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Indus valley civilization.
Indus is a large river in eastern Pakistan, near the border of India. The Indus Valley Civilization flourished from the 4th to the middle of the 2nd century BC in the valleys of this river and its tributaries. It was one of the earliest and the biggest civilization of the world. Archaeologists found its remain in 1922. First a small part of over thousands colonies was excavated. It was the center of trade and business. Products were sent to summer in Mesopotamia. There were no magnificent buildings or temples, but a planned layout, right angled streets with living quarters, and a system for drinking and waste water were some of the things discovered here. it is not known why the civilization perished by around 1700BC
Why did the Egyptian build pyramids?
The ancient Egyptian believed in life after death. They preserved the bodies of the dead by mummification. Members of the royal family were kept in the pyramids which were actually grand graves made for the pharaohs. Scientists have found mummies in many pyramids. The Egyptian empire arose 5000 years ago when the pharaoh united the people in the south and north. The pyramids and the temple of Abu simbel, which have already been converted once, witness the highly advanced civilization of the Egyptian.
The three brothers
The three brothers born by Rheia to Kronos, Zeus, and Poseidon, and the third is Hades, lord of the dead men. All was divided among them three ways, each given his domain. Poseidon when the lots were shaken drew the grey sea to live in forever; Hades drew the lot of the mists and the darkness, and Zeus was allotted the wide sky, in the cloud and the bright air. But earth and high Olympos are common to all three. The three brothers are each allotted a section of the world dividing the realms of the Earth amongst themselves. Hades is allotted the realm of darkness, the domain of shades, that which lies under the earth in the realm of the unknown. He is the brother that will be the regent of the underworld, the Lord of death and rebirth. He is the silent and invisible brother who removes himself from the affairs of the family yet senses the life of the family at its deepest levels. As the guardian of the shades, Pluto is given the care taking role for the underworld of the family: the secrets, the shame, the buried passions, the grief and loss, the negative feelings. He is the custodian of what has been buried alive in the family, the complexes and patterns not adequately interred. Unlike his brothers he wants only one mate and with his brother Zeus’ blessing he abducts Persephone into his underworld residence. Zeus is the new sky god whose realm is the spirit and as the younger brother who has become the elder takes the role of the supreme deity. Zeus is the personification of the law and becomes the supreme ruler of Olympus eclipsing the authority of his brothers. He is the overt carrier of the familial tradition and upholds the order of the family leaving his two brothers to be the carriers of the chaos within the family system. Zeus is the family planner and sees into the future while his brothers hold onto the past and its ancestral legacy. They were also named for the slowest moving planets, Neptune and Pluto, the two planets that record the ethos of each generation. Poseidon’s domain is to be the sea, this vast and ever changing domain, where he rules from beneath. His watery kingdom includes an eclectic population - the beautiful and kind Nereids, the Oceanids, monstrous and fierce creatures, and shape-shifting prophets. His realm is unfathomable. He too is the earth shaker and author of destruction. Poseidon is the brother who rules the domain of the feeling life in the family, bringing the stormy and monstrous feelings out into the open. He was known as an angry and irritable god and one who would unleash tempests and storms. Odysseus faced the wrath of Poseidon after he killed his son Polyphemeus. Navigators and fishermen would pray to Poseidon for calm seas trying to earn his goodwill so they would not be at his mercy.
The history of Varanasi
Varanasi is a very ancient city which has a continuous history since 1000 B.C. This is one of the holiest city of India which is a seat of learning, art and culture. The name Varanasi, according to the Vamon Purana, is located in between two rivers, the Varuna in the North and the Assi in the South on the bank of Ganga-and from the combination of the names of the two streams Varanasi was derived. Such statements are also seen in "Kashi Mahatmya" in Padma Purana and in the Skand Purana also. The oldest name of Varanasi was Kashi deriving from its inhabitants known as Kashis which were the first Aryen settlers about 5000 years ago. Regarding this a statement meaning Varanasi city of the Kashis, can be seen in Das Kumar Charito. In Vayu Purana and in other great epic like Ramayan and Mahabharat some what similar statements and references are also found. In the fifth century A.D., Fa-Hian, a Chinese traveller, who visited India made similar statements in his visiting report to India. The name Kashi is derived from the King Kasa, the seventh King of Manu dynesty and is a reputed seat of Aryen Philisophy and religion. About 650 B.C. Kashi was, however, annexed to the kingdom of Kosala and Rhys. Dravids mentions Kashi-Kosala as one of the 16th political division which was extended in India before the arival of Budha. Both Kashi as well as Kosala fell victim of the Magadh power at the instance of Chandr Gupta Maurya.
