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World population (persons km²) Population today concentrated in floodplain areas.

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Presentation on theme: "World population (persons km²) Population today concentrated in floodplain areas."— Presentation transcript:


2 World population (persons km²)

3 Population today concentrated in floodplain areas

4 Floods and water control were critical in ancient and modern times

5 Indus Civilization Early Harappan, or Era of Regionalization (3200-2600 BC) Harappan, or Era of Integration (2600-1900 BC) Eclipse of Indus, or Era of Localization (1900-1200 BC)

6 Mehrgarh, an early Farming Community (Western Pakistan) Uplands west of the Indus River Period 1A (6500-6000 BC): Pre-ceramic Neolithic: villages with early evidence of farming, including Asiatic wheat. Period IB (6000-5500 BC): Ceramic Neolithic, focus on cattle (local domestication of Zebu cattle) Period II (5500-4800 BC): dwellings went from simple semi-permanent housing to mud brick, and then large permanent housing. Earliest evidence of cotton in world Shows extensive trade with the west, such as turquoise and copper from Arabia. Such trends - permanent housing, settlement elaboration, and trade – were elaborated in the subsequent “era of regionalization” or Early Harappan period, ca. 3200-2600 BC, during which Mehgarh emerged as a regional center of ceramic production. Early Neolithic villages had fairly large populations and permanent dwellings, long-distance trade and began to store of surplus foods

7 Period 1 mud-brick storage compartments at Mehrgarh Clear influence from fertile crescent

8 Origins of Indus Civilization Early 20 th century authors favored diffusion from Mesopotamia, as urban settlements seemed to appear suddenly without clear local antecedents Since 1970s definition of proto-urban phase (Kot Diji phase) suggests that the planned cities of mature Indus phase not suddenly imposed but developed independently out of early settlements

9 Early Harappa (Kot Diji phase), “Era of Regionalization” densely packed villages and village centers, all with extensive irrigation systems, similar subsistence pattern as Mehrgarh, including a wide variety of domesticated animals (notably cattle) and crops, including barley, and wheat Farming tied to the predictable cycles of the Indus River, where crops were planted as the floods receded in summer (June and September) and harvested in early spring Indus civilization emphasized floodplain agriculture, which lead to sophisticated irrigation systems Settlements along the river susceptible to periods of violent flooding and stone walls were erected as flood barriers, which became the city walls of some settlements. Rapid increase in size between 3200-2600 BC, ultimately giving rise to the cities of the “mature Harappan period” from c. 2600-1900 BC

10 Kot Diji Proto-urban towns established in Indus watershed in late 4 th millennium BC Formative stage of Indus Civilization Rehman Dheri, with grid city plan ca. 3300-3200 BC

11 Harappa – Mohenjo-Daro These two large settlements (150-250 ha) stand out as apogee of urbanism in the Indus River of the mature Harappan period, c. 2600-1900 BC Urban centers with similar plans, including planned neighborhoods in a grid pattern, indoor bathrooms connected to sewer system, bathhouses and communal storage facilities, citadels, palaces, temples, etc. Populations in access of 35,000; hundreds of smaller farming villages tied to large cities Radical differences in housing from small one or few room houses to large mansions and palaces Significant trading centers, showing evidence of large-scale exchange with Mesopotamia and ancient India






17 Indus Cities Buildings/Structures Individual buildings for bathing and using the restroom (had an early "sanitation" system) All houses had access to water Citadels were used for defense Granaries One or two story houses Most buildings made of dry bricks No large temples or monuments "90% of the developing world's wastewater is still discharged Untreated into local rivers and streams."

18 CLASS The Hindu caste system has four main castes (varnas), which people were born into social classes that could not be changed: –Brahmins (priests and the king) –Kshatriyas (warriors and aristocrats - rulers) –Vaishyas (cultivators, artisans, merchants) –Shudras (peasants and serfs) –Also excluded individuals and groups: untouchables

19 Typical Harappan cities and towns are fortified, oriented along the cardinal directions, and have clear evidence for developed craft specialization and social stratification


21 Indus script, found on stone, ivory, ceramic, shell, bone and other artifacts, included 170-220 simple signs and 170-200 composite signs and often include a single standing animal

22 House I, Mohenjo-daro: twelve seals and diverse prestige objects Animals used as symbols of families (house “totems”), which relate to one animal

23 At the peak of Indus civilization, settlement hierarchy had five major urban centers (~150-250 ha)

24 Dholavira had several large reservoirs and an elaborate system of drains to collect water from the city walls and house tops to fill these water tanks.

25 Reconstruction of Dholavira

26 32 secondary settlements, which show similar plans to (5) major urban centers, but significantly smaller (<20 ha) Kalibangan Like Mesopotamia and Egypt, cardinal directions were critical features in planning

27 Lothal, eastern outpost of Indus Lower town dockyard

28 Lothal

29 What happened to Indus? Around 1900 BC, most of the characteristics of the Indus civilization were lost, including, most notably loss of planned urban forms and monumental public buildings, but also loss of centralized storage facilities, script, standardized artifacts and measures, and decrease in long-distance trade; Invasion of Indo-Europeans (Aryans) with Hindu religion (Wheeler) no longer accepted; Natural disasters, flooding of cities, changes in river courses, drying up of rivers, deforestation and salinization were part; Multi-causal factors, notably destabilization of networks of trade and redistribution critical to integration across the Indus and resulting in loss of authority by elites

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