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Introduction to Asia

FOCUS: Geography of East-South Asia + History of South-Southwest Asia

Jerry Lubos

on 29 March 2016

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Transcript of Introduction to Asia

Intro to Asia
Mr. Lubos
Welcome to the Earth's largest continent!
It covers nearly 1/3 of the planet's land and is home to 60% of the Earth's people
Different climates range from the frozen shores of the Arctic to the tropical islands of Indonesia
elevation and rainfall play a key part in determining climate
Asia is also the birthplace of many ancient people and civilizations as well as major religions
Also houses some of the world's fastest growing economies (ex: China, Japan, South Korea)
Divided into 46 independent countries which also vary in size
Physical Features
of South Asia
Physical Features
of East Asia
Humans & the
Physical Environment
Southwest Asia is a region of huge climate extremes
One of the driest regions on the Earth
Water is
and most workers work on farms
The amount of
land is also limited

The Huang He river is nicknamed "China's Sorrow" because it can be a blessing or curse for Chinese farmers - it can overflow during the monsoons
are winds that blow across the region at certain times of the year
Summer vs. winter?
The monsoon rains provide water for 1/2 of the world's population
People living in tropical areas must watch out for
- its high winds & heavy rains can be destructive
Geographic Factors
& Natural Resources
Population vs.
Population Density
Most people living in South and Southeast Asia make their living from the land
they live in small villages near the region's major rivers where they build their own homes and grow their own food
cash crops
include tea, cotton, and rubber
Depending on cash crops can be problematic however - why?

In East Asia, the Pacific ocean is an important resource for food (which is why the fishing industry is huge there!)
they also practice
(sea farming)
other natural resources include... (p. 459)
Ha Long Bay
Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam
Idukki district, India
Hong Kong
Jakarta, Indonesia
Pulau Ujong
Standard of living
= Quality of life
Measured by the level of wealth, comfort, material goods and necessities available to people in an area
We look at the income levels of people, the poverty rate, the costs of housing, quality of education, quality of healthcare,
life expectancy
rate, disease rates, political and religious freedoms...it can be very complex

Example - petroleum only found in a few places around the world so petroleum-rich countries play important role in global economy
Southwest Asia is the largest oil-producing region in the world (they have more than 1/2 of the world's oil reserves)
Some countries there however have little to no oil - do you think they have a lower or higher standard of living?
In this part of the Prezi we will focus on the geography and history of South and Southwest Asia:
Again, the history surrounding the Asian continent is vast with many early civilizations & conquerors being a part of it
Pay attention to the historical events that we will study and how it influences the beliefs people have today and how certain societies are structured
Invaders known as
took control of the people of the
Indus Valley
between 2000-1500 B.C.E.
they settled along the southwestern part of the Indus River
the largest city was Mohenjo-Daro (present day Pakistan)

DISCUSS: why would they settle near the river? what natural borders prevented attacks from invaders and the spread of disease?

systems provided food:
Ex: wheat, barley, peas, cotton, rice
of animals led to what?
The advancement of technology led to an increase in trade and communication which improved the economy
For hundred of years, India was divided into small kingdoms with no one ruler uniting them
Ancient Mesopotamia:
Mesopotamia = "between the rivers" AKA the Fertile Crescent
This region became a center for farming and trade
Hammurabi ruled the city of Babylon from 1800 - 1750 B.C.E., uniting the region along the Tigris & Euphrates rivers.

