill bit (used in beads) 13 Mehrgarh Surplus & Craft • Archaeologists have found communal buildings for grain storage • Crafts include faience beads, more detailed female figurines, & the first button seals, and buttons • Updraft kilns & large pit kilns for pottery • After 3500 BC the community broke up into small densely packed units connected by irrigation canals • Site was abandoned by 2600 BC when major Harappan cities emerged • • 14 Harappan Civilization • Harappa is a Bronze Age civilization • Harappan civilization develops in 3 phases • Populations increase in the Early Harappan (3300-­2600 BC • foundations of c ities) 1/28/19 3 ) • The Mature Harappan is the peak (2600-­1900 BC) • The Late Harappan 1900-­1300 BC decline • • • 1/28/19 15 Early Harappan 3300-­2600 BC • 5500-­3300 BC pre-­Harappan sites are established on floodplain • Potters-­wheel used in cities by 3500 BC • In Early Harappa the population increased and settlements on the floodplain were mainly villages and towns and at least 5 substantial cities were emerging • Many of these settlements were intentionally burned (possibly over competition for land) as the large the cities formed ~2600 BC • Larger settlements have fired-­brick walls around the settlement to protect from flooding 16 Mature Harappa 2600 -­1900 BC • Indus Civilization lasts only a few centuries • The rise of cities in the Indus valley is thought to have been sudden • Possibly brought about by trade or warfare but no evidence of armies • Wheeled carts were important in trade & they are independently invented about the time of the rise of urban centers • Sumerians dramatically increased trade with the Indus Valley in this period • Previously, Sumerians traded for exotics across the Iranian plateau by foot • 2600 BC Sumerians began to trade by boat via Dilmun and Magan (Persian Gulf) and Meluha (oils, furniture, gold, carnelian) (Indus Valley) 17 Meluhans • King Sargon 2350 BC stated that Meluhan ships were moored in his capital • There is also evidence of Meluhan villages located in Mesopotamia near Ur 4 1/28/19 • Trade would involve specialized merchants • Clay seals, carnelian beads from Indus craftsmen are found in Mesopotamian royal burials • Gold, carnelian, ivory, oils, lapis lazuli, copper, silver from Indus valley traded for cereals, leather, wool from Mesopotamia. • The Harappans also increased overland trade routes to the Iranian Plateau • Trade coincides with the first c ities in Indus Valley 18 Local trade • When large cities emerged they relied on exchanging crops from different areas but this broke down over time to a reliance on local crops • Initial regional trade redistributed resources from a large area • Buffer against poor years in some areas 19 Harappan cities • 1000 communities in 1.3 million km2 and a population of about 1 million (others say 5 million) • Political organization is believed to have been divided between many small and medium-­sized cities that were dominated by the large cities of Mohenjodaro, Harappa, Rakhigarhi • Saraswati river valley was dominated by Ganeriwala • Gujarat was dominated by Dholavira and Saurashtra 20 New political and social order • Harappan cities do not fit theoretical models • New cities had no temples or palaces • Harappa and Mohenjo-­daro were occupied by an unpretentious middle class of merchants and officials • No monuments to the elite, no elite burials (no propaganda) • Emphasis on modesty, order, cleanliness • Unknown if settlements were independent city s tates or if there was a territorial state • 21 Mohenjo-­daro • Largest of the Mature Harappan cities • 40-­80,000 people 5 1/28/19 p p • In some cities the builders followed a grid-­like plan that suggests considerable municipal supervision • The high citadel (12m) in the west end was protected by burnt-­ brick fortification with towers 22 Standardized bricks • Sun-­dried and fired brick used for construction • Fired brick impermeable to water so used for drains, pools and walls around cities and important buildings • Standardized size 7x14x28 cm (1:2:4) used in multiple cities suggesting some kind of s hared bureaucracy • Required considerable organization to produce on massive s cale and to build fired brick structures 23 Mohenjo-­daro city organization • Planned streets and alleys • Major roads were 9 m wide but cross-­streets were half that wide and unpaved • Houses were built in 4 designs of mud-­brick and were 2-­3 stories tall 24 Wealthier houses • Wealthier homes (merchants, officials) had a central courtyard for receiving guests, food preparation • Wealthier homes had bathrooms & toilets c onnected to sewer system • • Also public baths and toilets • Larger underground drains carefully lined with fired bricks removed waste and there was a water management system with reservoirs 25 Poorer houses • Poorer people may have lived in single-­room tenements or workshops • The occupants would be labourers although it has been suggested that they could be religious ascetics 26 Public buildings on the citadel • Pillared hall 27 m2 possibly precinct for audiences with rulers, but 6 1/28/19 there is no evidence for a governing structure! • No shrines • Religious life around bath – bitumen sealed bricks fed by well • Pool surrounded by c olonnade with steps at both ends • Possibly for ritual bathing (important in later Indian religions) or a public bath? 27 Public buildings • Granaries • College? 