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The following information is about Ancient India and Ancient Mesopotamia. Fell free to print, copy, etc.:

India

About 3000 BCE a great civilization grew up along the River Indus in the Indian sub-continent (in what is now Pakistan.) It is known as the Indus Valley Civilization. The Indus Valley Civilization was larger than either Sumer or Ancient Egypt. Its two great cities wear Harappa and Mohenjo Daro, each with a population of approximately 40,000 people. The civilization had a highly organized system of trade. Merchants traded grain and other agricultural produce, grown on the fertile river plains. Artifacts and jewelry wear also traded for precious metals and cloth. From about 2000 BCE, however, this mighty civilization began to decline, possibly because terrible floods destroyed the crops or because the River Indus changed course and the fertile farmland dried up. Theory is that over-grazing left the land too dry and poor to support crops. In 1926, archeologists discovered the remains of a great civilization that first appeared along the Indus River. Around 1500 BCE, the Indus Valley was invaded by new settlers who came into the northwest region. These new settlers called themselves Aryans. India ruled from about 2500 BCE till 185 BCE.

Climate: The climate of India was warmer and wetter than it is today. The grasses and trees that grew in the area provided food for many different types of animals, such as elephants. The Indus Valley was home to the largest of the four ancient urban civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, India and China. It was not discovered until the 1920's. Most of its ruins, including major cities, remain to be excavated. Its script has not been deciphered. Basic questions about the people who created this highly complex culture are unanswered.

The following are the six Indian Seasons:

Social structure:

People haven’t found a lot about the ancient Indian social structure:

Indians thought that having CASTE system (social status or position conferred by a system based on class) was the law of nature.

There were four castes.

The most powerful one in the social structure was the Priest. These were the most powerful members of the society and their powers were to perform religious services and rituals. Priests used to tell them about Karma and Bhakti. The next class is about Nobles and Warriors. They used to go to wars and protect every society. The third caste was made up of Traders, Craftspeople and Farmers. Traders used to trade items that were made from the hands of the craftspeople made for daily life. Farmers used to produce vegetation, so that they could feed themselves and their families. The fourth caste was Servants who used to work for the higher classes like priests, nobles, and warriors. Other than these four castes there was another class of people called Untouchables. Their jobs were considered to be "unclean", such sweeping the streets, removing dead animals, and cleaning gutters. In India, people who belonged to one caste couldn’t work, marry, or even eat with the people from another caste.

Family life:

In ancient India, children used to play with simple, but smart toys and loved playing with them. Archeologists have found traces of the toys that the children might have played with. They all enjoy singing and dancing. Music was extremely important to the Aryans. The father was the head of the family. He made all the decisions in the house. He had control over everyone. The parents chose whom their children would marry. Weddings were very special to them. The parents of the girl would give a dowry, (Money or property brought by a woman to her husband at marriage) to the young man, (groom).

Knowledge/achievements – the Aryans had a number of important achievements. We even use them today, for example, science and mathematics. The following are various achievements:

Science and mathematics – Kanada was an Aryan philosopher. He firmly believed that things could be broken down into small parts called Paramanu. You can’t feel any of these paramanus because of their small size. Today these paramanus are known as atoms. Around the Indus Valley, it is believed that the decimal system based on ten had originated from there. The people from the Indus Valley had used it to calculate the value, weight, and measure of products that the people of the Indus Valley sold. In Ancient India, the doctors investigated the atmosphere of a patient as well as the patient’s indications to conclude the type of illness or treatment. Sushruta was a well-known doctor who lived around 600 BCE. Sushruta perfected more than 120 surgical instruments for surgery.

Education – the first university appeared in Ancient India around 700 BCE. Students had to be at least 16 years old to go to the university. People from Egypt, Mesopotamia and other ancient civilizations had come to learn from the gurus that taught in the university. Sixty different subjects were taught at the university. More than 10,500 student went there to study.

Writing and language – the Ancient Indians formed a writing system that accepted pictures and various symbols. The Aryans used these symbols on seals or stamps & these were found along the Indus River. People use seals or stamps to mark the goods that the Aryans traded. Aryans brought a language called "Sanskrit" with them, and it was used in government and in heir religious books and marks. Many languages have their roots in "Sanskrit". The French word "ananas" meaning pineapple is originated from the Sanskrit word "ananas" that means pineapple.

