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Early Societies of the Indian Subcontinent. Comparisons between India, Egypt, Mesopotamia Similarities Founded in river valleys – Indus and Ganges/Tigris,

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Presentation on theme: "Early Societies of the Indian Subcontinent. Comparisons between India, Egypt, Mesopotamia Similarities Founded in river valleys – Indus and Ganges/Tigris,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Early Societies of the Indian Subcontinent

2 Comparisons between India, Egypt, Mesopotamia Similarities Founded in river valleys – Indus and Ganges/Tigris, Euphrates/Nile Hierarchical Polytheistic Belief in afterlife Conquered or overrun many times (India/Mesopotamia) = cultural mixture AND search for stability Differences India politically fragmented – hard to unite Indian caste system – much more rigid social classes/groups Indian beliefs in reincarnation after death Indian beliefs in religious contemplation, self-denial, and nonviolence

3 Harappan Society in the Indus River Valley ( BCE)

4 Harappan India Early agricultural farming villages by 7000 BCE Early agricultural farming villages by 7000 BCE Towns and cities by 3000 BCE Towns and cities by 3000 BCE Large cosmopolitan cities – 2800 to 1700 BCE Large cosmopolitan cities – 2800 to 1700 BCE Two main cities: Harappa (north) and Mohenjo-Daro (south) Two main cities: Harappa (north) and Mohenjo-Daro (south) Population each Population each

5 Harappan Granary

6 Mohenjo-Daro: Ancient City on the Indus © Borromeo/Art Resource, NY

7 Great Bath, Mohenjo-Daro Note: Harappans were great city- planners with well- laid-out linear streets

8 5000 year old Harappan figure – possibly Maha Devi or the Great Mother Goddess

9 Harappan Priest-King, c BCE

10 The Harappan peoples, like their contemporaries in Mesopotamia, developed a writing system to record their spoken language. Unfortunately, it has not yet been deciphered. Most extant examples of Harappan writing are found on fired clay seals depicting human figures and animals. These seals have been found in houses and were probably used to identify the owners of goods for sale. Other seals may have been used as amulets or have had other religious significance. Several depict religious figures or ritualistic scenes of sacrifice. © Scala/Art Resource, NY

11 Harappan Dancing Girl Bronze Figure, c BCE

12 Vedic India & Arrival of the Aryans Who are the Aryans? ( BCE) – pastoral nomads, sheep and cattle, horses Who are the Aryans? ( BCE) – pastoral nomads, sheep and cattle, horses Moved into Indian subcontinent from north Moved into Indian subcontinent from north Conflict and connections with Harappan descendents Conflict and connections with Harappan descendents Formed many small warring kingdoms led by warrior king rajahs Formed many small warring kingdoms led by warrior king rajahs Vedas were sacred hymns of priests, finally written down by 800 BCE Vedas were sacred hymns of priests, finally written down by 800 BCE

13 Aryans Invade from North

14 Info in Vedas Focused on war and battle Focused on war and battle Patriarchal Patriarchal Polytheistic Polytheistic Animal sacrifice Animal sacrifice Life after death Life after death Wine, food, gambling Wine, food, gambling Beginning of caste system: difference between Aryans (“noble”) and defeated people (“Dasa” – meaning slave or subject) Beginning of caste system: difference between Aryans (“noble”) and defeated people (“Dasa” – meaning slave or subject)

15 Persian and Greek Influences Invasions of northwest India by Persians (518 BCE) and Greeks (326 BCE) Invasions of northwest India by Persians (518 BCE) and Greeks (326 BCE) Brought wider connections with other cultures Brought wider connections with other cultures Increased trade Increased trade Affected political alignments within continent Affected political alignments within continent Caused rise of Mauryan Empire out of many different states/kingdoms Caused rise of Mauryan Empire out of many different states/kingdoms

16 Indian Political Consolidation, 4 th Century BCE Mauryan Empire ( BC) Mauryan Empire ( BC) Led by Chandragupta Maurya Led by Chandragupta Maurya United various kingdoms into first Indian empire United various kingdoms into first Indian empire BCE BCE Combined govt., military, religions of Persia, Macedonia, and India Combined govt., military, religions of Persia, Macedonia, and India First Dynasty in India First Dynasty in India Ashoka, Chandragupta’s grandson Ashoka, Chandragupta’s grandson Converted to Buddhism and led paternalist state Converted to Buddhism and led paternalist state Spread religion and control Spread religion and control

17 The Empire of Ashoka Ashoka, the greatest Indian monarch, reigned over the Mauryan dynasty in the third century B.C.E. This map shows the extent of his empire, with the location of the pillar edicts that were erected along major trade routes.