28 Harappa • Not an identical plan to Mohenjo-­daro • Instead a cluster of walled mounds within loosely built-­up areas • Also has a citadel and lower town in the grid pattern • But other cities (Dholavira) had different plans • Suggests that the city-­plan was less pronounced on the edges of the Indus civilization 29 Lothal • This is a port built in Gulf of Khambhat • It is the first artificial dockyard • The port was built at the highest level of the tide and ships are then moved by tides in the river estuary • Wooden door was put at mouth of the port to hold enough water to keep boats afloat at low tide • Used burnt brick construction for walls of the harbour • 30 Political organization • The structure of the ‘state’ is unknown for the Harappans • Evidence of s ome kind of authority is present: large cities, standardized weights and measures, writing, harbour for extensive long distance exchange, sewage systems, c itadels, walls, city planning –all required considerable municipal and extra-­municipal management • Evidence that the population was made of diverse ethnic groups and languages who shared a cultural style • Some theorize that leaders of early communities may have been 7 1/28/19 y y chieftains, priests or kin leaders • Intermediaries between deities and people • Or possibly c lasses and centers formed a decentralized structure • 31 Possible rulers • Rulers are anonymous (no palaces, no inscriptions, no propaganda) • Only exception is a limestone figure from Mohenjodaro • Bearded man possibly meditating • Wears embroidered robe • Uncovered shoulder is s ign of reverence during Buddha’s lifetime 1400 years ago • Only archaeological evidence is possibly merchants/religious leaders with no lavish displays • Not clear if these were city s tates or territorial states 32 What do we know? • Focus of the society was agriculture and trade • Irrigation allowed large agricultural surplus • Probably farmers turned over a large portion of crop to the authority (whatever it might have been) for construction in the city, maintaining sewers, bricks f or buildings, trade infrastructure • However this is c ontroversial 33 Harappan burials • Recent excavation of about 200 burials in Harappa at foot of 2 main city mounds • No elite burials, oval/rectangular pits sometimes lined with mud bricks or the body was placed in a wooden coffin in an extended position head to north feet to south. • Burials have very few goods placed with them, only • ordinary jewelry, a few pots • exception of one man with a gold necklace • Some women have a copper mirror (possibly to see into spirit world) • Strontium isotope analysis of the teeth of 40 individuals indicates that they were immigrants to the city 8 1/28/19 • Indicates the draw of the city from different parts of the region • Strong bond held these cities together • 34 Writing • Harappan script remains undeciphered • Various theories that the language represents ancient Dravidian, but Indian scholars argue it is early Sanskrit • 400-­450 pictographs (or more) • Computer analysis indicates symbols are sounds and words • Symbols deciphered are people’s names and rank and measuring system • Read right to left (called boustrophedon style) • Possibly document trade accounts • Date to 2800 BC but most from Mature Harappa 35 Technology and trade • Cities and other walled settlements were the setting for craft production • Craftworkers were settled in separate parts of the cities • Bead makers, copper workers, weavers, potters, stamp seal makers • Metalworkers cast objects using the lost wax technique 36 Seals • Carved in soft s oapstone • Depict people, animals • These may have been religious symbols or tags for goods sent in trade • It is possible that daily writing was on ola leaves (type of palm), used until recent times • Soaked, pounded -­ provide smooth surface for daily writing by scratching on surface then wiping with ink-­covered cloth • Unclear if writing for economic or religious reasons 37 Craft materials • Local materials (clay) 9 1/28/19 ( y) • Also precious stones and metal through long-­distance exchange • Uniform style of the Indus Valley is thought to have developed not through centralized control but through intensive exchange over the lowlands 38 Bead makers 39 Economy • System of standardized weights and measures including the ½ oz. weight (common in the region until the 19th century AD) • Suggests tight control of trade and exchange • Found as far as Persian Gulf • Most stone weights in Mohenjo-­daro made of chert & organized into a series • Smaller ones in jewelers’ shops • Seals, weights, writing, long-­distance exchange -­-­-­ suggests economic bureaucracy • 40 Toys? and games • Elaborate pottery wheeled cart with oxen -­-­-­ toy? • Many other types of toys (cattle with a string to make head move, monkeys that go up a stick)! • Dice invented in Harappa and spread with trade • Early version of chess 41 Religious beliefs • May have begun with beliefs in a fertility goddess • One female deity with conspicuous breasts and sexual organs • Seal from Mohenjo-­daro shows a three headed figure in a yogic position wearing a horned headdress surrounded by wild animals • Possibly forerunner to Hindu god Shiva: role as Lord of the Beasts 42 Early Hinduism • Many seals depict cattle that may be symbols of shiva • So possible connections to Hinduism • Other elements include • fire altars in homes • worship with fruit and flowers 10 1/28/19 p • meditation and astronomical knowledge • Importance of water and bathing 43 Why did Harappan civilization end? • Collapse of trade with Near East –after 2300 BC • Urban populations decline and disperse and the Indus script stops • Demise of Saraswati river from tectonic change • Climatic change to drought conditions in the valley ~2100 BC would disrupt agriculture • forest clearance for farmland, firing bricks may have caused large scale soil erosion resulting in uncontrolled flooding 11 ...
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