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Early Societies in South Asia

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Chapter 4 Early Societies in South Asia * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * SEALS Engraved ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Early Societies in South Asia


1
Chapter 4
  • Early Societies in South Asia

2
INDUS VALLEY CIVILIZATIONAND EARLY ARYAN SOCIETY
3
WHERE IS IT?
4
THE GEOGRAPHIC SETTING
  • Indian Subcontinent
  • To North Impassable Himalayas
  • To East Passable low hills
  • To Northwest Passable Hindu Kush, Khyber Pass
  • To West Arabian Sea
  • Northern Plain of Indus, Ganges Rivers
  • Southern Deccan
  • High plateau, extremely dry
  • Bordered on East and West by mountains
  • Separated from north by river, low mountains
  • The Monsoon Winds
  • Off the land October to April Dry Season
  • Off the Indian Ocean May to September Wet Season

5
Harappan Society and Its Neighbors, ca. 2000
B.C.E.
6
INDIA OR SOUTH ASIA
  • INDIA OR INDIAN SUB-CONTINENT refers to
    pre-partition Indian sub-continent in these
    series of lectures.
  • Modern South Asia has seven independent countries
    1) India 2) Pakistan 3) Bangladesh 4) Sri Lanka
    5) Nepal 6) Bhutan 7) Maldives.

7
THREE GEOGRAPHIC REGIONS
  • The Northern Mountains bounded by Hindu Kush
    mountains in the north west and Himalayas in
    north and north east.
  • The Indo-Gangetic Plain which is bifurcated into
    river systems of the Indus and the Ganges.
    Lastly, the peninsular area lying south of
    Vindhyan mountains and Narmada river.

8
THE EARLY BEGINNINGS
  • Human inhabitation  on the Indian subcontinent
    can be traced back to the Paleolithic  and
    Neolithic periods. The Indus valley civilization
    dated from about 2500 to 1500 BCE is considered
    to be at par with the other civilizations of the
    world e.g Sumer, Eygpt, Mesopotamia and China.

9
OTHER CIVILIZATIONS
10
THE INDUS RIVERCIVILIZATION
11
Foundations of Harappan Society
  • The Indus River
  • Silt-enriched water from mountain ranges
  • Major society built by Dravidian peoples,
    3000-2500 BCE
  • Cultivation of cotton before 5000 BCE, early
    cultivation of poultry
  • Decline after 1900 BCE
  • Major cities Harrapa (Punjab region and
    Mohenjo-Daro (mouth of Indus River)

12
HARAPPAN SOCIETY
  • The Indus River
  • Runs through north India, sources at Hindu Kush,
    Himalayas
  • Rich deposits, but less predictable than the Nile
  • Wheat and barley were cultivated in Indus valley
  • Complex society of Dravidians, 3000/2500 B.C.E.
  • Harappa and Mohenjo-daro
  • Possibly served as twin capitals
  • Each city had a fortified citadel and a large
    granary
  • Broad streets, market places, temples, public
    buildings
  • Standardized weights, measures, architecture,
    bricks
  • Specialized labor and trade
  • Domestic trade, items inc. pottery, tools, metals
  • Trading with Mesopotamians about 2300 to 1750
    B.C.E.

13
Harappan Civilization
14
HARAPPAN SOCIETY/CULTURE
  • Social distinctions as seen from living styles
  • Religious beliefs strongly emphasized fertility
  • Many deities were feminine
  • In later Hinduism, Dravidian gods are blue-faced
  • Harappan society declined from 2000 B.C.E. onward
  • Ecological degradation led to a subsistence
    crisis
  • Natural catastrophes - floods or earthquakes
  • Population began to abandon their cities by about
    1700 B.C.E.
  • Almost entirely collapsed by about 1500 B.C.E
  • Evidence of warfare, invasion

15
Hydraulic Culture
  • like Mesopotamia
  • agriculture and flood-control
  • significant industry and trade
  • cities were very common

16
Major Cities
  • Harappa and Mohenjo-daro
  • surrounded by smaller cities, towns, and villages

17
INTERIORS OF MOHENJORAO
18
GREAT BATH IN MOHENJODARO
19
LOTHAL
20
HARAPPA
21
DHOLAVIRA
22
KALIBANGAN
23
TOWN PLANNING
  • Geometrically designed the towns had
    fortifications (for protection against both
    intruders and floods). The citadal area had
    several distinct quarters, assembly halls,
    granaries and manufacturing units of various
    types  the bigger cities, also, had furnaces for
    the production of copper and bronze tools. While
    the houses were built on the lower level or quite
    far from the citadels.

