India`s First Civilizations and Empires

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India`s First Civilizations and Empires
India’s First Civilizations
Sect. 1
Where do most civilizations
• Ancient India is no
different than
Egyptian and Roman
civilizations that
began near a River
• India’s first civilization
began in 3000 B.C.E
near the Indus River
• More than a thousand
villages and towns
were part of this
• India’s first civilization
grew quicklybecause people had
plenty of fertile soil
and food they could
spend time making
tools and building
• People began trading
food and goods with
other people. Their
wealth grew and so
did their cities!
Two Major Cities
Making Observations: How are these cities similar?
Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro
• Well-planned cities
• Population of
about 35,000
• Fortresses were
used to keep
guard over the
• Main roads and
side streets
• Houses were
made from baked
mud bricks. Most
houses had:
• wells
• Indoor bathrooms
• Drainage systems
• Garbage chutes
Harappa Society
• Because the Harappans left no written
records, we don’t know much about their
society or government.
• From their ancient architecture we can
tell that they had palaces and temples in
the city.
• What does that tell us about their
Harappa Society Continued..
• Most Harappans were farmers. They grew
rice, wheat, barley, peas, and cotton.
• People who lived in the city made copper
and bronze tools, pottery, clothing,
jewelry, and toys.
• Archeologist rarely found weapons in city
ruins. This shows that they were a
peaceful society.
• Harappan civilization traded with the
The Aryans Invade
• Historians believe that
several earthquakes
and floods led to the
downfall of the
Harrapan cities.
• The Indus River also
changed its course,
killing many people.
• The Aryans invaded the
Indus River Valley
destroying the
Harappan civilization.
Who were the Aryans?
They were
instead of
Developed a
known as
$$-Cattle very
because they
provided meat,
milk and butter.
Because they
were nomads,
they were
great warriors
As they became
farmers, cattle
became sacred.
Not to be used for
the iron
Conquered the
Harappans in
1000 B.C.Eeventually took
over most
People were
organized into
tribes led by a
raja or prince.
Aryans ruled
most of India
until 400
Ancient India Social Classes
• One result of the
Aryan invasion was
the development of
the caste system.
• A caste is a social
group that someone
is born into and
cannot change.
• It dictates what job
you will have, whom
you can marry, and
with whom you can
• Why do you think the
caste system was
Sect. 2
Ancient Indian Religions:
• Hinduism grew out of the ancient beliefs of
the Aryans.
• Polytheism: Thousands of gods and goddesses
• Gods controlled the Forces of Nature
• Soul wants to be reunited with the universal
spirit called Brahman
• Is one of the oldest religions in the world.
• Is the third largest religion in the world
Hinduism: Karma
• Soul not immediately joined with Brahman
• Person must pass through many lives to be
united with Brahman.
• Good life = Good Karma = higher caste
• Bad life = Bad Karma = lower caste
Ancient Indian Religions:
• Founded by Siddhartha Gautama
A prince born around 563 B.C.
Wealthy, handsome, happily married, daddy
Became aware of suffering in his kingdom
Sought answer to life riddle?
• Why did people suffer and how could their suffering
be cured?
– He left his family and riches and lived like a hermit in
order to find answer.
• Slept on hard ground, fasted 49 days
• Spent rest of his days sharing what he had learned
• Became known as the Buddha, or the “Enlightened
What is Buddhism?
• Normal everyday things are not real, neither
are poverty, pain, sorrow, and sickness.
These are simply illusions.
• To find truth, one must give up worldly
– This = Nirvana = A state of wisdom
What is Buddhism?
• The heart of Buddha’s teachings is
contained in the Four Noble Truths
1. Life is full of suffering
2. People suffer because they desire worldly things
and self-satisfaction.
3. The way to end suffering is to stop desiring things.
4. The only way to stop desiring things is to follow
the Eightfold Path
What is Buddhism?
The Eightfold Path
1. Know and understand the Four Noble Truths
2. Give up worldly things and don’t harm others
3. Tell the truth, don’t gossip, and don’t speak badly of
4. Don’t commit evil acts, like killing, stealing, or living
an unclean life
5. Do rewarding work
6. Work for good and oppose evil
7. Make sure your mind keeps your senses under control
8. Practice meditation as a way of understanding reality
Buddhism in Southeast Asia?
• Theravada Buddhism
– Sees Buddha as a great teacher, not a god
• Mahayana Buddhism
– Following the Eightfold Path is too hard
– Worship Buddha as god who came to save
– Led by Dalai Lama: Government/Religious
leaders = Theocracy in Tibet
Sect. 3
India’s First Empires
• The Mauryan
Empire-321 B.C.E
• The Gupta
Empire-320 B.C.E
Statue of Chandragupta Maurya-known
for creating India’s 1st Empire
Who built India’s First Empire?
• Two Major Invasions in Ancient India’s history:
*Persian Invasion in the 500s B.C.E
*Alexander the Great in 327 B.C.E
• India’s first empire was founded by
Chandragupta Maurya.
• He was an Indian prince who conquered a large
area of land right after Alexander the Great
• Because many of the kingdoms throughout India
were weak because of Alexander, he was able to
easily take over when Alexander and his troops
Chandragupta’s Dynasty
• A dynasty is a series
of rulers from the
same family
• Chandragupta
controlled his dynasty
by building a strong
army and using spies.
• He also established a
postal system-how
would this be useful
to him?
Early stamps of India
were watermarked with
an elephant's head.
Emperor Asoka
• Historians consider him to be
Mauryan’s greatest king.
• He began as a strong military
leader, but later he turned
away from violence.
• He made a vow to live a
peaceful life and follow
• He built hospitals, roads, and
sent teachers throughout India
to teach Buddhism.
• The empire grew weak after
his death and the Mauryan
Empire fell.
The Gupta Empire
• After 500 years of fighting, another Chandragupta
took power and founded the Gupta Empire.
• Chandragupta died and his son, Samudragupta
took over and expanded the Empire.
• They ruled for about 200 years. They grew
wealthy from trade with China, parts of Asia, and
the Mediterranean.
• Official Religion of the Empire was Hindu
• Pilgrims used trade routes to travel to a religious
shrine or site. Visiting pilgrims helped make cities
of the Empire wealthy.
• Can you think of a modern example of this?
What about Indian Culture?
The Golden Age of Art and Learning in India was during the
Gupta Empire.
The Invention of Zero-Indian
mathematicians invented the
symbol of “0” and connected it
with the idea of nothing
Algorithms-a series of steps to
solve a problem. Computer
programmers today often use
algorithms to tell computers
what to do
Astronomy-mapped the
movements of planets and stars.
They understood that the Earth
revolved around the sun. They
also understood gravity.
Medicine-They could set broken
bones, perform operations, and
created early forms of plastic
surgery. Indian doctors used
herbs to treat illnesses.
Discussion Questions
• Why do archeologist think the Harappans
were peaceful?
• Under the caste system, what aspects of
life are affected by a person’s caste?
• What happened as a result of Alexander
the Great’s invasion of India?
• What advancements in medicine and
mathematics were made by the Gupta
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