Indian Civilization

2767 Words Jul 26th, 2009 12 Pages
INDIAN CIVILIZATION
Also called Indus Valley Civilization; the earliest in South Asia
Contemporary with Bronze Age civilizations in pre-dynastic Egypt, Mesopotamia
Compared to the other Bronze Age civilizations, Indus Valley Civilization was unspectacular
Early civilizations of the Indian sub-continent were centred on two major river valleys: The Indus River and its tributaries, especially the Saraswati River Valley (2600-1500BCE) – associated with Dravidians. Called Harappan Culture
The Ganges River Valley (1500-500BCE) – associated with the Aryans. Called the Vedic Age.
Along the Indus & Saraswati, there were two major centres of this civilization: Mohenjodaro and Harappa hence Harappan Culture
Other cities of this civilization include
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So new environments were opened for farming where conditions were unsuitable for wheat and barley
4. Major geological disturbances near the source of Saraswati river, causing it to dry up, catastrophically disrupting agriculture downstream.
5. Invasion by the Aryans (Arya = noble) who came from the northern steppes of Europe

REASONS FOR THE SUCCESS OF THE ARYANS
A highly developed spoken language that tended to displace other tongues that it encountered
Better military organization: horse-drawn war chariots and weapons made from iron which was superior to bronze

GANGES RIVER VALLEY CIVILIZATIONS
Aryans became sedentary landowners along the Ganges; others became traders on the river
Crafts became more specialized & increased in complexity; produced iron ploughs, luxury items for trade
Urban centres re-emerged with substantial populations of artisans, traders, resident landowners, priests, warriors
Major metropolises along the Ganges include Patna, Benares (which is still a holy city for Hindus even today)

SOCIAL ORGANIZATION
Early Indian societies were matriarchal (i.e. headed by women) and matrilineal (inheritance was through the female side of the family). This changed with the coming of the Aryans who were patriarchal
Before the Aryans, husbands lived with the wife’s family; the wife’s family paid dowry. After Aryans, wife’s were required to move to the husband’s family, bring