24
Mohenjo-daro
view of the Citadel
25
TOWN PLANNING
  • The towns had public baths (probably often part
    of the temples), private baths were found in most
    of the houses, sewerages were connected through
    underground drains. There was an efficient water
    management with numerous reservoirs and wells.
    The streets were built on grid pattern and cut
    each other on the right sides.

26
TOWN PLANNING
  • Mohenjo-daro, for instance, had over 700 wells,
    some of them fifteen metres deep, built with
    special trapezoid bricks (to prevent collapse by
    the pressure of the surrounding soil), and
    maintained for several centuries. Dholavira had
    separate drains to collect rain water and six or
    seven dams built across the nearby rivers.

27
TOWN PLANNING
  • The houses were almost always built with mud
    bricks (sometimes fired in kilns), which followed
    a standard ratio of 4 2 1, though the actual
    sizes varied  bricks for houses, for instance,
    might be 28 x 14 x 7 cm, while for fortification
    walls they could be 36 x 18 x 9 cm or even
    bigger.

28
TOWN PLANNING
  • Walls were seventy centimetres thick, and many
    houses two storeys high. A few houses, perhaps
    those of rulers or wealthy traders, were
    particularly large, with up to seven rooms, but
    they were found right next to a craftsmans
    modest house.

29
LAYOUT OF THE CITY OF LOTHAL.

30
WORKING PLATFORMS AT HARAPPA
31
THE STREETS OF HARAPPA
32
SIDE LANES OF HARAPPA
33
THE WELL IN THE CITY OF HARAPPA.
34
ACROPOLIS (LOTHAL).
35
THE DRAINAGE SYSTEM (IN HARAPPA).
36
REMAINS OF LOWER TOWN EXCAVATED IN LOTHAL.
37
REMAINS OF WALL IN THE CITY OF LOTHAL.
38
KITCHEN REMAINS FROM THE CITY OF LOTHAL.
39
GRANARY IN HARAPPA
40
SPECIAL STRUCTURES GREAT BATH IN MOHENJODARO
41
SPECIAL STRUCTURES DOCKYARD IN LOTHAL
42
Cities
  • very densely populated
  • houses two to three stories
  • every house is laid out the same

43
Culture and Society
  • advanced agriculture
  • surplus production
  • textiles wool and cotton
  • domesticated animals and fish

44
AGRICULTURE
  • The people of Indus valley prospered on the
    foundations of agriculture based system of
    irrigation and fertility which was maintained by
    the silt bearing floods (Indus River). They
    cultivated wheat, six rowed field of barley,
    melon seeds, oil crops like sesame, mustard,
    dates, and peas.

45
AGRICULTURE
  • The earliest traces of dyed cotton known anywhere
    in the world was found in the valley (the other
    example is from Jordan around 3000 BCE). Indus
    valley people cultivated rice (evidence from
    irrigated fields of Kalibangan, Rajasthan).

46
ARTS AND INDUSTRIES
  • The Harappans were also expert craftsmen. They
    made beads of carnelian, agate, amethyst,
    turquoise, lapis lazuli, etc. they manufactured
    bangles out of shells, glazed faience and
    terracotta  they carved ivory and worked shells
    into ornaments, bowls and ladles. They weilded
    bronze and copper for weapons, tools, domestic
    objects and statues.

47
ARTS AND INDUSTRIES
  • They also worked with silver and gold with great
    skill, specially for ornaments. Of course, they
    baked pottery in large quantities to the delight
    of archaeologists, since the different shapes,
    styles, and painted motifs are among the best
    guides in the evolution of any civilization.

