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ANTH 205 Final (Indus)
Terms in this set (24)
Mature Harappan Period (2500 - 1900 BC)
100+ hectares, 20,000 - 80,000 people.
Americans just began to excavate not too long ago.
Cities had tiers and intricate social systems.
The first civilization to use water as efficiently.
The largest and most prominent city excavated in the Mature Harappan Period.
Covered approx. 150-250 hectares and contained roughly 40,000-80,000 people. Built on massive mud-brick walls and platforms that raised the towns above the surrounding flood-plain. Have high rectangular mounds on the west. Possible granaries, great bath, and a great hall found here. Rebuilt 9 times.
Covered approx. 150-250 hectares and contained roughly 40,000-80,000 people. Built massive mud-brick walls and platforms that raised the towns above the surrounding flood-plains. Have high rectangular mounds on the west. Standardization of the system of weights and measurements, construction bricks and ceramic forms thought to be found here.
Water in the Indus cities
Indus did not have regularly flooding rivers. Had around 700 private wells, then public wells throughout the Lower Town. The river would only flood during some of the rainy seasons. The water considered the least sacred was flood/river water, then rainwater and then underground water was seen as the most sacred.
The Great Bath
Massive water well in most citadels for people of the Lower Town to bathe in.
Located in the Upper Town. Intentional mounds built-in patterns on the west side of the town with no residences and a tall wall around the area.
Evidence for centralized power in Indus cities
There is planning in the way the cities are built, planning of water reservoirs and water wells. Differences between the size in public and private drinking wells. There is an established measurement system. Big public architecture, settlement hierarchy, centralized storage, economic specialization.
The relation of elements to one another when they are unranked or when they possess the potential for being ranked in a number of different ways. Opposite of hierarchy.
Corporate strategy and how this applies to Indus?
Inequality of some forms almost always present, but social differences muted rather than emphasized. Power is shared. Ideology stressed broad, universal themes of fertility, societal and cosmic renewal.
In Indus there is a lack of royal portraits, places suggests there was no single ruler at the head. A small number of people may have been in charge but their individual identities may not have been stressed or celebrated. (ex. DC)
Power based on monopoly control sources of power, especially of wealth and valuable, external resources. Leaders use elite goods/wealth to reward loyalty. Focus on the individual, royal lineage and patriarchal rhetoric. "Cult of personality": monuments for individual rulers (ex. North Korea)
Concepts or beliefs, that hide or downplay inequality (ex. US presidents non-display of wealth). Ideology of the Brahmin. Emphasis on bathing, ritual purity in Indus cities.
Indus script - symbols, themes, characteristics
Written on bangles, square seals, tablets, button seals, signboards.
Motif themes: males in yogic positions, horned headdress.
Animals - display occupations? cities? families? personal names?
Indus long distance trade: where and what?
Trade going into Mesopotamia and the Persian Gulf.
From Indus to Mesopotamia: timber, cotton textiles, chickens, sesame oil, gold, lapis, carnelian, copper, ivory.
From Mesopotamia to Indus: wool, silver, oils? grains? leather?
Mohenjo-Daro priest king
How did rivers affect the emergence of Indus civilization? the unique character of the cities? and its demise?
The rivers affected the cities as they had to be built around them in order to maintain water and enough irrigation for crops. Avulsions, floods, drying of the Ghaggar-Hakra, and migrant crisis' created the demise of the civilization.
Although it cannot be read, what can be inferred about the Indus script on the basis of its characters, how its used, and where its found?
The script was found on seals of soapstone, small copper tablets, and potsherds. Seals had holes cut in them and were worn around the neck, the script seems to identify the owner of the seal or the status of the seal owner. All the scripts were relatively short and therefore hard to decipher what the meaning behind them are.
What are some of the hypotheses to explain the meaning of the animals frequently found on the Indus seals? And what might the writing on those seals signify?
Animals such as elephants, tigers, crocodiles, goats, and bulls are depicted on these seals and are believed to possibly symbolize specific kin groups or animals may depict social classes. A common theme is a figure seated in the yogic posture with heels pressed under the groin, surrounded by various animals.
How is Indus civilization and culture different from Mesopotamia and Egypt?
The Indus civilization was larger in geographic area and it had a smaller number of major centers. Mesopotamia was composed of many city-states. The Indus had a greater availability to copper, lead, and silver within or close to their territory therefore we see a greater use of metal tools in Indus then in Mesopotamia. Indus material culture was simple compared to Mesopotamia; little representational or lavish art was constructed on a massive scale. Instead Indus has small figurines, sculptures, carvings on bone and ivory, and pottery. Indus engaged in fewer lavish displays; they built no rich tombs, elaborate palaces or fancy temples like Egypt.
What is missing from the archaeological record and what does this tell us about the nature of power in the Indus state?
The archaeological record is missing rulers of the Indus and elite of the Harappan culture. The Indus did not display their rulers and often did not believe in much material culture, this would show us that there may have been rulers but they were not celebrated and idolized like in Egypt and Mesopotamia.
How might we know about the later caste system, Brahmins, and ritual purity in India help us explain leadership in Indus culture and the absence of signs of leadership seen in Egypt and Mesopotamia?
Brahmins must remain inherently pure and must guard themselves from pollution of any form. Therefore, Brahmins assign polluting activities, such as dealing with the dead to segregated groups at the bottom of the hierarchy. The concern with bathing and separation of pure from impure materials, such as wastewater, suggests a concern with ritual purity as well as practical hygiene. Becuase it is believed that the rulers of the Indus civilization were powerful due to their purity, it is common that they do not have many belongings and are detached from pleasures and pain of the world. Chambers of purity will be hidden from the world.
What evidence do we have that there was inequality in Indus society? What evidence is there for command of labor/commerce/taxes? And what items of material culture suggest that there were social and/or political differences among Indus citizens?
Bangles are an important element of Indian dress and different types are worn by different communities of people within society. Higher status people often wore toe rings made of silver wire. In sites across the Indus they found women wearing many necklaces in their graves whom were seen as important. The Indus civilization social organization has been somewhat formed by the caste system and we see that through craft specialization.
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