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Christopher Watts

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ANT 200 November 14, 2011 Lecture 8: Complex society in South and East Asia Essay is due next week Upload a copy to turnitin, print off originality report and append to back of essay. Bring it to class on Monday and give to your TA in lecture. Tonight continue with archaeology of complexity South Asia- Pakistan, India, Burma Harrapan civilization by India and Pakistan British Raj= british colonial regime in south asia. During Raj administration, the Harrapan civilization/ Indus valley civilization comes to attention of western archaeologists. Product of this Raj administration Lots of romance associated with it because for a long time was lost civilization to people of the west In 1920s this civilization became known to the British. Pretty late. Also has a number of features that depart quite radically from other ancient high civilizations that see in the world As part of the Raj colonial regime talking about what is now India, Pakistan, Burma and Bangaldesh. Were going to really just talk about stuff centered on Indus river (basically on border between modern day India and Pakistan) Harrapan Civilization Environmental context o Indus River Valley- Easter Pakistan/ Western India. Total length is 3200 km Headwaters in Tibet. Empties in Arabian sea Quite a long river. Not the longest weve seen though o July-Sept. floods= massive silt deposits (capped sites) Similar to Mesopotamia Because river not well entrenched tends to meander across the landscape and has done so throughout prehistory Course of the river can change dramatically over time Cities emerge that are tied to economic benefits associated with being near river but then 100-200 years later river shifts and the city is isolated. A number of the Harrapan sites are buried under 10,15,20 meters of silt. Some of these floods can be devastating. (In 2009 a number of devastating floods in Pakistan that had a huge toll on the people and cities) o Village settlements tethered to river by ca. 3000 BC; widespread irrigation by 2500 BC Dont have much time to talk about the prehistory lifeways in this region First inkling of complexity begins with towns and villages being associated with the river system about 3000 BC There are earlier time periods represented archaeologically associated with this river system but around 3000 BC is when see groups setting up groups and camps to be associated with this river valley In 2600 BC start to see widespread irrigation networks throughout southern and central stretches of Indus valley. Is a desert environment. These were agriculturally dependent peoples. Baluchistan (mountainous range beginning in Iran and continuing into Pakistan. Important geographical region during much of Harrapan civilization Other side of Baluchistan is Iran and just beside that is Iraq (is where Mesopotamia was). The distance between them not too too far. Definite connection between Indus valley and Mesopotamia in prehistory Harrapan Civilization Early Stage (ca. 3200-2700 BC) o Walled towns (defense, flood controls?) Tend to be elevated above the river (on higher ground to mitigate against flooding) Associated with the river system o Lowland-Highland (Baluchistan) symbiosis Metals, timber, semiprecious stones comes from Baluchistan and points further to the west. Finds its way to lowlands in Indus valley Transhumance (goats and sheep) pattern of moving livestock from one area to another along with the climate Arrangement of trade that take place between highlands (Baluchistan) and the lowlands River good for growing crops, wheat, etc but not good for grazing animals especially during winter. So these groups would move goats and sheep to Baluchistan and then back again Crops moving lowlands to highlands and animals moving to highlands o Rapid transition to complexity in lowlands after 2600 BC Material culture becomes more uniform across IVC (Indus valley civilization= Harrapan civilization) Tied to Sumerian trade? Indigenous development? 2600 BC all these towns and villages tethered to the river Much more complexity after 2600 BC Observe the material culture becomes much more uniform throughout valley system during this time May have had different metal and stone tool styles and different pottery styles but after 2600 BC there is more uniformity Suggestion that this is tied to rise of Sumerian civilization in west in Mesopotamia Others have suggested wasnt related to contact with the west but was an indigenous development. Thought wasnt a product of trade with a more complex society. Jury is out on what actually propelled the groups in this region to take up these more complex lifeways after 2600 BC Mature stage (ca. 2700-1700 BC) o Territorial state (1.3 million km ) o If the complexity see here results from trade with Sumeria, wasnt that they adopted Sumerian lifeways. Harrapan is a very unique civilization. Very much its own entity o A number of features that separate it from the other complex civilizations o For one it was an ENORMOUS territorial state. Encompasses much of the drainage system associated with the Indus river o All of the towns and villages brought under this state phenomenon. Not like in Mesopotamia where there are a bunch of city-states (power vested at city level). This civilization is centered on the entire region, not just one particular community o Heavily urbanized: five major cities Best known are Mohenjodaro and Harappan Similar sites. In different parts of the river system Urban planning, spatial layout of the site very similar. Citadel in west, common city part in east Some evidence for urban planning. Stuff that talk about Mohenjodaro usually applicable to Harappa and the three other large cities Centralized planning; laid ou
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