Four major eras of ancient Indian history
1 Pre-historic era: until c. 2000 BC • We are all Africans. South Asians are descendants of those who first migrated from Africa. • The first South Asians were hunter-gatherers who made stone tools during the Old and Middle Stone Ages – from 500,000 bc to 11,000 bc, and drew the cave paintings at Bhimbetka. • South Asian farming first began at Merhgarh, in Baluchistan, during the New Stone Age – 11,000 bc to c. 3000 bc. • The great cities of Mohenjo Daro and Harappa – from 2500 bc to 1900 bc – provide us with much archaeological evidence of a refined, indigenous Indian civilization. 2 Vedic and post-Vedic era: 2000 BC to 300 BC • There was no Aryan invasion, but there was a migration of an Indo- European speaking group of nomadic people from Iran and Afghanistan, who called themselves Arya, or the noble. The Indo-Aryan culture has developed uniquely within India herself over the last four millennia, but its origins lie in the fusion of values and heritages of the Arya and the indigenous peoples of India. • The Rig-Veda is the oldest text of the Indo-European language family. It, along with three other Vedas and much complementary Vedic literature, is a key text of Vedic Hinduism. • The Indo-Aryans expanded from the Punjab to the Ganga basin, cut down the forests and created conditions for the vast agricultural infrastructure of north India that we have today. • The Vedic polity was consolidated in sixteen mahajanapadas (great states), of which Magadha was the dominant state. Both the Persians and the Greeks invaded north west India during the later part of this period. • Vedic Hinduism was strongly challenged by the religious dissenters, such as Ajivakas, Buddhists and Jains, who objected to the caste system, animal sacrifices, brahman dominance and the Vedas. 3 The era of the Great Empires: from c. 300 BC to c. AD 500 • The Mauryan Empire, founded from Magadha by Chandragupta Maurya in 321 bc, was a highly centralised pan-Indian political authority, the principles of which may be understood from Kautalya’s Arthashastra, a great manual of political economy. The empire was humanised by Emperor Ashoka who propagated Buddha’s principles in many rock and pillar inscriptions. • The smaller Shaka, Kushan and Satavahana kingdoms followed the Mauryan Empire. Indian prosperity greatly increased during this era, owing to flourishing agriculture and trade, both internal and external. China and Rome were India’s great trading partners. • The Gupta Empire followed a model of decentralised power, based on the samanta principle of tolerant neighbourliness. Under the Guptas the Hindu–Buddhist–Jain civilisation reached the heights of elitist excellence. That is called the Classical culture of India. • Buddhism remained popular but changed into Mahayana Buddhism, with its emphasis on the Bodhisattavas. Sanskrit literature, mathematics and Buddhist architecture, as at Ajanta, all flourished during this era. 4 The feudal era: from c. AD 500 to c. AD 1200 (and beyond) • Among the post-Gupta regional and feudal kingdoms the most distinguished were those of King Harsha, the early Chalukyas and the Pallavas. The kings maintained their power by making large land grants and creating feudatory systems of power and patronage. • The inter-Indian wars of the ninth and the tenth centuries, waged by the Gurjara–Pratihara, Pala and the Rashtrakuta kingdoms, exhausted India, thereby making it easier for the aggressive and iconoclastic Turco-Afghans to invade India during the eleventh and twelfth centuries. • Under the Pallavas and the Cholas the deep south remained highly dynamic and very Hindu in character. • Vedic Hinduism gradually gave way to Puranic and devotional Hinduism, while Buddhism was fast disappearing from India. • From 1206 onwards Muslim power, in the form of the Slave dynasty of Qutb-ud-Din Aybak, entrenched itself in north India, clearing the way for the future development of the Indo-Islamic culture.
The Ancient Irrigation
The model shows how an ancient irrigation system worked. 1. Gates controlled how much water flowed from the river. 2. Main canals led from the river. They sloped gently downward to keep the water flowing.
3. Medium-sized branch canals led away from the main canals. 4. Small feeder canals led water directly to the fields. Irrigation As early as 6000 B.C., Mesopotamian farmers began to take steps to control the water supply. They built earthen walls along the riverbanks to hold back excess water during floods. They also built canals to carry water from the rivers to their fields. Such a system for watering dry land is called irrigation irrigation. Water from the Tigris and Euphrates was muddy, and silt often clogged the canals. Keeping canals clean and the water flowing was a constant challenge for Mesopotamian farmers.
