Chapter 6, Section 1 Ancient India

Chapter 6, Section 1
Ancient India
Geography and Early India
India- Physical
Indus Valley Civilizations
Thrived between 2300-1700 BC
Indus River Today
Geography of India
The geography of India includes high mountains,
great rivers, and heavy seasonal rain.
India is so large that it is referred to as a
subcontinent. A subcontinent is a large
landmass that is smaller than a continent.
Subcontinents are usually separated from the
rest of their continents by physical features.
India is largely separated from Asia by the
Himalayan Mountains in the north and the Hindu
Kush Mountains in the west.
West of the Himalayas is a vast desert.
The rest of India is covered by fertile plains and
rugged plateaus.
Geography of India (cont.)
The Indus Valley was the location of
India’s first civilization.
The Indus Valley is west of India in
present-day Pakistan.
When heavy snows in the Himalayas
melted, the Indus River flooded.
Like Mesopotamia and Egypt the
flooding left a layer of fertile silt.
The silt created ideal farmland for
early settlers.
In summer some parts of India
receive as much as 100-200 inches
of rain.
The climate of India is mostly hot
and humid. India’s monsoons
(seasonal wind patterns that cause
wet and dry seasons) influence
India’s climate.
In winter, the winds that blow down
the mountains force moisture out of
India to create warm, dry winters.
Harappan Civilization
Historians called the civilization that
grew up in the Indus Valley the
Harappan civilization.
Like other civilizations, towns and
cities grew once food surpluses
resulted from progress in irrigation
and agriculture.
Mohenjo-daro Civilization
Harappan Civilization
Dancing girl statue and child’s toy
found at excavation.
Well and Courtyard
Harappan Priest King
India’s First Cities
The Harappan civilization is believed to have
thrived between 2300 and 1700 BC.
The Harappan civilization consists of two large,
and similar cities, Harappa and Mohenjo Daro.
Both cities lay on the Indus River 300 miles
What are some characteristics of the cities of
Harappa and Mohenjo Daro?
1. well planned
2. protected by fortresses
3. brick streets that crossed at right angles
4. storehouses
5. workshops, market stalls, and houses
6. public wells
Mohenjo-daro Today
Harappan Achievements
What were the achievements of Harappan
1. houses with bathrooms
2. pottery, jewelry, ivory objects, cotton
3. high-quality tools
4. system of weights and measures
5. India’s first writing system
6. believed to have a strong central
Harappan civilization ended around 1700
Ancient Harappan Civilization
Ancient Bath and Latrine
Ferry Boat
Today’s boats are very similar to
ancient ones.
Ancient Harappan Beads
Aryan Invasion
Governments and Society
A new group of people called the Aryans took
power in the Indus Valley.
The Aryans were invaders from Central Asia. It is
possible they caused the end of the Harappan
How were the Aryans different from the
1. the Aryans were nomadic and more warlike
(used advanced weapons and chariots)
2. didn’t farm at first, didn’t build cities
3. no single ruling authority-society was based
on family ties. Each group had its own leader
4. no written language
5. village leaders were called rajas
Aryan Religion
Aryan priests wrote the Vedas.
What were the Vedas?
They were a collections of poems,
hymns, myths, and rituals written by
Aryan priests.
Aryan Language
Because the Aryans did not have a
written language at first, they had to
memorize the poems and hymns.
The first Aryan language was
Sanskrit, the most important
language of ancient India.
Sanskrit started as a spoken
language. Eventually people figured
out how to write it down so they
could keep records.
The earliest civilizations in India
grew in the Indus Valley. At first the
Harappans and then the Aryans lived
in this fertile valley.