Civilizations of India,
Civilizations of China and India
Indus Valley Aryan Invaders Shang Zhou Qin Han
Society (Classes and
Science and Math
Any other significant
Identify the location of the
Describe the landscape,
climate and resources
available to the people
Describe how this
Describe the difficulties
faced by the people of this
Describe the key
accomplishments of the
Indus Valley Civilizations
India has many geographic features that have affected their culture. The story of Indus
valley civilization, also known as Harappa civilization, is a story of a people tied to their
environment. The geography of India is one of great extremes, encompassing desert, mountains,
forest, and jungle. All of these environments are susceptible to unpredictable periods of flood,
drought, and monsoon.
The Himalayas to the north and deserts to the west cut off people of India but did not isolate
them completely. As with Egypt and Mesopotamia, mild climates made the area hospitable.
However, life in the subcontinent was determined by the monsoons. In summer, air rising over the
hot land areas produces maximum precipitation. This allows for food production and good harvests.
Inland mountain streams that are flooded contribute to the two major rivers, the Indus and the
Ganges. During winter, cool winds from the interior of Asia dry the subcontinent. A late monsoon
may bring drought, and a few more monsoon disturbances than normal may produce floods.
1. Describe the geography of the Indus Valley.
2. What is the most important geographic feature and why?
Indus Valley Civilizations
Sometime around 6000 BCE a nomadic herding tribe settled into villages in the
mountainous region just west of the Indus River. There they grew barley and wheat using sickles with
flint blades, and they lived in small houses made with brick. After 5000 BCE the climate in the region
changed, bringing more rainfall. From this they were able to grow more food which allowed the
population to grow. They began to domesticate sheep, goats, cows and water buffalo. Then after 4000
BCE they began to use metals such as bronze, and began to trade beads and shells with distant areas in
central Asia. The climate changed again and brought more rainfall. This allowed jungles and other areas
to grow in India and gave rise to many new animals in the area. By around 2600 BCE the Indus Valley
began to build cities as large as Mesopotamia and Egypt.
Two of these cities are Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa. Each of these two civilizations had
populations that exceeded 40,000 people. Each city was built with baked bricks. The cities housed vast
marketplaces full of trade and commerce. Some houses were spacious and had a large enclosed yard.
Each house was connected to a covered drainage system that was more sanitary than what had been
created in west Asia. Mohenjo-Daro had a building with an underground furnace (a hypocaust) and
dressing rooms, suggesting bathing was done in heated pools. Unlike Harappa, Mohenjo-Daro was built
on a grid like pattern. Harappa also used an Oligarchy to govern which was different than the
government of Mohenjo-Daro.
The people of Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa shared a sophisticated system of weights and
measures, using arithmetic with decimals, and they had a written language that was partly phonetic and
partly ideographic. They spun cotton and wove it into cloth. They mass-produced pottery with fine
geometric designs as decorations, and they made figurines sensitively depicting their attitudes. They
grew wheat, rice, mustard and sesame seeds, dates and cotton. And they had dogs, cats, camels, sheep,
pigs, goats, water buffaloes, elephants and chickens.
Being agricultural, the people of Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa had religions that focused on
fertility, on the earth as giver of life. They both had a fertility goddess, whose naked image as a figurine
sat in a niche in the wall of their homes. They worshipped tree gods, and they had a god with three
heads and an erect phallus, which they associated with fertility. They also buried their dead with
objects, and they had taboos in their culture, especially about cleanliness.
1. How did the Indus Valley civilizations begin?
2. What were some achievements of both Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa?
3. What were some differences between Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa?
4. Describe the religion of Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa, what was it like?
The Decline of Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa
Between the years 1800 and 1700 BCE, civilization in the Indus Valley vanished. What
befell these people is unknown. One suspected cause was a shift in the Indus River. Another is that the
people dammed the water along the lower portion of the Indus River without realizing the
consequences: temporary but ruinous flooding up river, flooding that would explain the thick layers of
silt, thirty feet above the level of the river at the site of Mohenjo-Daro. Another suspected cause is a
decline in rainfall, which led to drought and starvation.
Other say that agriculture declined and people abandoned the cities in search of food. Later,
a few people of a different culture settled in some of the abandoned cities, in what is known as a
“squatter period.” The squatters also disappeared. Knowledge of these civilizations had all but
disappeared until the twentieth century when historians excavated these cities.
1. How did the civilizations of Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa disappear?
2. How did we find out about these civilizations?
Early Chinese History
Read Ch 2 section 4; Ch 4 section 4; Ch 7 section 3 in your textbook and answer the following
1. Identify some of the important cultural developments during the Shang Dynasty
2. How did writing help unify China
3. What is the Mandate of Heaven? What role did it play in the dynastic cycle
4. How did the Zhou Dynasty use the Mandate of Heaven to overthrow the Shang
5. “The group was often more important than the individual in Chinese culture.” What were the
