Ancient Indian Civilization

Ancient India
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HistoryPrimary EducationAge 6

This lesson contains 14 slides, with text slides and 1 video.

time-iconLesson duration is: 20 min

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Ancient India

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No one knows for sure how people lived thousands of years ago in India. Compared with other ancient civilizations, India didn’t leave many clues behind.
We don't know anything about the: 
how the government works

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The Indus Valley civilization covered an area much larger than Texas. Its cities were a lot alike, even though they were spread over a wide area. Most of these well-planned cities were laid out in a grid pattern.

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Each summer during the monsoon, a seasonal wind that causes heavy rains, the Indus River flooded, leaving silt along its banks. Early farmers grew crops such as rice, peas, and barley in this fertile soil and raised livestock, including sheep, goats, and cattle.

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The Himalayas form a barrier between the rest of Asia and the Indian subcontinent.
 A subcontinent is an area that’s blocked off from the rest of a continent. To reach India, early travelers had to cross the narrow passes in the Hindu Kush Mountains to the northwest.

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The first Indian cities, like Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro, grew up in the Indus River Valley in what is now Pakistan. The country of India takes its name from the Indus River.

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The picture-symbol script isn't like any known writing system, so no one has been able to read it. 
Characters on this 5,000-year-old piece of Harappan pottery (top) look like the ones on a clay seal used centuries later (bottom). Language experts agree that the characters stand for words, syllables, or sounds.

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Another sign of planning was the system of weights and measures that developed in the Indus Valley. Merchants put stone weights of different sizes on balance scales to weigh goods. Throughout the land, everyone used the same kind of weights.

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The Ancient Indus Valley City of Harappa
Throughout history, the world has always remembered the civilizations of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, and Rome.

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The Indus Valley civilization disappeared and was completely forgotten. It was not until the 1920s that scientists began uncovering the ancient city of Harappa, which lies below the present-day city of Harappa, Pakistan. Because Harappa was the first ancient Indus city to be rediscovered, Indus Valley civilization is sometimes called Harappan civilization.

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