Early Civilizations in India and China PowerPoint Presentation, PPT - DocSlides

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Chinese AchievementsAstronomers studied the movements of planets and recorded eclipses of the sunDeveloped an accurate 365 ¼ calendarChinese discovered how to make silk around 1000BCBecame China’s

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Early Civilizations in India and China



Geography: The Indian SubcontinentIndus valley is located in the region IndiaSubcontinent- large landmass that juts out from a continentIndia, Pakistan, and BangladeshMountain ranges, Hindu Kush and Himalayas are at the Northern borderLimited contact with India and other lands- Cultural Diversity


Three Regions

Northern Plain

Well watered, just south of the mountains

Many rivers- Indus, Ganges, Brahma


Carried melting snow down the mountains

Deccan Plateau

Dry and triangular shaped, juts into ocean

Lacks snow that come from the mountains, land is dry

Coastal Plains

Separated from Deccan by low lying mountain ranges-Eastern and Western Ghats

Rivers and seasonal rains provide water



Monsoons- Seasonal winds and rainIn Oct. winds flow hot dry airIn June, moisture flows over and drenches cropsCultural Diversity India’s big size & diverse landscapes made it hard to unite


Indus Valley CivilizationEmerged in what is present day Pakistan (2500BC)Flourished for 1000 yearsArcheologists discovered the once prosperous citiesHave not uncovered allIndus Valley covered largest area of any civilization until the rise of the Persian Empire


Well Planned CitiesHarappa and Mohenjo-Daro, twin capitals Both large, 3 miles in circumferenceMassive hilltop structure (fortress or temple)Had warehouses to store food surplus All houses built of uniform oven-fried clay bricksModern plumbing systems, with baths, drains, water chutes that lead to sewer beneath streets


Farming and Trade

Grew wheat, barley, melons and dates

First people to cultivate cotton and weave fibers into cloth

Merchants and traders

Ships carried cargos of cotton, grain, copper, pearls and ivory


Finding of many statues shows they were polytheistic

Mother goddess wildly honored

Worshipped sacred animals, (bull), -Indian beliefs


Decline and Disappearance 1750 BC, quality of life was declining, order became unstable Causes- Ecological disasters- Volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, deforestationAryans, migrated and overtook land with horse drawn carriages


Kingdom of the Ganges

The Vedic AgeAryans migrated across Europe and Asia seeking water and pasture for horses and cattleEarly Aryans didn’t build citiesMost of what we know comes from the Vedas- Collection of prayers, hymns, and other religious teachings


Aryan priests recited and memorized the Vedas 1000 years before they were written down1500BC-500BC known as Vedic Age


Aryan Society-Divided people by occupation

Brahmins- Priests, claimed they alone could conduct ceremonies needed to win favor of the gods


- Warriors, first enjoyed highest prestige, priests eventually gained most respect


- Herders, farmers, artisans and merchants


Aryans felt superior to the Dravidians, people they conquered

Dravidians descended from original inhabitants of Indus Valley

Non-Aryans, separated into fourth group, the


- farm workers, servants, laborers

Class divisions came to reflect social and economic roles more than racial differences

Became castes, social groups into which people are born and from which they cannot change


Varna (Social Hierarchy)




Pariahs [








Aryan Religious Beliefs


Worshipped Gods and Goddesses that embodied natural forces

Honored animals

Brahmins offered sacrifices of food and drink

Eventually religious leaders wanted one spiritual power

Brahman-resided in all things

Mystics- People who devote their lives to seeking spiritual wealth

Meditation and Yoga- Mystics looked for direct communication with divine forces


Expansion and Change Aryans travelled over mountain passages into Northwest IndiaAryan tribes were lead by chiefs called rajahs, most skilled war leader


Colonization of GangesMade tools out of IronMade cities in the jungle, rajahs ruled themDeveloped written language, SanskritPriests began writing sacred texts


Heroic Deeds and MoralsMahabharata Ramayana


Early Civilization in China

Geography: The Middle Kingdom

Ancient Chinese called their land the


, the Middle Kingdom

Very isolated

Long distances and physical barriers kept it from Egypt, the Middle East and India