Achievements in history:
Invention of writing by the Sumerians (
Created the first lunar calendar (early astronomy)
Started systems of medicine and law
Used irrigation to water crops
Discovered bronze and later iron to make tools & weapons
Excelled in literature (ex: The Epic Tale of Gilgamesh)
Hammurabi's Code
- an early example of law and punishment (justice)
For centuries, this region has been a crossroads for Asia, Africa, and Europe
As a result, many different religious and ethnic groups live here. However, along with conflicts on political boundaries, this has led to disputes
What and where is the Indus Valley?
History of India
Southwest Asia:
Ancient Mesopotamia
Southwest Asia Today
Colonization & Resistance
The Maurya Empire
The Mughal Empire
Since the 1700s, European nations established many colonies in Asia, Africa, and the Americas
is a territory ruled by another nation
Through trade and war, nations of Europe made colonies of most of South Asia
Ex: The British occupied India for years because of the riches it produced
Indians would fight for their freedom as a strong independence movement grew.
One great leader was
Mohandas Gandhi
who called for people to resist British rule
He set a standard by pushing for nonviolent resistance
He encouraged a
of British goods
A boycott is a refusal to buy or use goods and services
Gandhi's efforts eventually led to Britain granting India its freedom in 1947
Independence was followed by religious conflict
The fight for freedom saw Hindus and Muslims work together but Muslims felt their rights would not be protected because of they were the minority
In 1947 that same year, both sides agreed to a
(division) of the subcontinent into tow nations - India and Pakistan
This still did not stop the fighting, Gandhi was murdered. Even today both sides still distrust each other...
Around 330 B.C.E.... :
Who was
Chandragupta Maurya
Who was
How did Buddhism change Asoka's way of ruling his people?
Starting in the 700s C.E., people from the north began moving to northern India
One of these groups that came were called
(during the 1500s) - what religion did they follow and bring to India?
What did
allow during his rule?
Shah Jahan
built what famous building? This place was a tomb for his wife. And although very grand it was very expensive and cost the empire.
Mughal Empire
declined during the 1700s
Ex: Kurds are an ethnic group who have their own language and culture but they don't have a country to call their own.
Their desire for a country has led to conflicts with Iran, Iraq, & Turkey
Remember the Jewish people's situation:
After WWI, Arabs and Jews fought over their homeland in Palestine
After WWII, Jews began migrating to Palestine which escalated the conflict further
The United Nations voted to divide Palestine into two separate Arab and Jewish states
War broke out as Arabs were not happy with the decision
In 1948, the state of Israel was formed. Since then, many bloody wars have occurred. Progress for peace is slow.
Unfortunately drought continues to be a major problem
is a long period without rain
one of the causes over the region of Kashmir (only 6% of the land is good for growing crops)

Geography does influence politics because whoever controls the Kashmir controls the Indus River
both India & Pakistan claim Kashmir and want to control the waters of the Indus
Remember the caste system?
it is an ancient tradition that influences Indian culture
traditional Hindu society divides followers into four castes (classes or social groups)
Who are the "Untouchables"? What was life like for them?

Thanks in part to Gandhi's influence, the caste system is weakening. Laws were passed to protect the rights of the Untouchables and to improve their lives
Gandhi also encouraged women to resist British rule. How did they help the cause? How are their lives affected now?
In the 1930s, the economy and society changed Saudi Arabia due to their discovery of oil - it made them rich:
When oil prices are up, cities are booming allowing the country to modernize (electricity, phones, roads, excellent education, etc.)
they carry 1/4 of the Earth's oil supply!
their main source of income but like other nations they want to diversify

Despite rapid
, they hold firm to their Islamic beliefs. Many people use Western inventions but hang on to their traditions:
in today's world, the roles of women in Saudi Arabia is changing (but for some not changing enough)
ex: women must fully cover their bodies (and faces), may not drive cars, and have an area in the home they stay in when there are guests
Though women are becoming better educated, men and women are still separate in schools and in workplaces
Like much of Southwest Asia, 2/3 of Israel is made up of desert
in the past people herded animals; farming was too difficult but due to new ideas & technology, farming is now possible

Since its creation 1948, Israeli farmers relied on cooperation to increase its farmland
Ex: most people live in
(small farming villages) where they combine their money to buy equipment and teach other new methods of farming
Ex: Cooperative settlements called
are where people eat together, work together, and share profits equally. Money isn't earned but education, housing, health care, and meals are provided for.

In remembering that the region is mostly dry, why is the Jordan River important and why are nations careful about its use?
Pakistan: Making Economic Progress
India: A Democracy Rooted in Tradition
Saudi Arabia: Islam and the Oil Industry
Israel: Building its Economy
Pakistanis on the Indus Plain have built thousands of canals and ditches to move water to their fields
more access to irrigation = increase in crop production
however monsoons can cause flooding to occur (which is why dams help)
as a result dams help produce hydroelectric energy, needed to run mills and factories

Pakistan's industrial growth a result of the farming industry
ex: by growing cotton, they can be manufactured to make socks
the chemical industry produces paint, soap, and dye
282 laws with over 4000 lines:
gives historians and us insight to the lives of the people of Babylon
first evidence of JUSTICE --->
proving evidence of a crime, being innocent until proven guilty, & protecting the weak
one of the oldest deciphered texts in existence
"Let the oppressed man come and stand before my image as king of righteousness. Let him understand my words and his case, so he will understand what is just and his heart will be glad."
Some laws harsh and consequences severe. Here are some examples:
"If a son should strike his father, his hands shall be cut off."
"If a man puts out the eye of another man, his eye shall be put out."
"If any man should strike a man of higher rank, he shall receive sixty blows with an ox-whip."
"If a builder builds a house for someone and that house collapses killing them, then the builder shall be put to death."
"Not all Muslims agree on how to apply the Quran to modern life." (p. 530)
It is unique compared to most world religions that there is no one founder yet there are many religious thinkers