48
ARTS AND INDUSTRIES
  • Harappans excelled at stone-carving, complex
    weaving and carpet-making, inlaid woodwork and
    decorative architecture. And, of course, they
    engraved with remarkable artistry their famous
    seals, mostly in steatite (or soapstone)  those
    seals, over 3,000 of which have been found, seem
    to have served various purposes  some
    commercial, to identify consignments to be
    shipped, and some for ritual or spiritual
    purposes to invoke the deities, maybe.

49
ARTS AND INDUSTRIES
  • This statute continues to be worshipped as a
    goddess and later on came to be known as consort
    of the god of the dance the natraja.

50
ORNAMENTS
  • The variety of ornaments made of silver, bronze
    and bone have been found on the site of the Indus
    Valley

51
NECKLACE
  • A necklace made of beads and bamboo sticks.

52
BANGLES
  • Bangles made of bone,copper and bronze found on
    different sites.

53
BRACELET
  • A beaded bracelet (modern looking ornament).

54
POTS
  • The terracotta pots found inside the graves.

55
POTS
56
WHISTLES
  • Bone whistles.

57
FACE MASK
  • Made of terracotta.

58
OTHER ARTS
  • Dancing, painting, sculpture, and music (there is
    evidence of drums and of stringed instruments)
    were all part of their culture. Possibly drama
    and puppet shows too, judging from a number of
    masks. Statues found are not abundant, but are
    very refined, whether in stone, bronze or
    terracotta. An ancestor of the game of chess has
    been unearthed at Lothal, as well.

59
DECIMAL SYSTEM
  • The Harappans were the first to use the decimal
    system for measurement. Their town-planning,
    which makes much use of geometry, partly relied
    on this decimal system. The analysis of Harappan
    weights and measures also point to the use of
    decimal system because their ratios corresponds
    to 0.5,0.1,1,2,3 and so on and goes up to 500.

60
SOME SPECIMENS
61
TRADING LINKS
  • The Harappans had a flourishing overseas trade
    with Oman, Bahrain, and Sumer  exchanges with
    the Sumerians went on for at least several
    centuries, and merchant colonies were established
    in Bahrain and the Euphrates-Tigris valley. These
    trading links shows their high skills in
    ship-making and sailing.

62
TRADING LINKS
  • Several representations of ships have been found
    on seals, while many massive stone anchors have
    come up at Lothal and other sites of Saurashtra,
    Gujarat. For navigation, compasses carved out of
    conch shells appear to have been used to measure
    angles between the stars.

63
TRADING LINKS
  • A voyage from Lothal to Mesopotamia to sell the
    prized Harappan carnelian beads, which the kings
    and queens of Ur were so fond of, meant at least
    2,500 kilometres of seafaring  of course there
    would have been halts along the shore on the way,
    but still, some 4,000 years ago this must have
    ranked among the best sailing abilities.

64
SEALS
  • Most distinct feature of the Indus valley
    civilization are the terracotta seals (burnt),
    used for trading. Maybe, they were used as
    documents or sale transactions.

65
SEALS
  • Different seals found in the excavated sites of
    Harappa.

66
SEALS
  • Engraved seals (most of the historians think that
    these are the business deals or administrative
    directives).

67
SEALS
  • Engraved seal found in Mohenjodaro.

68
INDUS SCRIPT
  • Indus script comes to us in the form of short
    inscriptions (4,000 in all) each about five
    characters on average). These are found mainly on
    stamp seals of various materials, seal
    impressions on clay, pottery, moulds, copper
    plates, scrawls on metal artefacts and pottery.
    The writing is usually from right to left, though
    second line sometimes run from left to right. It
    is a logo-syllabic

69
INDUS SCRIPT
  • script, very similar to Proto-Elamite script of
    southwestern Iran.
  • The script has not been deciphered as yet, but
    the language seems to be official the one
    universally in use among the Indus ruling class,
    merchants and priests. From certain indications
    within the script such as frequent fish sign,
    it seems to belong to the family of Dravidian
    languages.

