Unit Essential Question: In what ways did the
civilizations and empires of ancient India and
China lay long-lasting social and political
AIM: How did the geography of
India impact the development of
early Indian civilizations?
Do Now: Test Review, End of MP reflection, goal
India is a subcontinent in South Asia.
The Himalaya Mountains separate India
From China.
This is a photograph of the famous
Khyber Pass. This valley allowed
travelers to enter India.
India also experiences the monsoon.
The monsoons are winds that bring
The Indus River is an important river in
Indian history. It was the birthplace of
South Asia’s earliest civilization.
The Ganges River is an important river in
India. It is a sacred or holy river for Hindus.
E. Napp
The Indus River begins in the Himalayas.
When the snows melt, the river floods.
The Indus river allowed people to farm.
It made irrigation and transportation
possible. A great civilization developed
in the Indus river valley.
Harappan Civilization
3000 B.C.E
• The early civilization that developed in the Indus river
valley is frequently referred to as Harappan civilization.
• 2 Important Cities = Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro
This ruin reveals the careful planning of
the Indus river city of Harappa.
The buildings of Mohenjo-Daro were also
carefully planned.
Urban Planning
• Urban planning refers to the careful planning of a
This hole and drain suggest that indoor
bathrooms and toilets may have existed.
Harappan civilization had writing. However,
archaeologists are still deciphering it.
This map reveals the location of Harappan
Harappan civilization began around
3000 B.C.E.
The cities were surrounded by walls.
Walls were used to protect the inhabitants
of the cities.
Harappan civilization declined around
1500 B.C. It is possible that the monsoon
failed or an earthquake occurred.
The Aryans
The Aryans
1500-250 BC
Indo-European Migrations
1. Nomads: someone who moves from place to place in search for
2. From the Steppes of the Caucasus Mts.
A. Steppe: dry grasslands.
3. Migrated (moved) all throughout Europe & southwest Asia.
II. Aryans
1. Indo-Europeans who migrated into the Indus Valley.
2. Vedas: books that set down their prayers, songs, spells & religious
3. Varnas:
A. Rigid class system created by the Aryans.
Aryans had the best jobs.
ii. Dasa (dark) had the worst jobs.
4. Magadha – major kingdom of the Aryans.
5. Polytheistic – worshipped gods and goddesses who embodied
natural forces.
Aim: How did Mauryan rulers
create a strong central
government for their empire?
Do Now: What are some of the law/legal
systems we have discussed so far this year?
What else, besides laws, shapes peoples
Turn & Talk
Do you believe…
Is it better to rule through times of
peace or times of war?
Behavior Fit For a King
• “The king’s good is not that which pleases him, but that
which pleases his subjects”
-Arthashastra, a Maurya handbook on governance
What should the duties of a ruler include?
According to Hindu teachings, a ruler’s duties included
maintaining peace and order by enforcing laws, resisting invaders,
and encouraging economic growth. Those who successfully
achieved those goals became some of India’s great rulers.
The Maurya Empire
321 BCE – 185 BCE
• Gained power in the Ganges
Valley then conquered northern
• Maintained order through a wellorganized bureaucracy
• Building of roads/harbors,
collected taxes, managed stateowned factories/shipyards
• Rule was effective but harsh
• Brutal secret police reported on
corruption, crime and dissent
• 268 BCE – became emperor
• Converted to Buddhism, rejected violence,
and resolved to rule by moral example.
• Sent missionaries to spread Buddhism
across India and to Sri Lanka.
• Preached tolerance for other religions.
• Edicts of Asoka: stone pillars across India
announcing laws and promising righteous
• Brought peace and prosperity to empire
Division and Disunity
• After Asoka’s death, Maurya power declined
(185 BCE)
• North and south (Deccan Plateau) was
separated by distance and cultural differences
• Foreign invades constantly pushed through
mountain passes into Northern India.
• South divided into many kingdoms, different
languages and different traditions.
AIM: Why was the period of
Gupta rule in India
considered the “golden age”?
Do Now: What words/phrases do you associate with the term
‘golden age’?
Golden Age
Golden Age – period of great cultural
“The people are numerous and happy;…only those who
cultivate the royal land have to pay [a portion of] the grain
from it…The king governs without…corporal punishments.
Criminals are simply fined, lightly or heavily, according to
the circumstances [of each case].
-Faxian, A Record of Buddhistic Kingdoms
How was Gupta rule different from Mauryan rule?
The Guptas Bring About a Golden Age
• Trade and farming flourished
• Artisans produced goods for local
markets and foreign lands
• Advances in learning – students
were educated in religious schools
(not limited to religion and
• MATHEMATICS*  concept of
zero, decimal system
• Expand India’s literature
Civil war
Family and Village Life
• Majority were peasants
• Joint family – parents, children
and offspring shared a common
• Dowry – brides family makes
payment to the bridegroom
• Women lost status as time
• life revolved around the village
• Agriculture and trade shaped life