The important thing to remember about the Aryan conquest of the Indus Valley is

The important thing to remember about the aryan

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of time, they began to settle in the Indus Valley, where they would give up their nomadic lifestyles. The important thing to remember about the Aryan conquest of the Indus Valley is the establishment of their religious beliefs on the Indian subcontinent, in particular their belief in reincarnation. The Aryans, yet another polytheistic people, recorded their beliefs and traditions in the Vedas and the Upanishads. Over centuries, these early Aryan beliefs evolved to form the basis for what later became Hinduism, which is discussed in detail in Section IV of this chapter. The Aryan social structure also had a major impact on later developments in India. Combined with Hinduism, it formed the basis of what later became the caste system. Initially, the Aryan social structure divided its people into three classes, in this order from top to bottom: warriors, priests, and peasants. Later, a class of landowners and merchants would be added above the peasant class; and the priest class (known as Brahmans) would be moved above the warrior class because they were considered closer to the gods. In the early days of this system, movement between classes was allowed. But as the system became more complex and ingrained in society, it became more rigid. Eventually, subcastes were added to the four main castes, and social mobility among the castes was prohibited. Because
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members of different castes could not marry, children were born into the same castes as their parents, and stayed there. 4. Early China: Shang on the Hwang Shang China rose in the Hwang Ho River Valley (also known as the Yellow River Valley), and like other river-basin communities, used its stable agricultural surplus to build a trade-centered civilization. At its height, Shang controlled large parts of northern China and was militarily quite powerful. Thousands of its workers built walls around the towns and cities along the river; its warriors used chariots to defeat their enemies. The Shang dynasty controlled the Yellow River Valley from around 1600 to around 1100 B.C.E. However, Shang China had limited contact with the rest of the world, though it did trade with Mesopotamia (a very long journey!). The Shang were so isolated, in fact, that they believed themselves to be at the center of the world, which explains why they called their civilization “All Under Heaven.” This belief contributed to the Shang’s ethnocentric attitude, which means they considered themselves superior to all others. The Shang certainly had reasons to be proud. Not only were they accomplished bronze workers, but they also used horse-drawn chariots, developed the spoked wheel, and became experts in the production of pottery and silk. What’s more, they devised a decimal system and a highly accurate calendar. Focus on the Family The extended family was an important institution in many ancient civilizations across the globe, but nowhere was it more important than in Shang China. There, multiple generations of the same family lived in the same household in a patriarchal structure (led by the eldest male).
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