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AP World History: Ancient India

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Presentation on theme: "AP World History: Ancient India"— Presentation transcript:

1 AP World History: Ancient India
Harappa Civilization, Maurya, and Gupta Empires

2 Presentation Outline Geography of India Harappa Civilization
Aryan Invasion Caste System Hinduism Maurya Empire Gupta Empire

3 1. Geography of Ancient India
The Indian subcontinent has the following geographic features which have contributed to the development of civilization Monsoonal rains can help sustain life but can also cause disastrous flooding Three River valleys: Indus, Brahmaputra, and Ganges rivers To North: Impassable Himalayas To East: Passable low hills To Northwest: Passable Hindu Kush, Khyber Pass To West: Arabian Sea


5 2. Harappa Civilization 3000 B.C.E- 1500 B.C.E
Located along the Indus River Valley in modern day Pakistan/India Wheat and barley were cultivated in Indus valley 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


7 After years of natural disasters (earthquakes and flooding) Harappa Civilization began to decline
People began to flee their cities Unable to defend their civilization, Harappa civilization was vulnerable to invaders

8 3. Aryan invasion Between 1750 and 1500 B.C.E Aryan invaders from Central Asia and Eastern Europe invaded India They brought with them a new language (Sanskrit), a social order (caste system), and a new religion (Hinduism)

9 4. 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 Caste and social mobility Caste system was capable of accommodating social change Social mobility was very difficult but still possible Foreign peoples could find a place in society of the castes


11 5. Hinduism The Upanishads Brahman: the universal soul
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

12 Hindu gods Hinduism is a polytheistic religion

13 6. Mauryan Empire 322 B.C.E to 185 B.C.E
Chandragupta united India in 322 B.C.E after defeating the Persians (from modern day Iran) Divided empire into districts and collected taxes Enforced strict adherence to caste system Asoka took over as ruler of Maurya around 252 B.C.E converted to Buddhism Dedicated to building roads and improving education Chandragupta Asoka


15 After Asoka’s death, the Maurya Empire weakens and India is divided into separate states

16 7. Gupta Empire A revived Indian Empire was established under Chandra Gupta I in 320 C.E. The Gupta Empire allowed a degree of religious toleration, allowing both Hinduism and Buddhism to coexist Extensive trade networks were established Many scientific and artistic achievements


18 Extensive trade with other empires

19 Extensive Trade: 4c spices silks cotton goods rice & wheat spices
horses gold & ivory gold & ivory cotton goods

20 Greatly influenced Southeast Asian art & architecture.
Gupta Art Greatly influenced Southeast Asian art & architecture.

21 500 healing plants identified Printed medicinal guides
Gupta Achievements 1000 diseases classified 500 healing plants identified Printed medicinal guides Kalidasa Literature Plastic Surgery Medicine Inoculations Gupta India C-sections performed Solar Calendar Astronomy Mathematics Decimal System The earth is round PI = Concept of Zero

22 Gupta India declined around 400 C.E. during the White Hun invasions
India would again be divided into separate states and only later unified again after Muslim invaders in the 7th and 8th centuries

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