India`s First Civilizations and Empires
India’s First Civilizations Sect. 1 Where do most civilizations begin? • 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 civilization • India’s first civilization grew quicklybecause people had plenty of fertile soil and food they could spend time making tools and building houses. • People began trading food and goods with other people. Their wealth grew and so did their cities! Two Major Cities Harappa Mohenjo-Daro Making Observations: How are these cities similar? Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro • Well-planned cities • Population of about 35,000 people • Fortresses were used to keep guard over the people • 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 civilization? 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 Mesopotamians. 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 hunters instead of farmers Developed a written language known as Sanskrit $$-Cattle very valuable because they provided meat, milk and butter. Because they were nomads, they were great warriors too! As they became farmers, cattle became sacred. Not to be used for food! Invented the iron plow Conquered the Harappans in 1000 B.C.Eeventually took over most India. People were organized into tribes led by a raja or prince. Aryans ruled most of India until 400 B.C.E 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 socialize. • Why do you think the caste system was created? Sect. 2 Ancient Indian Religions: Hinduism • 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 today. Hinduism: Karma • Soul not immediately joined with Brahman • Person must pass through many lives to be united with Brahman. Reincarnation • Good life = Good Karma = higher caste position • Bad life = Bad Karma = lower caste position Ancient Indian Religions: Buddhism • 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 One” 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 desires. – 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 others 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 people – 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 left. 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 Buddhism. • 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. Contributions 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 Empire?