Guiding Question How did South Asia’s early history lay the foundation for modern life in the region?
Main Ideas The Indus Valley civilization was the first of South Asia’s civilizations. It last about 1000 years. The Aryans swept into what is now India about 1500 BC. The Aryan civilization lasted for about 1000 years and established the caste system. South Asia is the birthplace of several major religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism Since the Aryans, there have been three major empires in South Asia: Maurya, Gupta and Mughal
Mohenjo-Daro Mohenjo-Daro is an archaeological site in Pakistan. It was built nearly 4,500 years ago and is believed to be an important city in the Indus Valley civilization. The city lacked large palaces or temples. Other cities from other civilizations of the same period had these structures and were ruled by a class of priests or kings. Because Mojenjo-Daro does not have these buildings, archaeologists do not believe that it was ruled by kings or priests.
Mohenjo Daro Nearly every home had a bathing area with a drain. This suggests that the people were concerned with cleanliness. The high quality bricks used to construct the city, along with the gold, ivory and lapis artifacts also suggest that there were many wealthy people in the city. While artifacts are still being uncovered, archaeologists are concerned about preserving the site. Today, archaeologists and international organizations work to maintain the buildings of Mojenjo-Daro. Each house in Mohenjo-Daro was connected to the sewer/drainage system. This system is more efficient than many sewer systems in use today in Pakistan.
Lapis Lazuli A blue stone with gold streaks, historically mined in Afghanistan Prized for its color “Lapis” is a Latin word for stone “Lazuli” is the Latinization of the Persian name for the stone Azure (English), azur (French), and azul (Spanish/Portuguese) all come from the name of this stone.
Reading Check What important legacies did the Aryans leave behind? The Sanskrit language The Vedas (holy texts for Hinduism) The varna system, which eventually develops into the caste system, which existed until it was outlawed in 1947.
Hinduism “Hinduism” is the name we use to describe a group of South Asian religions. In many ways, these religions are no more alike than Catholics are like Baptists, but they hold many of the same core beliefs Hinduism is the oldest of the religions still practiced by large numbers of people Two core beliefs are reincarnation (samsara) and karma
Jainism Dates to about the 800s or 900s BC (not much historical evidence) Three main principles: Nonviolence (Jains are strict vegetarians) Non-absolutism (nothing is absolutely so or absolutely not so) Non-possessiveness (do not become attached to material possessions) It is the smallest of the major religions of South Asia (about 5.2 million followers as of 2001)
Buddhism Founded by Siddhartha Gautama (the Buddha or “enlightened one”) in the 400s or 500s BC Four Noble Truths: Life is full of suffering Suffering is caused by selfish desire If desire is conquered, suffering wills stop Desire can be conquered by following the Eightfold Path Two major branches of Buddhism: Theravada Buddhism (dominant in South Asia and Southeast Asia) Mahayana Buddhism (dominant in East Asia)
Major Religions of South Asia Hinduism BuddhismJainismSikhism Monotheistic All people are equal Service to others List facts about each of the major religions in South Asia
Three Major Indian Empires Maurya Empire (about 300 to 100 BC) Largest empire in India (Himalayas to almost the southern tip of India, including Pakistan, Bangladesh and a bit of Myanmar) Centralized and efficient administration, finance and security Gupta Empire (about 300 AD to about 550 AD) “Golden Age” of Indian culture Mughal Empire (1500s to 1800s AD) Descendants of Mongol conquerors in Central Asia Islamic, rather than Hindu Generally tolerant of other religions
Taj Mahal The Taj Mahal is one of the most famous buildings in the world. It is the tomb of Mumtaz Mahal, the third wife of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, who died in childbirth. It was commissioned in 1632. It took 20,000 laborers and 22 years to complete.
List facts about the three major empires of South Asia Major Empires of South Asia MauryaGuptaMughal
Modern South Asia Guiding Question: how has conflict led to change in South Asia?
Main Ideas In the 1600s, British traders established settlements in India In 1857, the British government took direct control over South Asia (what is today Pakistan, India and Bangladesh) In the late 1800s, an independence movement began. In 1947, India became independent from Britain India and Pakistan fought several wars. In the 1990s, both countries developed nuclear weapons India and Pakistan still argue over the Kashmir region in northern India
Rebellion of 1857 There were many causes of the Rebellion of 1857, mostly related to the British East India Company treating groups and regions unfairly In 1857, the British East India Company issued a new rifle to their Indian soldiers, which used a greased paper cartridge to hold the powder and bullet (the Enfield rifle was a muzzle-loader) The grease was made from beef and pork tallow (an “oops!” moment for the British) Hindus will not eat beef (one reason it took so long to bring McDonalds to India) Muslims will not eat pork The British government assumed complete control of India afterward The rebellion is often called the “First War for Indian Independence”
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Reading Check What countries were created out of the South Asia subcontinent? What religions do the majority of the people in each of these countries follow?