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ANCIENT HISTORY

INDUS VALLEY CIVILIZATION

INTRODUCTION:
Charles Masson > 1826-38 first described the ruins of harappa significance was not realized
1857 - British authorities used harappan bricks in the construction
of East Indian railway line connecting karachi and lahore
1912 - harappan seals with then unknown symbols were
discovered by J Fleet >> triggered an excavation campaign under Sir
John Marshall in 1921/22 > RESULT - discovery of a hitherto
unknown civilization by Dayaram Sahani
1931 - much of the Mohenjodaro was excavated, but minor
campaigns continued > Mortimer Wheeler in 1950
Partition of British India in 1947 > area of IVC was divided b/n
Pakistan and India

PRE-HARAPPAN AND HARAPPAN CULTURES - DATES AND


FEATURES:
4 IMPORTANT PHASES OF EVOLUTION
4000 BC - 1800 BC >>

Neolithic

Plains
Mehrgarh

neolithic
Pastoralism
Baluchistan and Indus plains
Villages
Mehrgarh and Killi Ghul Mohammad
pastoralism with limited cultivation & seasonal occupation
emergence of permanent villages - wheat, barley, dates, cotton,
sheep, goat - mud houses, pottery, crafts
2900 BC - 2500 BC >>

early harappan period


more settlements in hills and plains
Largest number of villages
Use of copper, wheel and plough (PCW)

Extraordinary pottery forms > beginning of many regional


traditions
Rural to urban life
Amri and Kot diji
Granary, defensive walls & long distance trade (GDT)
Uniformity in pottery tradition
Origins of motifs - pipal, humped bulls, cobras, horned deity
2500 BC - 2000 BC >>

Mature harappan period


Large cities
Uniform types of bricks, weights, seals, beads and pottery
Planned township
Long distance trade
Kalibangan

Mature
Cities
Uniform
Township
Trade
Kalibangan

2000 BC onwards >>

Late harappan period


Many harappan sites abandoned
Continuation of harappan crafts and pottery tradition
Village cultures of punjab, sutlej - jamuna divide
Gujarat imbibes the harappan crafts and pottery tradition

Late
Sites abandon
Crafts and
Pottery
Village cultur
Gujarat
Lothal

lothal

Bronze Age people had built up great civilizations and made


significant contributions
M - Mesopotamian > tigris and euphrates
E - Eyptian > nile
C - chinese > hwang ho
H - harappan > indus
Mesopotamian Civilization:

tigris and euphrates - modern Iraq


Rivers flood > deposit silt > fertile
Increased food production
abundant agricultural produce > growth of a number of crafts
persons - smiths, potters masons, weavers and carpenters
Barter system
Carts, wagons, boats and ships - transport and communication
script - collection of symbols and pictures > drew wedge-like lines
> Cuneiform script

Rivers
Food produ
Agricultura
Barter syste
Transpot
Script
Administrat
Ruling class
Others

earliest cities - small states > own administration


ruling class -priests, kings and aristocrats
Others - merchants, ordinary people and the slaves
worshipped many gods and goddesses like sky, sun, moon,
fertility
Each city had its own patron god or goddess
Egyptian Civilization:

Nile > fertile land


Egyptian kings were called Pharaohs
ministers and officers - administered the land and collected taxes
Priests- high and honorable position in society
Temples were dedicated to a particular god in each town or city
ancient Egyptian script - Hieroglyphics
Traders and merchants - business both on land and water

skilled workers > stone-cutters and carpenters


knowledge of weights and measures
built the great monuments Pyramids
believed in afterlife, they preserved the dead bodies - mummies
pyramids were built as tombs to keep the mummified bodies of th
dead kings.

Chinese Civilization:

Hwang ho
First rulers - Shangs > built first cities - contributed art and culture
Craftspersons - bronze workers > great experts in their fields
Shang dynasty was overthrown by the Zhous, who built strong
forts and walled towns to defend themselves from invaders
later phase of the Zhou rule iron was introduced ending the
Bronze Age in China
In 221 BC, the Chin rulers came to power - use of common
language, common laws and common weights and measures
throughout their empire > built the famous Great Wall of China
After Chins, Han dynasty came to power, who ruled till AD 220 >
Chinese traders had contact with the West through the famous Silk
Route, crossing Central Asia and Persia
Worship of ancestors, nature and spirits very common
Confucius > system of right behavior- greatly influenced Chinese
society and Government

emphasis on good moral character, respect to elders and loyalty


to the family and obedience to the laws of the State
Harappan civilization:

Nomenclature of IVC:
Indus valley civilization - flourished along the indus and ghaggar hakra
Harappan civilization - john marshall after the first discovered site
harappa
Saraswati civilization - john marshall after the first discovered site
harappa
70000 - 50000 BCE - FIRST HUMANS migrated to India
IVC - first known civilization in india
Period: 2500 -1750 BC
Area - 1.3 million sq.km
Population - around 5 million
Most concentration of settlements - ghaggar-hakra river system
Harappa > largest no. of sites
Mixed race - A2M2 - austroloid, alpinoid, mediterranean,
mongoloid
Most from mediterranean race
6 out of 250 sites are cities

Discovery:
Harappa - 1921 - dayaram sahani > m.s.wats > mortimer wheeler
(HD)
Mohenjodaro - r.d.banarjee 1922 (MB)
UNESCO world heritage sites
Chanhudaro - 1931 majumdar (CM)
Kalibangan - 1961-69 - B.B.lal and B.K.Thaper
Town planning

Grid system
Western side >> fortified citadel - public buildings
Eastern side >> lower town - house of commoners

Burnt brick
Drainage system
Streets - 30 ft
Buildings - 1) residential houses 2) larger buildings 3) public
buildings
Economy:

Agriculture
Wheat and barley
Rice - lothal and rangpur
Indigo - rojdi in gujarat
Well irrigation - aladinho in sindh
Animal rearing
First to use silver and cotton
Ignorant of use of iron
Internal trade - south india, UP, maharashtra , bihar
Foreign trade - mesopotomia and egypt
Transportation - bullock carts, boats
Barter system - exchange of goods without use of money
Seals:

Agriculture
Wheat
Rice
Indigo
Well irrigation
Animal rearing
First to use
Ignorant
Trade - IF
Transportation
Barter system

Steatite
Square
Rectangular
Stamp bags
Sealing
Ownership
Sealing
Humpless bull

Made of steatite
Square - animal and inscription
Rectangular - inscription only
Used to stamp bags containing goods that were sent from one
place to another
After bag was closed layer of wet clay was applied - sealing > if it
is intact - goods reached safely
Ownership
Animal most encountered - humpless bull

Script and language:

Pictographic
Fish
dholavira

Pictographic
Birds, fishes, varieties of human form
Fish - most represented in pictographs
Signboard inscription bearing 10 pictographs - dholavira

Political conditions:

municipal
monarchial
evidence

No clear cut evidence


Well planned cities & excellent drainage system - municipal govt
Fortified citadel - monarchial form of govt

Religion:
Mother goddess
Shiva
Yoni worship
Pipal tree, animals
Ghosts
Yoga
Fertility symbols

Mother goddess
Male deity - pashupati shiva
Female sex organs - yoni worship
Pipal tree and animals - pigeon, humpless bulls
Believed in ghosts and evil forces
Yoga and meditation
Worshipped fertility symbols - round stones, pierced stones

Terracotta figurines:

Baked clay
Male and fe
Humpless b
New techni
Metallurgy

Made of baked clay


Male and female figurines
Pride of place - great humpless bulls
New techniques in handicraft - camelian products, seal carving
Metallurgy - copper, bronze, lead, tin
Images:

Meta
stone
Danc
Bear

Metal and stone


Metal - bronze image of nude dancing girl with right hand at hip
Stone - steatite image of bearded man at mohenjodaro

Pottery:

Potters wheel
Glazed pottery
Plain
Painted

Use of potters wheel


Glazed pottery - first of its kind in world
Plain (red) and painted (red and black)

Weights and measures:

First doubling from 1,2,4,8 to 64 and then in decimal multiples of


16
Foot - 37.6 cm
Cubit - 51.8 to 53.6

Burial practices:
3 forms (CPF)
Complete burials
Fractional burials
Post-cremation burials
Surkotada - pot burial

CPF
Surkotada
Harappa

Harappa - graves east-west axis

Food:

Wheat, barley, dates, pork, beef, mutton, poultry


Milk and vegetables

Dress and ornaments:

Cotton
Wool
2 types
Ornaments

Cotton and wool


Two types - one to cover upper and one to cover lower portions
Ornaments - gold, silver, ivory and copper
Public buildings:

Fortified citadels
Large pillared hall
Great granary (3G)
Great bath
Public granary

Citadels
Pillared hall
3G


Household articles:
Vessels
Pottery
Dice

Vessels of copper, bronze, silver and painted pottery


Glazed indus pottery
Game of dice

Weapons:

Defensive
Preparation

Maces, axes, spears, bows, arrows


Defensive weapons - unknown
Preparation of weapons - copper, bronze and stone

Special features of some harappan sites:


Harappa:

First indus site to be discovered - dayaram sahani (HD)