Hindus believe in a single spirit and worship many
(and each represents different parts of this spirit)
All Hindus share the idea of rebirth believing that all living things are part of a cycle of life, death, and rebirth (
It is a philosophy and a way of life - focusing on both this world and beyond
It gave birth to other religions such as Buddhism, Jainism, & Sikhism
It preaches tolerance and diversity:
"Truth is one, paths are many"
"God is one, but wise people know it by many names."
Holi - Spring Festival
Diwali - New year Festival of Lights
Mt. Everest
The Dead Sea
Learning Targets
Geographic Factors
& Natural Resources
 I can list and locate important landforms and bodies of water in Asia

 I can define geographical terms such as a sea, desert, and an island and locate examples of them on a map

 I can explain how geographic factors influence population density and standard of living

[TIMELAPSE] India within - Mumbai & Bangalore
The East Asia Geographic Timelapse
How we will divide up
our study of Asia?
***It's important we chunk up a land that is 17,208,000 square miles home to 4,302,088,000 people (as of 2014)!***
East Asia
South Asia
Southeast Asia
Southwest Asia
Where does Europe end
and Asia begin?
When you think about it, Europe and Asia share ONE landmass. It technically is one continent so keep in mind some people may refer to this continent as

For the purposes of our class, we DO divide up Europe and Asia because they are
culturally and historically different

Tradition has split these two "continents" along the
Ural Mountains
in western Russia
Physical vs. Political Maps
Discuss with your table

1. In what countries is it mostly mountainous?
2. What do you notice about cities in China and India? Where are they located?
3. Name a few Middle Eastern countries that are on the border of Asia and Europe (or Africa)
Discuss with your table:

1. Review what a plateau is. Can you locate the highest plateau in this region? How do you know?
2. Describe the Arabian peninsula. Most of it is what elevation (in feet)?
3. Can you point the area where the land is below sea level?
For the next part of our notes...
This is where you need to be the best GEOGRAPHERS and EXPLORERS you can be! Are you ready?

In addition to this presentation (on your tablet or computer) and your
handout, you also need:

Map Packet on Asia
(East and South) labeled and color-coded!
with all previous vocabulary terms complete!
Use your physical maps as a reference!
Physical landforms
Bodies of water
Stop #1: The Himalayan Mts.
The Himalayan Mountain range is a result of the Indian subcontinent colliding with the rest of Asia
a subcontinent
is a large landmass that is a major part of a continent
o this took millions of years to happen!
It is a mountain range that separates the plains of the Indian subcontinent from the Tibetan Plateau (the highest and tallest in the world)

It contains the highest peaks in the world along with about 15,000 glaciers and hundreds of lakes in the region – its name means the “abode (home) of snow”
Mt. Everest is the tallest mountain peak in the world with an age approximately 60 million years old

Other natural forces such as earthquakes and volcanoes have changed and continue to change the landscape
o The Himalayas continue to have a huge influence on the climate of the Indian subcontinent and Tibetan plateau

A large plateau in India making up the majority of the southern part of the country with an average elevation of 2,000 feet
Climate is drier than that on the coasts and arid in places
Stop #2: Deccan Plateau
Rajgad (Royal Fort), Pabe Ghat, Maharashtra, India
Stop #3: Western & Eastern Ghats
Two mountain ranges forming the eastern and western edges of the Deccan plateau
In Hindi “ghat” means “river landing stairs” or “mountain pass” referring to river banks that have been artificially terraced for bathing purposes

Eastern Ghats - Xylo at Deomali
Western Ghats
The Eastern Ghats runs parallel to the Bay of Bengal and features low ranges and hills with forests in several areas
The Western Ghats runs parallel to the Arabian Sea and features streams and canyon-like valleys. It receives plenty of rainfall producing dense forests.
A mountain range that stretches 500 miles long and acts as a watershed of central Asia
o This mountain range separates central Asia from south Asia

Stop #4: Hindu Kush
The origin of the name varies, but it originates from the death of slaves being transported by Islamic invaders.
o This has been a historically strategic area with many empires and civilizations wanting control of the area

This river continues to be important, especially for Pakistan’s economy, providing most of the nation’s agricultural production and supply of water.
In its valley arose very early human civilizations (ex: the Harappan) . Actually the word “India” refers to the regions along the east bank of the Indus.

