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Ancient India

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Jackie Zhang

on 9 June 2011

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Transcript of Ancient India

Ancient India! Caste System Buddhism Geography Indus Valley Homes Houses in the Indus Valley were one or two stories high. They were made from mud bricks. They had clay pipes that led to sewers from bathrooms. Men and women dressed in robes. Women wore golden jewelry with precious stone, and wore lipstick. Clothing In Mohenjo-daro, a large central pool that has steps leading down at both ends was a public swimming pool that was used for religious ceremonies. Around the pool were smaller rooms, which might have dressing rooms, and smaller pools which might have been private baths. Entertainment Dinner included wheat bread served with barley or rice. It would appear that they were very good farmers. They grew barley, peas, melons, wheat, and dates. Farms raised cotton and raised sheep, pigs, and water buffalo. Fish were caught in the river with fishing equipment. Each town had a large central storage building for grain. Food The people used camels, oxen and elephants to travel over land. They made carts with wooden wheels to bring things around much easier. For example, farmers used the cart to transports goods to the town. Plus, traders used the waggon to trade goods and for shelter. They had boats to sail on water. Transportation This ancient civilization had craftsmen who were skilled in pottery, weaving, and metal working. Pottery had unusually beautiful designs, including several small figures of animals. Statues have gods that the Indus Valley people worshipped. Bowls were made of bronze and silver, with many beads and ornaments for the finishing touches. The metals aren't found in the Indus Valley, which means people traded. Art A prince named Siddhartha Gautama Buddha thought that you would be reincarnated if you were good and pure. He quit being a prince and continued trying to reach his dream. He had many followers even after death. Included were farmers and soilders. A king named Asoka was a Buddhist, which helped strengten Buddhism. He was able to convince others to become Buddhists. The people of ancient India suffered extreme challenges in the land that they lived in. Weather such as monsoons, floods, and droughts were part of life to the ancient Indians. However, even with all of the obstacles - India managed to flourish great civilizations amidst the rivers, mountains, plains and deserts of the land.
Many rivers flowed throughout India, making the land fertile. Settlements, towns, buildings, and cities were created on the banks of the Indus river and the Ganga river. Although India had to bear the hardships of the land, there were some advantages in the rivers, desert, and the mountains. The Himalayas provided a great deal of protection to its people. The harsh elements of the desert made it extremely difficult to cross, and protected India from nomadic and military invasion. The mountain ranges provided similar protection in the west and east. The rivers were an excellent source for trade and commerce all through India's history. Beginning soon after the Aryan invasion, India began to seperate its people into different groups, based on their jobs or work. The highest level were the Brahmans - the priests, leaders, and teachers. Below were the Kshatriya, or warriors. A lot of them were in the army, or leaders in other ways. Under the Kshatriyas were the vaishyas, or farmers and traders who owned their own farms or businesses. The lowest of the system were the shudras, servants and farmhands that worked for people of higher rank. The largest number of the population were in this level of the caste. Even below the shudras, were the Untouchables. Because of the unholyness of their work, they weren't considered even in the caste system. Untouchables did the worst jobs like cleaning up people's waste from the gutters, or collecting garbage. Below the Untouchables were the slaves. Hinduism Hinduism is the modern name for the major religion of India. Hinduism is both polytheistic, and monotheistic. They worship many deities, but recognize their one supreme god. The most important deities that they worship are Brahma, the creator; Vishn, the protector; and Shiva, the destroyer. Hindus also believe in reincarnation, where they will have many lives. Their actions in their lifetime determines what they will do in their next life, according to karma. Reincarnation creates a repeating cycle of birth, life, death, and rebirth. Hinduism ranks third among the whole worlds' religions (after Christianity and Islam.) Inventions The cultures of ancient India, and their artistic styles spreaded to different regions of Asia. Their ways of mathematics, literature, and art had shaped other cultures. India had invented the zero, Hindu-Arabic numerals, and the decimal system. The way the world currently uses mathematics, originates from ancient India! Maurya Empire Chandragupta Maurya became king of Magadha aroudn 321 B.C. He conquered much territory, that his empire covered much of the subcontinent. Chandragupta had ruled harshly during the time of his reign. He used spies, his army, and many officials to gain power. Later, his grandson - Asoka ruled over India. He decided to rule over his empire by Buddhist teachings, to insure a peaceful kingdom. King Asoka stopped constant warfare, and ruled peacefully by laws. Gupta Empire During Chandra Gupta II's reign, India experienced a golden age of success - a time of great accomplishments. India's arts, science, metallurgy, trade, and literature had prospered. Bhagavad Gita The Bhagavad Gita was an important, sacred text of Hinduism. This epic poem tells a story of war and peace, and how you should "...fight for the sake of fighting. Look equally on happiness and distress, gain and loss, victory and defeat. In this way, you will not incur sin."
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