benefits and drawbacks of this belief
6. What is feudalism
7. How do Confucius’ ideas lay the groundwork for a civil service staffed by gentlemen
8. Which philosopher would you rather have as a teacher – Confucius or Laozi (Lao-tse)?
9. What are the main ideas of legalism? How did Legalists think that a society could be made
to run well
10. How did Shi Huangdi use military power to unite China
11. How did the Great Wall help to unify China
12. What were the positive and negative effects of Shi Huangdi’s rule
Inventions, Innovations, and Other Contributions from Ancient China
Dynasty and Time Inventions/Contributions Dynasty and Inventions/Contributions
Period Time Period
Qin or Chin Dynasty - Legalism -
Tang Dynasty - Tea
221-207 BCE - Standardized ________________ 618-907 AD - Scroll Painting
- Standardized money - __________________,
- Standardized a system of __________________, and
__________________ __________________ (known
- Built the ___________________ as the Three
- Terra Cotta Army Doctrines/Philosophies)
- Expanded network of roads and - Gunpowder
- Multiplication Table
Han Dynasty 202 - ________________ Road -
Five Dynasties - Tea Trade
BCE – AD 220 - ______________________ period - ___________________
- Worked 907-960 AD Money and Certificates of
(metal) - Taoism
- Seismograph - Painting
- _________________ (ride horses
- Hot Air Balloon
- Chinese Examination System
Era of Disunity (Age - Tea -
Song or Sung - __________________
of Division 220-581 - Calligraphy Dynasty compass
AD) - Growth of __________________ 960-1279 AD - __________________
and __________________ - Printing (________________
- Kite - Guns and Cannons
Sui Dynasty 581- - Porcelain -
Yuan or Mongol - Paper Money
618 AD - Block Printing Dynasty - _________________ compass
- Grand Canal 1279-1368 AD - ___________ and Gunpowder
- Coinage Standardization - Decimal Numbers
Directions: Read about the three Chinese philosophies on this side, and answer questions
about them on the back side.
Part I: Legalism
The school of Chinese philosophy known as Legalism attained prominence during China's Warring States period (475–221
BC). Through the influence of the philosopher Hanfeizi, it formed the ideological basis of China's first imperial dynasty,
the Qin (221–207 BC). The Legalists believed that human beings are inherently selfish and short-sighted and that political
institutions should be modeled in response to the realities of human behavior. Thus social harmony could be assured not
through the people's recognition of the virtue of their ruler, but only through strong state control and absolute
obedience to authority. The Legalists advocated government by a system of laws that rigidly prescribed punishments and
rewards for specific behavior. They stressed that all human activity be directed toward increasing the power of the ruler
and the state. The brutal implementation of this policy by the authoritarian Qin Dynasty led to that dynasty's overthrow
and the permanent discrediting of Legalist philosophy in China.
Part II: Confucianism
Confucius was revered as the greatest of sages throughout most of China's history. His teaching, Confucianism, was the
state teaching from the beginning of the Han Dynasty in 202 BCE to the end of the imperial period in 1911.
Disturbed by constant warfare among the states, Confucius taught that most of the ills of society happened because
people forgot their stations in life and rulers lost virtue. Confucius' primary concern lay in social relations, proper conduct,
and social harmony. Confucius defined five cardinal relationships: between ruler and ruled, between husband and wife,
between parents and children, between older and younger brothers, and between friends. Except for the last case, all of
the defined relationships are between superiors and inferiors. He emphasized the complete obedience and loyalty of the
inferior to the superior but also mentioned the benevolence of the superior to the inferior. The ideal Confucian family was
an extended one of three or four generations, in which authority rested with the elderly male members.
Filial piety (obedience to parents) was one of the most important virtues emphasized by later Confucians. Also, Confucius’
teachings were compiled in a book called The Analects, which were the subject of civil service examinations for over 2,000
Part III: Daoism
Daoism is a system of philosophy and religion that began in ancient China. It is sometimes spelled Taoism. Along with the
philosophy called Confucianism, Daoism has helped to shape Chinese culture. Confucianism focuses on human society and
the duties of its members. In contrast, Daoism emphasizes nature. It is more joyful and carefree.
Daoism began more than 2,000 years ago. It was based on a book called the Daodejing (or Tao-te ching). Laozi has
traditionally been named as the author of the Daodejing. But scholars are not sure that Laozi ever existed. They now think
that more than one person wrote the Daodejing between the 500s and the 200s BC.
For Daoists, the most important thing in life is to find the Dao. The Dao is not easy to define. It is the unchanging reality that
is the source and end of everything. This means that all beings and things are one. Because all is one, life and death merge
into each other. A Daoist does not fear death because it is only part of an eternal cycle.
“Dao” also is translated as “the Way,” meaning the way to think and act. Followers are taught to act in harmony with the
natural course of things. They try to avoid disturbing the natural order. This often means that they take no action at all.
Daoists believe that striving for power and wealth is a waste of energy. Such things distract people from searching for the
Directions: Answer the following questions using the information on the other side about the three
Part I: Legalism Part II: Confucianism
1. Who created the 1. Which person created Confucianism?
2. What dynasty was Confucianism most popular in?
2. What dynasty was 3. According to Confucius, what are two reasons why there were so many problems in society?
Legalism most popular
3. Identify two
characteristics that 4. Identify three areas of concern for Confucius.
humans possess. 1.
5. Identify the 5 relationships in Confucianism.
4. Identify three
characteristics of the 3.
proper type of
Legalists believed in. 5.
1. 6. 4 of the 5 Confucian relationships share what in common?
7. Define what filial piety is.
8. What are the Analects?
Part III: Daoism 4. What is the “Dao”?
1. Who is the founder of Daoism?
2. Identify three characteristics of Daoism. 5. Identify three actions that Daoists believers are supposed to
take in order to find the Dao.
3. What book contains Daoist teachings?