Lecture4AEarly India

Lecture4AEarly India - Lecture Four: India: Indus Valley...

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Lecture Four: India: Indus Valley Society We turn now to India. The earliest civilizations in India are called Harappan after one of the major cities. The two largest cities in this civilization were those called Harappa (in India) and Mohenjo Daro (now in Pakistan). As was the case with Mesopotamia and Egypt, these cities formed around the banks of a major river. The Indus River was the key to the growth of these cities. Its annual floods made the area fertile and provided a stable, regular source of water. The Harappan civilization was discovered in the 1920s by the British. The British were the colonial rulers of India at the time. They excavated and found over 300 cities, towns, villages that were all connected by common characteristics. This indicates that they were part of a large civilization, which was named Harappan. For more visit: http://www.harappa.com/har/har0.html http://visav.phys.uvic.ca/~babul/AstroCourses/P303/harappan.html Age and Extent of Civilization The Harappan civilization lasted from ca. 7000 to 4000 bce. There were prior settlements in the area which cultivated cotton and traded with Mesopotamia by 3000 bce and down the Indus into the Arabian Sea area, and up the Tigris and Euphrates. All the settlements were around river valleys where there was fertile soil and abundant water. The first large cities emerged ca. 2500 bce and lasted until 1500 bce. The city of Harappa emerged first, that of Mohenjo-daro next. They were separated by 400 miles, but expressing a uniformity of culture. Each could have held populations of 40,000. They may be the ancestors of the Dravidians, the modern day inhabitants of southern India. Written records exist from the Harappan civilization. Archaeologists have found numerous seals, but limited the information that can be gleaned in limited. So far 400 pictographic signs have been found, but not deciphered. The signs represent bulls, rhinos, crocodiles, also horned humans, or unicorns which may represent a deity. A rich debate is taking place among linguistics and other scholars on the meaning of these signs and their relation to modern languages of India. It seems, however, that the language would not have been related to modern Sanskrit. What archaeologists and historians have pieced together indicated that the Harappan civilization had a government that involved itself in the planning of the cities. The streets are laid out in a regular grid. Streets and homes were made of baked bricks of standard proportion (4:2:1). Residential quarters housed substantial multistoried homes. Remains have been found of underground sewage and drainage. Each house had a bathroom with a drain connected to sewers located underground. Some had running water, bathrooms with flushing toilets, and wells. Public baths or ritual pools have been found. This may indicate the practice of lustration.
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Lecture4AEarly India - Lecture Four: India: Indus Valley...

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