2 rows of 6 granaries
Largest no. of wheat grains
Red sandstone tarso of nude male
Burial practices - R 37, cemetry H type
Mohenjodaro:
Second site to be discovered - R.D.Banarjee (MB)
Great granary (3G)
Great bath
Multi pillared assembly hall
First street

Pasupati seal
Bronze image of dancing girl with right hand on hip
Steatite image of bearded man
3 cylindrical seals of mesopotamia
Outbreak of malaria

Lothal:
s.r.rao
Artificial dockyard
World's first tidal port

Mini harappa
Double burial
Cultivation of rice
Manchester of harappan civilization for its cotton (3Cs)
Copper furnaces
Chess game
Fire altar
Chanhudaro:

Majumdar (CM)
Indus city without citadel (CCC)
Lancashire of india

Flooded more than once


Largest number of copper settlements
Lipstick
Cat's fooprint
Kalibangan:

B.B.lal and k.ghosh


Word - black bangles
Earliest ploughed field
Mixed cropping
Cylindrical seal
7 fire altars
Bones of animals
Surkotada

Joshi
Bones of horse
Pot burial

Dholavira:

r.s bhist
Largest of all indus settlements
Middle town dam, reservoir, stadium
10 alphabet signboard
Traces of dam
Destroyed by earthquake
Biggest state found in india
Water reservoir
Stadium
Banwali:

Barley grains

Oval shaped settlements


Daimabad :

Dhavalikar
Largest no. of bronze items
Bronze chariot, rhino, elephant, bull
Kot diji:

Ghurey
Largest no. of stone implements
Destroyed by fire
Geographical extent :

Impact of IVC on present India:

Indus valley civilization:


Drew much of its wealth from horticulture
Main crop was cotton
Believed to have followed an authoritarian or theocratic system of
govt
Adopted hinduism after the arrival of nomads from central
europe
Present India:
Main exports are precious stones, petroleum and petroleum
based products, software, engg equipment, textiles
Shifted from social leanings to liberal policies and free market
economy in 1991
Follows a democratic system of govt

Recent study on IVC:


Confirmed that IVC declined due to climate change
Scientists found evidence from meghalaya, oman and arabian sea
> abrupt weakening
of summer monsoon affected NW India 4100 yrs ago
Resulting drought coincided with the beginning of decline of
metropolis-building > climate change
could be why many of its major cities were abandoned

Conclusion:
Indus valley people gave to this world its earliest cities, its town
planning. Its architecture in stone and clay and showed their
concern for health and sanitation
There is enough evidence to show that some of the early
conceptions of hinduism are derived from this culture

On the whole, present civilization is a composite product resulting


from a fusion of several cultures where the contribution is of
Town planning
utmost importance
Architecture

Health and
sanitation
Hinduism
Composite product

THE VEDIC CIVILIZATION


EARLY OR RIG VEDIC CIVILIZATION:

INTRODUCTION:
The world of vedic india is largely through its religious texts, the
vedas, which gave the period its name
The vedas recorded not only the religion of the vedic people,
but also details of their lives that give us a look at their political,
social and economic pattern.
Composed and transmitted orally, these texts consists of hymns;
spells; myths and rituals.


Original home and identity:

Word "Aryan" > high birth

Theory of southern russia or eurasia > seems more plausible

From this region they moved to diff parts of asia and europe

Migrated to india through khyber pass

Rapidly spread to the area known as the Sapta Sindhu

Some part of Afghanistan > araiya or haraiya

Main tribes > hitties, indo-aryans, iranians, kassites, mitannis


and greeks

Boghaz koi inscriptions > peace treaty between hitties and


marayanni rulers
of mittani >> names of vedic gods are mentioned - indra, mitra,
nasatya , varuna

Proves that central asia as their homeland

Mingles with local people

Adopted agrarian way of life after settling down in small,


organized communities

Reason behind rapid expansion of the aryans:


Chariot driven by horses
Weapons made of good quality bronze
Use of armour (varman)
Use of destructive machine called "Purcharishnu"

Chariot
Weapons
armour
Purcharish
u

Geographical extent:
Knowledge of indus valley according to rig veda
Indus is the most mentioned river in rig veda
Saraswati (Naditarna) considered as the holiest river
Identified with ghaggar-hakra channel, but in rigvedic
description it seems to be avetan river "Haraxvati"
Yamuna > thrice & ganga > once
Samudra > collection of water and not sea
Knowledge of himvat or snow mountains, dhawa (desert land)
and majuvant, from which aryans got soma
Knowldege of eastern afghanistan, NWFP, east and west punjab
and haryana

indus vall
Indus
Saraswat
Haraxvat
Yamuna
ganga
Samudra
soma
Knowldeg

Sources:
Chief source - vedic literature in sanskrit
Composed > 1500 - 500 BC
Vedic literature - 4 vedas, vedangas, upavedas, darsanas and
sutra literature

