The Indus and Aryan Civilizations, and the Maurya and Gupta Empires in India

The Indus and Aryan Civilizations The Indus civilization, an ancient civilization in South Asia, existed from about 2700 to 1750 BC. It is sometimes referred to as the Harappa civilization; one of its major centers. It stretched from north of the Hindu Kush down the entire length of the Indus and beyond into peninsular India. The Indus civilization is known only from archaeological evidence. Its origins traditionally were viewed as the result of the diffusion of farming and technology from more advanced cultures in Mesopotamia and on the Iranian plateau to Baluchistan and ultimately to the Indus Valley.

One of the most important centers of Indus civilization was Mohenjo-Daro, situated along the west bank of the Indus River. Like most cities of the Indus civilization, it consisted of two major areas of occupation: a high citadel to the west and a lower city of domestic dwellings to the east. The Indus people supported themselves by irrigation-based agriculture. They grew domesticated rice, wheat, and barley, and they may have cultivated dates and cotton. Among the first people in the world known to have kept chickens, they also had dogs, buffalo, and humped cattle.

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They may also have domesticated pigs, horses, camels, and, possibly, elephants. The Aryan was a tribal and nomadic people who lived far away in Euro-Asia. They were unquestionably tough people and they were fierce and war-like. So their culture was oriented around warfare, and they were good at it. The Aryans first settled along the Indus River, in the same place where the Harappa people had lived. They settled down and mixed with the local Indian people. They lived there from about 1500 to 800 BC.

It seems to be at this time that the caste system began in India. It was the Aryans who developed Hinduism, and also the classical language of Sanskrit. Aryans created four main castes. The top castes were made up of priests, kings, and warriors. The lowest caste was made up of workers who served the higher castes. Under the caste system, people could not rise to a higher caste. The Maurya and Gupta Empires in India The Maurya Empire was a geographically extensive and powerful empire in ancient India, ruled by the Mauryan dynasty from 321 to 185 BC.

Originating from the kingdom of Magadha in the Indo-Gangetic plains (modern Bihar, eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bengal) in the eastern side of the Indian subcontinent, the empire had its capital city at Pataliputra (modern Patna). The Empire was founded in 322 BC by Chandragupta Maurya, who had overthrown the Nanda Dynasty and rapidly expanded his power westwards across central and western India taking advantage of the disruptions of local powers in the wake of the withdrawal westward by Alexander the Great’s Greek and Persian armies.

By 320 BC the empire had fully occupied Northwestern India. The Gupta Empire was an Ancient Indian empire which existed approximately from 320 to 550 CE and covered much of the Indian Subcontinent. Founded by Maharaja Sri-Gupta, the dynasty was the model of a classical civilization. The peace and prosperity created under leadership of Guptas enabled the pursuit of scientific and artistic endeavors.

This period is called the Golden Age of India and was marked by extensive achievements in science, technology, engineering, art, dialectic, literature, logic, mathematics, astronomy, religion and philosophy that crystallized the elements of what is generally known as Hindu culture. Buddhism and Hinduism (Differences ; Similarities) They share some important beliefs – they both believe in reincarnation and the cycle of samsara – birth, life, death, and rebirth and in the influence of karma on the circumstances into which you will be born in the next life.

They both believe that the ultimate end is to escape from the cycle of rebirth. The only differences are Buddhism believes in matter and soul and there is no place for God, while Hinduism in addition to matter and soul considers God as the creator of the universe. Buddhism is missionary religion which aims at converting entire mankind to the doctrines of Buddha; while Hinduism never seeks converts and it has no definite organization like the Buddhist sangha.

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