Understand the origins and early development of the first civilizations in the Indian subcontinent assignment help

1. Understand the origins and early development of the first civilizations in the Indian subcontinent.

2. Understand the origins and early development of the first civilizations of ancient China.

Web Sites:

Harappan Civilization http://www.archaeologyonline.net/artifacts/harappa- mohenjodaro.htmlAryans in India http://www.indhistory.com/aryan.htmlShang Dynasty http://www.travelchinaguide.com/intro/history/shang/

Videos:

Harappan Civilization: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XvrE38HL0HM Ancient China: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpF6bVd_xjAZhou Dynasty: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HY7M1p8jvlE

Documents:

Chapter 3“From Primitive to Zen,” A Vedic Hymn to the Goddess Earth: http://www.mircea- eliade.com/from-primitives-to-zen/026.html“The Indian Ascetic,” (“The Laws of Manu”): http://www.mircea-eliade.com/from-primitives-to-zen/218.html“The Creation of the World” from The Upanishands” http://www.mircea-eliade.com/from-primitives-to-zen/058.html“The Dilemma of Arjuna” http://web.archive.org/web/20001025081804/http://www.humanities.ccny.cuny.edu/histo ry/reader/krishna.htm

Chapter 4“The Mandate of Heaven,” Selections from the Shu Jing (The Classic of History): http://acc6.its.brooklyn.cuny.edu/~phalsall/texts/shu-jing.html“introduction to the I Ching,” by Carl Gustav Jung: http://www.iging.com/intro/foreword.htm

Reading: Chapter 3, pp. 66-91; Chapter 4, pp. 94-119

By 2500 BCE, another advanced civilization had emerged along the Indus River that runs northeast through present-day Pakistan to the contested province of Kashmir.
















Like the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers of Mesopotamia, the Indus River was noted for its unpredictable and often violent pattern of flooding. A number of urban centers arose along the Indus River with streets laid out along a precise grid and houses with running water and sewage systems.

Much of what historians know about the Indus valley civilizations come from archaeological discoveries because Harappan writing has yet to be deciphered. The discovery of Harappan artifacts by archaeologists in the Middle East indicate an active trade between the peoples of the Indus valley and Mesopotamia by way of the Persian Gulf.

Around 1500 BCE, the Harappan civilization was overtaken by a group of Indo-Europeans, called the Aryan. (When you get to HS 1122, you will see this term used by Hitler and the Nazis as the ancestors of the

German “race” and to designate “acceptable” people and non-acceptable peoples (Jews). By the time of the Aryan conquest, the Harappan civilization had already declined markedly, perhaps as a result of rivers changing their courses or a natural disaster such as an earthquake. The blend of the traditional culture of the Indus valley people and that of the Aryans had a tremendous effect on the future course of Indian history.

The most isolated of the ancient river valley civilizations was the one in the Huang He valley of present-day China. Isolated by deserts, the Himalayas, and seas, the people of the Huang did trade with Southwest Asia and South Asia.

Now we are going to move north of the Himalyas to study the origins and development of ancient China. The earliest Chinese dynasty that left written records was the Shang dynasty (1766-1122 BCE). A key element
of the Shang period was the knowledge of bronze
metallurgy, which came from Southwest Asia through
migrations of Indo-Europeans. Bronze metallurgy
and familiarity with iron-making around 1100 BCE
strengthened the Shang rulers. Shang rule was also
empowered by the need for central rule to oversee
irrigation and flood-control projects along the Huang
He River. Shang rule also saw the rise of a number of
walled cities which served as cultural, military, and
economic centers. Elaborate palaces and tombs were
built for Shang rulers.

Shang society was stratified with a class of ruling elites, artisans, peasants, and slaves. Families were patriarchal, and the veneration of ancestors was common. The matrilineal society that characterized China before Shang rule gradually eroded until women held positions subordinate to those of men.

The Shang dynasty eventually gave way to the Zhou about 1122 BCE who rule until 258 BCE. The Zhou claimed they overthrew the Shang by the will of the gods, what they called the “mandate of heaven.” The Zhou continued the tradition of central authority that first took root under the Shang. The Zhou emperors, or “Sons of Heaven,” as they called themselves, continued to centralize authority and expanded Chinese

territory to include the fertile rice-growing region of the southern Yangtze River to the rich wheat-producing regions of northern China. One significant achievement was the standardization of the spoken language.

Study Questions:
1. What are the origins of the earliest civilizations in the Indus River Valley

2. What were the origins of ancient China? 

 

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