The Ancient Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia The region where these two rivers flow is called Mesopotamia (MEHS•uh•puh•TAY•mee•uh). The name means “land between the rivers.” This land is mostly flat with small, scrubby plants. The rivers provided water and means of travel. In ancient times, it was easier to travel by boat than over land. Boats can carry heavy loads, and river currents helped move boats that were traveling down river. Also, few roads existed. Fertile Soil Almost every year, rain and melting snow in the mountains caused the rivers to swell. As the water flowed down the mountains, it picked up soil. When the rivers reached the plains, water overflowed onto the floodplain floodplain, the flat land bordering the banks. As the water spread over the floodplain, the soil it carried settled on the land. The fine soil deposited by rivers is called silt. The silt was fertile, which means it was good for growing crops. An Arid Climate Less than 10 inches of rain fell each year in southern Mesopotamia, and summers were hot. This type of climate is called arid. Although the region was dry, ancient people could still grow crops because of the rivers and the fertile soil. Farming villages were widespread across southern Mesopotamia by 3500 B.C.
The Rosetta Stone
In 1799, near the delta village of Rosetta, some French soldiers found a polished black stone inscribed with a message in three languages. One version was written in hieroglyphics (top inset). A second version was in a simpler form of hieroglyphics, and the third was in Greek (both are shown in the bottom inset). Since ancient Greek was a well- known language, it provided clues to the meaning of the hieroglyphics. Still, deciphering the Rosetta Stone took many years. In 1822, a French scholar named Jean François Champollion (shahm•paw•LYAWN) finally broke the code of the hieroglyphics.
Sumerian Science and Technology
Historians believe that Sumerians invented the wheel, the sail, and the plow and that they were among the first to use bronze. Many new ideas and inventions arose from the Sumerians’ practical needs. • Arithmetic and geometry In order to erect city walls and buildings, plan irrigation systems, and survey flooded fields, Sumerians needed arithmetic and geometry. They developed a number system in base 60, from which stem the modern units for measuring time (60 seconds = 1 minute) and the 360 degrees of a circle. • Architectural innovations Arches, columns, ramps, and the pyramid shaped the design of the ziggurat and permanently influenced Mesopotamian civilization. • Cuneiform Sumerians created a system of writing. One of the first known maps was made on a clay tablet in about 2300 B.C. Other tablets contain some of the oldest written records of scientific investigations in the areas of astronomy, chemistry, and medicine.
In 1999 Egyptologists discovered a series of carving on a piece of rock about 18 by 20 inches. The tableau scene has symbol that may refer to a king named scorpion. The rock shows a figure carrying a staff. Near the head of the figure is a scorpion. Another artifact, a macehead, also shows a king with the scorpion symbol. Both artifacts suggest that Egyptian history may go back to around 3250 B.C. Some scholars believe the scorpion is the earliest king to begin unification of Egypt, represented by the double crown shown.
Hammurabi's code of laws
Image at the right shows the top of the pillar that had Hammurabi's code engraved on it. Hammurabi's law code prescribed punishments ragging from fines to death. Often the punishments were based on social class of the victims. Here some examples of the laws: If a man has stolen an ox, a pig, a sheep or a boat that belonged to a temple or place he shall repay 30 times of its cost. If it belongs to a private citizen, he shall repay ten times. If the thief cannot pay, He shall be put to death. If a woman hates her husband and says to him, " you can't be with me" the authorities of in her district will investigate the case. If she has been chaste and without fault, even though her husband has neglected or belittled her, she will be held innocent and may return to her father's house. If the women is at fault, she shall thrown into the river. If a man put out eyes of a another man, his eyes shall be put out. If he put out the eye of freed man or break the bone of a free man, He shall pay one gold mina.
In modern life, the word temple is used most oft en to refer to a house of worship. In ancient Egypt, however, buildings that were called temples oft en served a number of purposes. Some were “mortuary temples,” built to commemorate a dead king or to serve as a permanent residence for his soul, such as the so-called ka temples. Others were built primarily for political purposes. Th e temples at Abu Simbel, including one to Nefertari (1300–1250 b.c.e.) and one to her husband, Ramses II (1302–ca. 1210 b.c.e.), seem to have been built primarily to remind neighboring countries to the south of Egypt’s greatness. Another class of temples, called Sed festival temples, was built to celebrate the king’s jubilee. Others had several purposes, such as serving as administrative centers and fortresses. Even those that had primarily a religious purpose were not “houses of worship” like today’s churches and temples. Th ey were thought of more as houses for the gods and were built to serve the symbolic needs of these gods. People, though, did not necessarily assemble in the temples for any kind of organized worship conducted by priests.