The 4 vedas:
Veda - "vid" > to know or knowledge
4 vedas - rig, yajur, sama, adharva (RAYS)
Belief of hindus - vedic literature composed by Apaursheyas
Rishis heard them from the mouth of god - sruthi > handed over
from generation to generation
Rigveda - oldest and most important
each veda - 4 parts - samhita, brahmana, aranyaka, upanishads

Samhithas:
Texts for recitation
Hymns, prayers, sacrificial formulas
1017 hymns in rik samhitha
One mandala > purushasukta - sacrificial rituals
Yajus samhitha - partly hymns and partly of prose passages performance of sacrifices
Samaveda samhitha - 1063 verses > rik samhitha - sung at the
time of sacrifice
Atharva samhitha - 731 hymns divided into 20 books
Atharva veda > late recognition - excluded from the group deals with evil spirits ,
ghosts and formulas to control demons and spirits

Brahmanas:
Explain the meaning of sacrifices and methods of performing
them
Each of the 4 vedas had brahmanas attached to it

Aitreya and Kausitaki Brahmanas >> rig veda (RAK)

Tandya Maha Brahmana and Jaiminiya Brahmanas >> Samaveda:


Thanda, Janimiya
Taittireya and Sathpatha Brahmanas >> Yajurveda: Sat on a Tie
Gopatha Brahmanas >> Adharvaveda: Gopi

Aranyakas:
Forest texts for old people who resorted to forests and unable to
perform sacrifices
Philosophical ideas discussion
Simple ceremonies in place of complicated rituals
Most imp Aranyakas - Aitreya and Taitreya

Upanishads:
Indian philosophy rooted
Upanishad - secret instructions imparted as private settings by
the preceptor to the pupil
Simply sitting near a guru to get confidential knowledge
Deals with truth , self realization, self and absolute self
emancipation of man

Ind
Up
gur
De
Tot
Im

Total - 108
Imp - isa, kena, katha, prasna, mundaka ("Satyameva jayathe"),
mandukya, chanyoga, brihadaranyaka, svetasvatara (Bhakti
concept) and Maitrayani

Vedangas:
Total 6 (SVNJKC)
Closely connected with vedas known as vedangas or limbs of
veda
Shiksha - phonetics, kalpa - ritual, vyakarana - grammar, nirukta
- etymology, chandas - metric, jyothisha - astronomy
Help in reading and understanding the vedas

Upavedas:
Total 4 (GADS)
Ayurveda - medicine, Dhanurveda - warfare, Gandharva veda music, Shilpa veda - architecture

Total
Connected
Reading &
understand

Darsanas:
Total 6 (msnV2y)
Nyaya gautama

Vaiseshika kanada

Yoga patanjali

Sankhya kapila

Purva mimansa jaimini

Uttar mimansa - badarayana


Darsanas - imp part of indian philosophy

Sutra literature:
Developed in the form of concise formulas
Srauta > public rituals - big sacrifices
grihya >domestic rules
dharma > law and social practice
Sulva > rules for measurements and building of altars and places

Political conditions:

Not homogeneous
Divided into several tribes - anus, druhyus, yadus, purus,
bharatas, krivis, srinjayas
Fought among themselves for supremacy
The aryans came into conflict with DASAS (branch of early
aryans) and DASYUS (original inhabitants of India)
The dasyus probably worshipped the phallus and did not
husband cattle for dairy products
Rigveda mentions the defeat of Sambara (Dasyus) by a chief
called Divodasa of Bharata clan (Dasas)
: Sambara vs Divodasa

Conc
Srau
Grih
Dhar
Sulva

The term Dasyuhatya refers to the slaughter of the dasyus by the


dasas
Aryan chief of the dasas - Trasadasyu
Tribal chief - Rajan > centre of administrative machinery.
The kings (Gopajanasya) position was hereditary
He was the protector of tribe and cattle and not the ruler of
specific territory
Popular mode of govt - monarchy
King employed spies. Army included foot soldiers (Patti) and
warriors (Rathins).
The army divided into Sardha, Vrata and Gana
Several tribal assemblies called Vidhatha, Sabha, Samithi and
Gana are mentioned in the Rig veda >> exercised military and
religious functions.
Women attended Vidatha and Sabha
Doctrine of divinity was not associated with kingship
Only one king, Purusukta has been described as Ardhaveda
(semi - divine) in Rigveda
Important officers - purohita, senani, kulpati (head of the
family), vishpati, brajpati, gramini, sparsa (spy), dutta (messenger)
In the Ratnahavimsi ceremony the king had to approach
dignitaries who lived in permanent dwellings
The Dasraja War or Battle of ten kings:
In this battle, Sudas, the son of Divodas and the Bharata king of
Tritsu family won over an alliance of 10 tribes (5 Aryans and 5
Non-Aryans) and killed their leader Purusukta
The battle was fought on the bank of Parushni (Ravi) river
The battle broke out (VV PLAZA)due to a dispute between
Vasistha (priest of Bharathas) and Visvamitra (priest of the
alliance)
Economic life:

Predominantly pastoral
Cow (Gau) was the most important animal >> mentioned 176
times in Rig veda
Gomath referred to men prosperous with many cattles
The terms of war were gavisthi or the search for cows
Main occupation - cattle breeding
Domesticated horse, sheep, goat, dog and ass
Wild animals known - lion, elephant and bear
Agriculture - secondary occupation
Yava (barley) - chief food grain
Cotton , rice and wheat > not mentioned in Rig Veda
Practice of Shifting agriculture
References regarding use of bulls to draw the plough (Sira),
sowing of seeds in the furrows (Sita), cutting of the corn withb the
sickle (Datra) and the use of Sieve (Titau) as well as winnowing fan
(Supra).
Cultivated fields (kshetra), fertile land (urvara), manure
(karishu), wells (Aval / prupa), canal (kulya) were also known
Panis formed the great trading class >> condemned in several
texts for their greed and hard heartedness
Ayas (copper and bronze) was the common metal in use and
metal smelters were called "Karmar"
There were carpentars (Takshan) who made chariots (rathas)
and boats (nau)
There were also goldsmiths (Hiranyakara), potters (kulala),
barbers (vaptri), tanners (charmamna), physician (bhishaka) and
chariot maker (rathakara)
Nishkas, hiranyapindas and manas >> recognized pieces of
weights and value
Pottery - ochre coloured pottery (OCP) though black and red
ware type was known
Taxation system >> not developed and Bali was a form of
voluntary contribution to the king

Vedic Society:
Tribal society with kingship as the basis of social structure
Man was identified with his tribe called Jana
Jana was divided into Vis (group of villages) under Vispati, Vis
into grama (village) under Gramnani and Grama into kulas
(family) into kulapa Jana > Vis > Grama > Kulas
Tribal society was broadly divided priests, warriors and people
"Shudra" is first mentioned in 10th book (latest addition) of Rig
veda
Non aryans consisted of Dasyus and Panis
NON ARYANS WERE GENERALLY REFERRED AS
Avrata

Not obeying the ordinances


of the gods

Akratu or
Ayajvan

Who performs no sacrifices

Mridhravachah Whose speech is indistinct

Anas

Flat nosed

Sisnadevah

Worsjipper of phallus
emblems

Devapiyu

Anti-vedic gods

Adevayu

Indifferent to vedic gods

Slavery was existent as slave women were gifted to priests.


Untouchability and concept of gotra was unknown
Position of women:

Rig vedic society was patriarchial > birth of daughters was not
desired
Once born they were treated with kindness, education was not
neglected
Child marriage was not practiced. Women can choose their
husband.
Monogamy and Niyoga (variant of widow remarriage) was
practiced
Women participated in religious ceremonies and tribal
assemblies
Religious pattern:
Personification of the forces of nature
Vedic religion was Henotheism or Kathenotheism
Predominance of male god
Very few goddesses find mention
Aim of worship was material gains
Cult of domestic hearth prevalent
Sacrifice was the pivot of vedic religion
Important references from vedic texts:
Reference from Rig Veda:
Gayatri mantra
Mention of the word varna
Mention of the word sudras
Four fold division of society (10th mandala)
Purusha - sukta hymn (10th mandala)
Origin of the universe (10th mandala)
Battle of 10 kings (7th mandala)
Ganga (10th mandala)
Rajanya (10th mandala)
Jain trithankara "Rishabhdeo and Neminath"
Saraswathi as Saubhagyadayini

References from Atharva veda:


Mention of the word gotra
Sabha and samithi as the twin daughter of prajapati
Sabha as narishta
Women's participation in samithi
Reference of pashupati
References from Aitareya Brahmana:
Origin of kingship
Sudras as the servant
To be expelled at will and to be stain at will
Ten forms of govt
Kings as protector of brahmins
References from Satpatha Brahmana:
Elaborate description of "upanayana"
Wife is half her husband and complete him
Mention of eastern and western seas
First reference to money lending

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