18 Carved Chapels Carved out of solid rock cliffs during the Mauryan dynasty, rock chambers served as meditation halls for traveling Buddhist monks. Initially, they resembled freestanding shrines of wood and thatch from the Vedic period but evolved into magnificent chapels carved deep into the mountainside, such as this one at Karli. © age fotostock/SuperStock

19 Caste and Class 1. Priestly Class (Brahmins) 2. Warrior Class (Kshatriya) 3. Commoner Class (Vaisya) 4. Peasant Class (Sudras) 5. Untouchables (Pariahs) Reasons for Survival of Caste System: Reasons for Survival of Caste System: 1. provided an identity for individuals in a highly hierarchical society 2. means for new groups to achieve recognizable place in broader community 3. primitive welfare system 4. provided an element of stability in society that was in a state of political anarchy

20 Escaping the Wheel of Life: Religions of India

21 Group Work Break up into groups of 3 people Break up into groups of 3 people Wait to be assigned an Indian religion Wait to be assigned an Indian religion Assignment: Assignment: Using your textbook, what are the major beliefs of your assigned religion? Using your textbook, what are the major beliefs of your assigned religion? What is the relationship between your religion and the caste system? What is the relationship between your religion and the caste system? Your information should be synthesized and organized to fit on one or two Powerpoint slides Your information should be synthesized and organized to fit on one or two Powerpoint slides Designate one person from your group to send me your information in an ; I will add to the PP. Designate one person from your group to send me your information in an ; I will add to the PP.

22 Vedic Religion or Brahminism (page 55) Sacred text known as the Vedas

23 Jainism (pages 55-56)

24 Buddhism (Middle Path) (page 56)

25 Mahayana Buddhism (pages 62-63)

26 Theravada Buddhism (page 63)

27 Hinduism (pages 56-57, 63-64)

28 Dancing Shiva The Hindu deity Shiva is often presented in the form of a bronze statue performing a cosmic dance in which he simultaneously creates and destroys the universe. While his upper right hand creates the cosmos, his upper left hand reduces it in flames, and the lower two hands offer eternal blessing. Shiva’s dancing statues visually convey to his followers the message of his power and compassion. The Hindu deity Shiva is often presented in the form of a bronze statue performing a cosmic dance in which he simultaneously creates and destroys the universe. While his upper right hand creates the cosmos, his upper left hand reduces it in flames, and the lower two hands offer eternal blessing. Shiva’s dancing statues visually convey to his followers the message of his power and compassion. © William J. Duiker

29 The Three Faces of Shiva In the first centuries C.E., Hindus began to adopt Buddhist rock art. One outstanding example is at the Elephanta Caves, near the modern city of Mumbai (Bombay). Dominating the cave is this 18-foot-high triple-headed statue of Shiva, representing the Hindu deity in all his various aspects. The central figure shows him in total serenity, enveloped in absolute knowledge. The angry profile on the left portrays him as the destroyer, struggling against time, death, and other negative forces. The right-hand profile shows his loving and feminine side in the guise of his beautiful wife, Parvati. © Charles & Josette Lenars/CORBIS.

30 Buddha in Indonesia & Thailand

31 Female Earth Spirit This earth spirit, sculpted on a gatepost of the Buddhist stupa at Sanchi 2,200 years ago, illustrates how earlier representations of the fertility goddess were incorporated into Buddhist art. Women were revered as powerful fertility symbols and considered dangerous when menstruating or immediately after giving birth. Voluptuous and idealized, the earth spirit could allegedly cause a tree to blossom if she merely touched a branch with her arm or wrapped a leg around the tree’s trunk. © Atlantide Phototravel (Massimo Borchi)/CORBIS


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