Stop #5: Indus River
Stop #6: Ganges River
It is considered to be the most sacred river to followers of Hinduism, depending on it for their daily needs from bathing, paying homage to ancestors, and certain rituals (such as purification).
Stop #7: Bay of Bengal
Named after the region of Bengal where West Bengal (now a modern-day state of India) and East Bengal (now Bangladesh) were divided based on religion.
Many big ports in the world are located here.
What is this area vulnerable to?
Stop #8: Indian Ocean
Covers about 20% of the water on Earth, it was named by early European writers referring to the “East Indian” ocean. Many ancient civilizations developed around this ocean.

Use your physical maps as a reference!
Physical Landforms
Bodies of Water
The Maldives
In this area includes several island nations (mostly from Africa) but also Bahrain, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives (a group of over 1200 islands!).
This ocean provides major sea routes between three continents.
o They also produce 40% of the world’s offshore oil production.
Chagos Archipelago Reef
Stop #9: Gobi Desert
The word “Gobi” is a Mongolian word meaning “place without water” yet even with harsh weather and little rainfall, flora and fauna and human beings manage to survive
Bayanzag (Flaming Cliffs)
The largest desert in Asia stretching for almost 500,000 square miles across China and Mongolia
This desert is unique because it is a cold desert, with frost and occasionally snow occurring on its dunes
China’s largest desert and nicknamed “the sea of death” and “the place of ruins”! Sand storms can occur without warning, days can be boiling hot and nights freezing cold, and water is scarce.
Stop #10: Taklimakan Desert
It remains a dangerous place to cross, but merchant caravans (groups of people traveling together) would stop at oasis towns on the legendary Silk Road.
Khongoryn Els (sand dunes)
Gobi Gurvansaikhan National Park
Stop #13: Yellow Sea
It is appropriately named because of the sand particles from sandstorms from the Gobi desert that deposits into the sea, turning it golden yellow.
Measuring about 600 miles, the sea formed from a flooded section of continental shelf after the last ice age (over 10,000 years ago)

It has very cold, dry winters and wet, warm summers. Fog is common along the coasts.
The Chinese, Korean, and Japanese depend on the sea for fishing purposes however it has contributed to overfishing and loss of habitat.
Jeju Island, Korea
This body of water separates the Asian continent from Japan. It has no large islands or bays.
Stop #14: Sea of Japan
High concentration of dissolved oxygen results in rich aquatic life with more than 800 species of aquatic plants and more than 3500 animal species!
Fishing is the dominant economic activity in this area.

The 2nd longest river in Asia, it is notable for the large amount of silt it carries.
o Silt is fine-grained sediment deposited in rivers

Stop #12: Huang He (Yellow) River
It is referred to as the “cradle of civilization” and nicknamed “China’s Pride” and “China’s Sorrow”. Why do you think so?
Hukuo Waterfall, China
Stop #11: Chang Jiang (Yangtze) River
Three Gorges Dam, Yubei province, China
 The 3rd longest river in the world, it’s river basin is home to 1/3 of China’s population playing a huge role in China’s history, culture, and economy
o For thousands of years, people have used the river for irrigation, sanitation, industry, and even war
o The Three Gorges Dam is the largest hydro-electric power station in the world
o As of 2014, the Chinese government plants to build a transport network including railways, roads, and airports along the river

Snow Leopard
(Search these videos up on
Let's study the map on p.453 (Population Density in East Asia)
Examples of density in our school/community?
75% of China's people live in rural areas; in Japan 80% of people live in cities
Ex: The population of East Asia isn't spread evenly across the land because few live in the deserts, highlands, or mountains...so where do most people live?
Population Density
Order from most populated to least populated
Re-create a pie chart with the matching statistics
Discuss where the most densely populated areas are on Earth
Use intermediate directions - where exactly is the most densely populated in Asia and in the U.S.?
warm air + low pressure = WET
cool air + high pressure = DRY
Gross domestic product
(GDP) is one of the primary indicators of a country's economic performance.
Calculated by either adding up everyone's income during the period or by
adding the value of all final goods and services produced in the country during the year.

GDP per capita
is a measure of the total output of a country that takes the GDP and divides it by the number of people in the country.
Useful in comparing as it
shows the relative performance of other countries
. Higher = more productivity.
Geography overview (East-South)
History overview (South-Southwest)

Moving eastward, the Aryans claimed northern India and ruled for over 1000 years - but they also introduced new ways of living:
they divided people into particular classes - priests, warriors, and working people
people were born into these
social classes
and could not change
this strict division of classes would later be called by Europeans as the
caste system

Each caste (social class) had special duties and work
men worked within their caste and women were valued because of their ability to produce offspring
children were expected to adopt their parents' role
Aryan religious ideas and practices led to a new system of belief (
), the world's oldest living religion
These ideas were based on their religious writings called the Vedas
What is the caste system?
-- Hammurabi
Examples below:
Full transcript