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Indus Valley Civilization
Indus Valley Civilization and Modern India

The Indus Valley Civilization was one of the first civilizations in the world. It was located in the southwest part of present day India along the Indus River. This civilization started around 2500 BC the same time as the Mesopotamia s, Egyptians, and the Chinese. The area known as Mesopotamia was thought to be the origin of humanity, but now we think that the Indus Valley people were just as old.

The people of the Indus Valley Civilization were a very advance group of people for their time. The were especially strong in the area s of mathematics and astronomy. They used their findings in math to help them when searching the stars. The people developed the beginnings of geometry and algebra. They created the idea of zero and the decimal system. They were the first people to use notation by tens. Even the Arabs called math the Indian Art. The monasteries became Universities with large libraries used to study astronomy and mathematics. We still use all of these ideas in our math classes today. The Indus Valley Civilization created a system of weights and measures used to measure gold and other possessions of the ancient world. The people even created indoor bathrooms. The toilets had brick seats and pipes that emptied into a main drain. The drains emptied into a complex sewer system. They were the first people to have a democratic governing body of state. The Indus valley civilization were the first people to grow cotton and make cotton cloth. The Indus Valley Civilization was ahead of it s time.

In the Indus Valley the people did an enormous amount of trading. They traded with Egypt, China, and the Romans. They imported and exported spices, exotic animals, jewelry, perfumes, textiles, and much more. The Indians received cargoes of animals and spices. They sailed to the Indian Ocean for spices.

The people living in India were very religious. Buddhism came in the sixth century. It appealed to many who suffered from inequality of the Caste System. This marked a profound break with Hindu beliefs. Buddha means The Enlightened One. There are four noble truths to the Buddhist. They are: Sorrow, Suffering from constantly wanting, Way to escape suffering by reaching stage of not wanting, and the Path to Enlightenment.

A major source of entertainment for the Indians was festivals. Festivals brought a sense of pageantry. They would never miss a single occasion, for it brings glamour to their lives. There are many great festivals such as The Great Cart in Puri. It s a religious devotion and a sacred place of Pilgrimage in Orissa State or Divali. The festival of lights marks Hindu New Year. The Bengal Festival is the most elaborate. They have what is called Purga Puja, which is Kali dances. Holi is a lighthearted festival in the spring. It s an occasion for practical jokes, and is fixed according to the Lunar Calendar.

The villages with brick homes were for the rich, while the less wealthy lived in muddy straw huts. The village homes consisted of one or two rooms and mud floors. The houses had brass pots for cooking, string cots for sleeping, and clay pots for caring water. Two of the major cities in the Indus Valley Civilization were the cities Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa. Both of these cities existed around 2500 BC along the Indus River. The cities were carefully planned with wide streets and square buildings for exactly one square mile. The homes were square and had no windows facing the street. In the center of the cities there was a central fortress used for storage and as an assembly hall. It also had public bathes. The sewer systems were also connected to these baths. At the edge of the cities there were large ovens used in baking. After a thousand years of prosperity the Indus Valley Civilization began to decline. The Aryans took over and they built no cites because they were just wandering nomads.

The people of the Indus Valley were great architects. There are many buildings and statues depicting religious figures such as Buddha. The most famous landmarks of all were in Agrah. In Agrah hundreds and hundreds of feet tall stands the Tah Mahal. Shan Jahan built the Tah Mahal for his wife who died. Her name was Mumtaz Mahal. The Tah Mahal is actually a tome for the two. They were both buried under the surface.

The development of a form of writing in the Indus River Valley grew very slowly. The Indus River Valley is a triangular peninsula of South Asia, therefore many people come with their own languages and cultures. They combined carved animal designs and a few pictographs that probably represents the merchants name. Pictographs are picture like symbols and a from of pictographs was used in ancient Sumer. These are the only written examples of Indus Valley writing. No one knows the true meaning of the symbols. Aryans, the people who invaded the valley, had no art, architecture, or written language. Aryans brought a new language to India. To all these regions they took their language. Now it is known as Indo-European.

The people were as skilled artisans as they were architects. They worked with copper, bronze, and occasionally gold. With these materials they created statues of the many different forms of their gods. They baked building bricks and pottery at the edge of the city in large brick ovens. The pots were painted with ornately carved pictures of scenes and gods. The jars were then used to store grains. They created stamp seals that showed animals such as sheep, water buffalo, elephants, and oxen. Indian art greatly influenced the art of the Chinese. When the Aryans took over the Indus Valley there was no art. From 650 BC to 500 AD the Golden Age of Indian Art existed. During this period the Mogul Style of Art was created in Akbar s court by his one hundred painters.

India in the earlier civilization grew cotton and made cotton cloth. The then sewed the pieces of cloth together and made the first cotton clothes. Two statues found in Harrapa show men and women with long hair and men with beards. The statues had pattered or embroidered robes, probably made of cotton cloth, with one shoulder bear. They wore beautiful jeweled necklaces, earrings, and bracelets made of gold. These statues probably depicted the clothing of the upper class.

Human beings and gods were part of a universal order. The priests taught that each detail of a ritual or sacrifice had to be perfect so that this order wouldn t be upset and destroyed. Brahmins had replaced warriors at the most influential class. Kshatnya were the common people like merchants, traders, and artisans as well as farmers and herders. Sudra class included the concurred Indian people.

The Indian family definitely were clearly defined. Young adults are not allowed to have dates unless the parents arrange them, but the kids may reject the arrangement. A marriage is more of a relationship between families, rather than a relationship between two people. The male and female roles were totally different. Men made war and tended cattle while women raised crops, wove clothes, ground grain, and looked after the children and household. Women took no part in the tribal assemblies, but had some say, including having a say in who their husband would be. The traditional Indian family is a core of at least ten and possibly twenty, fifty, and even a hundred members. This was known as a joint family. At it s head was the father of the brothers.

As the civilization advanced so did the government. Kings were the ruler, judge, and leader in war, but his power was limited by assembly. The assembly chose the King. The assembly grew out of a village organization. The assembly is a group of people that met and spoke with one voice which is binding on others. This was the earliest known democratic body with a governing body of state. This is much like our government today because one man is a ruler, but a group of people keep his power balanced. When the Aryan society came small kingdoms were established and the leader became a hereditary rajah not a chosen leader.

Modern day India has changed much since then, but much has remained the same. India is now 3,287,263 square kilometers and is bordered by Afghanistan, China, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, and Burma. India is divided into four regions: the Himalayas, the northern river-plains region, the Ghats, and the Deccan. India has many natural resources. It has extensive cultivable regions, comprehensive network of irrigational facilities, timber, and the most known mineral deposits on the sub-continent. India has a population of 903,158,968 which is the second largest in the world. Even though there are so many people seventy percent of the people live in rural areas. The capital is New Delhi , but the largest city is Bombay. Most of the people in India are Hindu. India is a interesting place to live.

The Indus Valley Civilization started life itself. The people made many discoveries that changed the world and started a culture that would spread throughout the world. India has influenced your life in many ways even though you may not know it.
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