Isolation contributed to belief that China was the center of the Earth

Sole source of civilization


Geographic BarriersTo the West and Southwest of China, high mountains, Tien Shan and HimalayasSoutheast, full of thick jungles divided China from Southeast ChinaNorth, Gobi DesertEast, Pacific Ocean


The barriers didn’t stop the Chinese from trading with other people, the Middle EastNomads and invaders entered China and accepted Chinese superiority


Main RegionsChinese heartland lay along the east coast and the valleys of Huang He (Yellow River) and the YangtzeFertile farming region supported large populations


Other Regions:Xinjiang, Mongolia, ManchuriaChina also extended influence on Himalayan region Tibet and Xizang


River of SorrowsHuang He got its name from the loess, fine windblown yellow soilEarned nickname, “River of Sorrows”, as loess settles to the river bottom, it raises water level Overflowing river killed many


Shang Dynasty1650BC, people called the Shang gained control of Northern China, near Huang HeDominated region until 1027BC, during this time Chinese civilization took shape


Government Archaeologists uncovered large palaces and rich tombs of Shang rulersNoble women had considerable statusKing controlled small area, princes and nobles loyal to King governed most of the landHeads of important clans, groups of families that claimed a common ancestor


Social Classes

Royal Family

Shang warriors- used leather armor, bronze weapons, and horse drawn chariots

Artists and Merchants- Produced goods for nobles, organized trade

Peasants- Clustered together in farming villages, all families worked in the fields, had to prepare damns for the flooding rivers


Religious BeliefsIn Shang Dynasty the Chinese developed complex religious beliefsPrayed to many Gods and nature spiritsShang Di- Mother GoddessVeneration of AncestorsShang Di would not respond to mere mortals, only to spirits of greatest mortals Prayed to Ancestors to pray to God


Yin and YangDelicate balance between two forcesYin- Linked to Earth, darkness and female forcesYang- Stood for Heaven, light and male forcesForces were not in opposition, depended on harmony


System of WritingIdeographs- Signs that expressed thoughts or ideasConsulted ancestors with Chinese writing written on oracle bones, used by priests to predict the future


Written Chinese took shape almost 4,000 years agoOver time, evolved to include tens of thousands of characters Most difficult language to learnChinese scholars turn to calligraphy, fine handwriting, into an art form


The Zhou Dynasty

Around 1027BC, the Zhou people overthrew the Shang dynastyZhou dynasty lasted until 256BC


Mandate of HeavenThe Zhou justified their takeover of the Shang by declaring they had a divine right to rule Declared cruelty of last Shang ruler outraged the godsGods passed mandate of heaven (Devine right to rule)to the Zhou, who then treated the people well


Dynastic CycleThe rise and fall of dynastiesAs long as a dynasty provided good government it would enjoy the mandate of heavenIf rulers became corrupt, Chinese believed Heaven would withdraw support


Feudal State

Rewarded supporters by granting them control over different regions

China became a feudal state

Feudalism- a system of government in which local lords governed their own lands but owed military service and other forms of support to the ruler

Zhou kings ruled China and enjoyed great power and prestige for 250 years

After 771 BC, feudal lords exercised the real power and profited from the lands worked by peasants, within in their domains (rule)



Economic GrowthChina’s economy grew under the Zhou periodLearned ironworking in 500BCIron axes, ox-drawn iron plows, replaces wooden and stone toolsPeasants grew new crops, such as soybeansFeudal lords organized large-scale irrigation worksChinese began to use money for the first time Copper coins had holes in the center to be strung on cords Merchants benefited from new roads and canals


Economic expansion lead to an increase in populationPeople from the Huang He heartland overflowed into central China and began to farm the immense Yangzi basinFeudal nobles expanded their territories and encouraged peasants to settle thereChina increased in size, population and prosperity


Chinese AchievementsAstronomers studied the movements of planets and recorded eclipses of the sunDeveloped an accurate 365 ¼ calendarChinese discovered how to make silk around 1000BCBecame China’s most valuable export, trade route between China and Middle East was the Silk RoadChinese made the first books Bound thin strips of wood or bamboo

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Language, Thought, and Dessert
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1990: Countries which criminalised homosexual conduct
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Transgender people
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Transgender people

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Vedic Age
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Vedic Age

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