Rivers, Mountains and Plains The Indus Valley is protected by the Himalayas to the north and the Thar desert to the east An enormous flat fertile plain is formed by the Ganges and Indus rivers (Indo-Gangetic Plain) The Deccan Plateau is located at the center of the peninsula formed by the subcontinent
Monsoons Seasonal winds called monsoons dominate India’s climate From the middle of June through October the monsoons blow from eastward from the southwest and blow in moist air. The rest of the time the wind blows from the northeast and blows in dry air.
Environmental Challenges Yearly floods spread deposits of rich soil over a wide area but the Indus floods are unpredictable Rivers sometimes change course The cycle of wet and dry seasons brought by the monsoon winds was unpredictable.
Civilization Emerges on the Indus Their system of writing has not been deciphered The area of influence is larger than Mesopotamia or Egypt
Earliest Arrivals No one knows when or where the original settlers came into India Settlement has been dated back to 7,000 B.C.
Planned Cities Communities with brick buildings have been found that date back to 2,500 B.C. The oldest civilization that is dated is called the Harappan Civilization They had sophisticated city planning including well laid out city plans, running water, fortified areas called citadels and sewage systems
Harappan Planning The city is built on mud-brick platforms Surrounded by a city wall 3.5 miles long It enclosed a citadel for protection The citadel also served as a temple Streets were 30 feet wide Houses varied in size and some may have been as tall as three stories Houses were equipped with plumbing
Harappan Culture Language Their language has been impossible to decipher-No inscriptions have been found that are bilingual The language has about 400 symbols Scientist think that the symbols represent both objects and phonetic sounds
Role of Religion Rulers seemed to have had a close religious ties Archaeologists believe that they were a theocracy No temple sites have been found thus far Harappan religion seems to have been linked to Hinduism There are images that appear to be early representations of Shiva
Trade A thriving trade seems to have occurred for the Harappan including gold and silver from Afghanistan and semiprecious stones from and the Deccan Plateau The rivers provided an excellent means of transportation as well as a link to the sea (Indus River) Harappan seals have been found in Sumer
Indus Valley Culture Ends Around 1750 B.C., the quality of building in the Indus Valley cities declined In the 1970’s A.D. satellite images showed that in the time of the Harappan Civilization tectonic plates had shifted. This would have caused major earthquakes and floods and was strong enough to have caused the Indus River to change its course
Continued The Sarswati River dried-up because of the earthquakes Trade had to be discontinued because the rivers were no longer navigable Fields were destroyed due to irrigation damage There is a belief that the Harappan may have exhausted the soil by their farming techniques The Aryans from the Hindu Kush invaded