Chapter 2.3: Planned Cities on the Indus I. A. The Geography of South Asia Wall of mountains: Hindu Kush, Karakoram, and Himalaya ranges Indian Subcontinent: India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh Rivers, Mountains, and Monsoons Fertile plain between the Indus and Ganges Rivers- Indus-Ganges Plain Deccan Plateau in center of peninsula Monsoons: seasonal winds that affect climate o October to May, winter monsoons from the northeast blow dry air across the country o June to September the spring monsoons blow from the southwest, carrying moisture from the ocean in great rain clouds B. Environmental Challenges Typical environmental challenges Indus River flows southwest from Himalayas to the Arabian Sea o Yearly floods deposited rich soil over a wide area o Floods, however, were unpredictable Unique challenge for people of Indus Valley was to cope with the cycle of wet and dry seasons brought by the monsoon winds Natural barriers: Mountains in north, and large desert to west (Thar Desert) Indus River was link to sea Trade with distant peoples, including Mesopotamia II. Civilization Emerges on the Indus Indus system of writing has not been deciphered yet Evidence from archaeological digs (but much evidence has probably been washed away by floods long ago). A. Earliest Arrivals Not sure over how human settlement began in India From Africa across the sea? Through the Khyber Pass in the Hindu Kush mountains? By 3200 BCE, people were farming in villages along the Indus River. B. Planned Cities Around 2500BCE- people in Indus Valley were building India’s first cities (contemporaneous with the construction of Egyptian pyramids) Ruins of more than 100 settlements along the Indus Largest cities: Kalibangan, Mohenjo-Daro, and Harappa Indus Valley Civilization sometimes referred to as Harappan Civilization Sophisticated City Planning o Cities were laid out on a precise grid system o Cities featured a fortified area, called a citadel, with major buildings of the city o Separate residential districts o Buildings constructed from oven-baked bricks in uniform sizes. o Sophisticated plumbing and sewage systems o Uniformity of city planning suggests Indus people had a strong central government C. Culture and Trade Indus civilization was generally stable Uniform housing suggests there weren’t great social divisions in society Clay and wooden children’s toys: relatively prosperous society…could produce nonessential items Few weapons of warfare have been found…maybe conflict was limited? Religious artifacts reveal links to modern Hindu culture Figures of Shiva? (a major Indian god) Other figures relate to a mother goddess, fertility images, and worship of cattle…all a part of later Indian civilization Stamps and seals to identify merchant’s goods Long-distance trade Indus seals found in Sumer and Sumerian objects found in the Indus Valley ruins…trade o Trade between Sumer and Indus began around 2350BCE with Sargon of Akkad until 2000 BCE III. Mysterious End to the Indus Valley Culture Around 1750BCE, quality of building in Indus Valley cities declined…why? Great cities fell into decay Maybe the Indus River changed course and didn’t fertilize the fields near the cities? Maybe people wore out the valley’s land? o Overgrazed it, overfarmed it, overcut its trees, brush, and grass Catastrophe around 1500 BCE? o Mohenjo-Daro 38 bodies that were never buried…city abandoned after a natural disaster or attack from enemies? Aryans, nomadic people from Caucasus Mountains, entered Indus Valley around this time…invasion or migration?