70
STATE, SOCIETY AND RELIGION
  • The town planning, maintenance of drainage
    system, granaries, uniformity of weights and
    measures and the script shows a remarkable
    administrative control over the large population
    in the rural as well as the urban areas. An Indus
    Empire could have been created but unfortunately,
    hardly anything can be said about the nature of
    the state because of lack of written evidence.

71
PRIEST KING?
  • The only surviving stone image of priest or a
    ruler?

72
SOCIETY AND RELIGION
  • Harappan society was highly differentiated
    houses, servant quarters, citadels, seal
    impressions etc.
  • They worshipped natural forces like the trees
    (pipal tree found engraved on the seals), humped
    bull, mother goddesses and most probably, were
    ruled by a king priest.
  • The evidence found on the burial sites suggests
    that they buried their dead with their belongings
    (their graves remained very sparse and basic in
    comparison to the Egyptians).

73
MALE GRAVE NOT BURIED WITH HIS BELONGINGS
74
FEMALE GRAVE SHE IS BURIED WITH HER INFANT AND
OTHER BELONGINGS
75
BURIAL GROUND IN HARAPPA
76
Decline in Harrappan Society
77
Mysterious End of Harappan Civilization
  • Reasons for disappearance unclear
  • Excessive deforestation, loss of topsoil
  • Earthquakes?
  • Flooding?
  • Evidence of unburied dead
  • Disappearance by 1500 B.C.E.
  • Harappan traditions survived agricultural
    practices, religious beliefs, and urban
    traditions

78
DECLINE OR DISAPPEANCE?
  • POSSIBLEFACTORS
  • ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGES FLOODS, DRAUGHTS AND
    DEFORESTATION
  • MIGRATION TO GREENER PASTURES TOWARDS GANGETIC
    PLAINS
  • OR ARYAN INVASION?

79
INDO-EUROPEANS ARYANS
  • Indo-Europeans
  • Linguistic similarities among Europe, Persia, and
    India
  • Indo-European family of languages
  • Indo-Iranian including Aryans (India),
    Medes/Persians (SW Asia)
  • Greek, Balto-Slavic, Germanic, Italic, Celtic
  • Tocarian, possibly Shang of China
  • Migrations as the key to explain linguistic
    similarities
  • Indo-European origins
  • North of Black Sea, Caspian Sea, Aral Sea
    Ukraine, Southern Russia
  • Common origins established through key
    vocabulary, traditions, myths
  • Indo-European migrations
  • To Tarim Basin, fourth millennium B.C.E.
  • Shang of China appear to have been Indo-Europeans
  • To Anatolia (the Hittites), 3000 B.C.E.
  • By 2nd millennium, established communities in
    Europe
  • Around 1500 BCE, domesticated horse amongst
    Indo-Europeans
  • Often called the Chariot Peoples introduced iron
    and horse technologies

80
The Aryan Invasion
  • Aryans, lighter-skinned invaders from the north
  • Dravidians, darker-skinned sedentary inhabitants
    of Harappa
  • Color Bias
  • Socio-Economic Implications
  • Difficulty of theory no evidence of large-scale
    military conquest

81
Possible route of the Aryan invasions
82
The Aryans
  • not to be confused with Hitlers Aryans
  • these Aryans speak an Indo-European dialect
  • related to other languages like Greek and Latin

83
The Aryans, cont
  • they called themselves Aryans
  • their land Aryavarta
  • land of the Aryans

84
The Early Aryans
  • Pastoral economy sheep, goats, horses, cattle
  • Vegetarianism not widespread until many centuries
    later
  • Religious and Literary works The Vedas
  • Sanskrit sacred tongue
  • Prakrit everyday language, evolved into Hindi,
    Urdu, Bengali
  • Four Vedas, most important Rig Veda
  • 1,028 hymms to gods

85
ARYANS IN INDIA
  • The early Aryans
  • Depended heavily on a pastoral economy
  • No writing system, but orally transmitted works
    called the Vedas
  • Sacred language (Sanskrit) and daily-use language
    (Prakit)
  • The Vedic Age 1500 to 500 B.C.E.
  • A boisterous period, conflict with indigenous
    peoples
  • Indra, the Aryans' war god and military hero
  • Aryan migrations in India
  • First settled in the Punjab, the upper Indus
    River valley
  • Spread east and south from their base
  • After 1000 B.C.E. settled between Himalayan
    foothills and Ganges
  • Used iron tools and developed agriculture
  • By 500 B.C.E. migrated as far south as the
    northern Deccan
  • Lost tribal organizations but established
    regional kingdoms

