RLG205H5 Lecture Notes - Rigveda, Mandala 10
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Week 2 ANCIENT SOURCES: INDUS VALLEY CIVILIZATION AND THE G
Indus Valley Civilization: the 3rd largest civilization in the world after Mesopotamia
and ancient Egypt. Dates to 3rd and 4th millennium BCE (6,000 – 5,000 years ago).
Millennium = 1,000 years.
BCE = Before the Common Era (2010 years ago)
Lost civilization. Rediscovered in the 19th century. Used to be literate (has script) +
highly educated. Scrip has not been deciphered because we found a very small
sample (can decipher scrip with a large enough sample, don’t need a translation). 2
major archaeological discoveries having the same political structure: Harappa and
Mohenjo-Daro. Large cities (urban civilization) with raised + large buildings + great
public bath with water supply + sewage system. Very little data on this civilization.
Many different theories based on the same evidence!
Scripts have seals with picture of animals and maybe gods!
Script Theory 1: Script is part of the Dravidian language family: south Asian
languages with a different structure form the north Indian languages.
Dravidian language family includes Tamil.
Script Theory 2: this is not a script, it is just pictures!
Don’t know why the civilization died.
Theory 1: civilization ended because of a violent conquest by the Vedic Aryans. Not
supported because no evidence of a violent conquest + civilization declined suddenly
then the Vedic Aryans arrived after the collapse.
Theory 2: environmental disaster caused the flooding.
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