86
The Vedic Age
  • Conflicts between Aryans and indigenous dasas
    (enemies, subjects)
  • Aryans fighting Dravidians
  • Also Aryans fighting each other
  • Chiefdoms rajas
  • Early concentration in Punjab, migrations further
    south
  • Development of iron metallurgy
  • Increasing reliance on agriculture
  • Tribal connections evolve into political
    structures

87
Krishna with Arjuna on the battlefield of
Kuruksketra
88
Krishna reveals himself to Arjuna in his manifold
aspects
89
The Vedas
  • oral poetry
  • come to have a sacred character
  • provide some historical information

90
Caste System, 1000 BC
  • skin color
  • ritual purity
  • divine order of four castes

91
THE CASTE SYSTEM
  • Caste and varna
  • Caste
  • Hereditary, unchangeable social classes
  • Sanskrit word varna, "color," referring to social
    classes
  • Social distinctions based on racial skin colors
  • Social distinctions in the late Vedic Age
  • Four main varnas, recognized after 1000 B.C.E.
  • brahmins (priests)
  • kshatriyas (warriors and aristocrats rulers)
  • vaishyas (cultivators, artisans, and merchants)
  • shudras (landless peasants and serfs)
  • Later, the category of the pariah (untouchables)
    was added
  • Subcaste or jati
  • Represents more elaborate social classification,
    developed after 6th c. B.C.E.
  • Jati, or subcastes, were determined by
    occupations
  • The elaborate rules of jati life
  • Caste and social mobility
  • Caste system was capable of accommodating social
    change

92
RISE OF PATRIARCHAL SOCIETY
  • Patriarchal, Patrilineal society
  • Original Aryan Society women had rights, some
    were chiefs
  • Changes occurred with change to sedentary
    civilization
  • Men served as priests, warriors, and tribal
    chiefs
  • Family lines based on male descendants (the
    patriline)
  • Only males could inherit property
  • Men learned the Vedas and received formal
    education
  • Source The Lawbook of Manu
  • Prepared by an anonymous sage, 1st century B.C.E.
  • Dealt with moral behavior and social
    relationships
  • Advised men to treat women with honor and respect
  • Subjected women to the control and guidance of
    men
  • Women's duties bear children, maintain the
    household
  • Sati as a social custom

93
ARYAN RELIGION
  • The Aryan gods
  • The war god, Indra
  • The gods of the sun, sky, moon, fire, health,
    etc.
  • The god Varuna - an ethical concern
  • Ritual sacrifices
  • Importance of ritual sacrifices
  • Horse sacrifice originally
  • Priests were specialists of the ritual sacrifices
  • Ritual sacrifices for rewards from the divine
    power
  • Spirituality
  • Many Aryans dissatisfied with ritual sacrifices
    in late Vedic age
  • A shift to spiritual contemplation
  • Thoughtful individuals retreated to forests as
    hermits
  • Dravidian notions were coopted
  • Transmigration of soul
  • Reincarnation (nirvana)

94
THE RISE OF HINDUISM
  • The Upanishads
  • Works of religious teachings, 800 to 400 B.C.E.
  • The religious forums dialogues between disciples
    and sages
  • Brahman the universal soul
  • Brahman was the only genuine reality
  • Highest goal to escape reincarnation and join
    with Brahman
  • Atman The individual self-soul that is part of
    Brahman
  • Teachings of the Upanishads
  • Samsara An individual soul was born many times
  • Dharma Caste duties
  • Karma specific incarnations that a soul
    experienced
  • Moksha permanent liberation from physical
    incarnation
  • Religion and Vedic Society
  • Samsara and karma reinforced social hierarchy
  • Upanishads were also spiritual and intellectual
    contemplations
  • Taught to observe high ethical standards
  • Respect for all living things, a vegetarian diet
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