Examples:

  1. BANDH, "bind around" (BIND, BAND, BANDAGE)
  2. BHRAATHRA, "brother, fraternity" L. FRATER (BROTHERHOOD)
  3. ASHTA, "eight"=L. OCTO, Ger. ACHT (OCTAGON, OCTET, OCTOPUS)
  4. DVAAR, "door"

Religious beliefs:

There were two religions that are versed by millions of people around the world today are Hinduism and Buddhism, which were started in Ancient India. The Aryans had a great understanding of religion. They believed that Vishnu was the preserver of the world. They also believed in reincarnation. Buddhism was mainly based on Karma. They also believed that god wasn’t one solid figure and he didn’t have just one identity; god was some sort of great power that lived inside every living thing and so they always respected each other because they were like gods.

 

As opposed to the Aryans, the Mesopotamians believed that the gods came from heaven and lugals, priests, and oracles could some way make contacts with their gods, and find out their wishes.

 

 

Mesopotamia

Introduction: Mesopotamia is located in the Fertile Crescent, between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. Today, Mesopotamia is made up of the parts of Kuwait, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria. The Fertile Crescent is stretched from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean Sea. Mesopotamia ruled from 3500 BCE to 530 BCE. Mesopotamia was hot and dry in the summer and Mesopotamia was mild and wet in the winter. There were constant floodings and rainfall. Mesopotamia’s land was very fertile in the North because of the constant rainfall. Mesopotamia’s land in the South was also very fertile because of the annual flooding of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. The land was their source of life. By this, the men could feed themselves and their families. The seasonal flooding was a challenge to the farmers of Mesopotamia. These farmers learned to control the flooding to some stage. The fertile land along the rivers produced such crops as wheat, barley, sesame, flax, and different fruits and vegetables.

 

Social structure:

In ancient Mesopotamia, there were six levels in the social structure.

Lugals- had control over the city-state and owned all the land, buildings, and army. Lugals also had military leadership, oversaw building projects and established law. They could execute their wishes and choose to give out land to certain people.

Priests- were people who had control over the school curriculum and also owned land.

Scribes- were public writers who worked for a religious temple or the government.

Traders and Craftspeople- traders sold the products that the craftspeople made. The traders could sell the products locally or in other parts of the world.

Common people- were actually farmers who farmed for life. They had the ability to change the supply and demand of grain and barley in the market.

Slaves- were either indentured servants who desperately needed money or prisoners of war.

 

Family Life points:

Parents had control over their children. Boys of wealthy families could go to school at the age of eight or nine. Women couldn’t vote. Women could own land and establish their own business. Work at school was expected to be perfect. If not, then students were punished. The parents chose to whom their children would marry. School was from sun-up till sundown. Common children stayed home to learn different skills from their parents or guardians because they couldn’t afford to go to school. Example: a carpenter’s boy would learn carpeting skills. Women were highly respected.

Religious beliefs:

Mesopotamia’s belief in god was called polytheism. This meant that they had a belief in multiple Gods. They also believed that the lugals could talk directly to the gods. Also, that the priests could make religious ceremonies and try to understand what their gods wanted. People named oracles were believed to have special powers to determine the wishes of god. Mesopotamian gods usually lived in the heavens, but visited the Earth. When they visited the Earth, they lived in a mountain shaped temple called a ziggurat. A ziggurat is a mountain-shaped temple with a pyramid shaped base and a shrine, or a place to worship the particular god that the ziggurat has been made for at the top. The ziggurats were built of sun-dried mud bricks with 3 to 7 terraced levels by the Sumerians. The Sumerians believed in divine order, that is, everything that occurs is preplanned by the gods.
There were four all-powerful gods that created and controlled the universe. An was the god of heaven, Enlil was the air-god, Enki was the water-god, and Ninhursag was the mother earth-goddess. Each of these gods created lesser gods who were also important in Mesopotamia. Utu, the sun-god, lit the world with rays shooting from his shoulders. He moved across the sky in a chariot. Nanna was the moon-god who used a boat to travel by night. Every single city had its own patron god or goddess who owned everything and everyone in the city. Everyone was expected to sing hymns, say prayers, make sacrifices and bring offerings to the local temple (ziggurat) for the gods.

 

Some Knowledge and Achievements:

Irrigation- it led to excellent vegetation and also let man eat and feed his family. Led to well being of animals; they wouldn’t starve and so man could domesticate those animals and use them for various reasons.

Wheel- led to faster transportation and ease of movement. Also, faster movement of goods; for example, moving tomatoes from place to place faster and a less case of rotting.

Agriculture: Since Mesopotamia was firmly established on agriculture, it was no surprise that Mesopotamia had made many tools for farming. One of their famous techniques was to attach the yoke to animals such as oxen. When the oxen used to move, the ground used to get ploughed.

Money and Trade: Various craftspeople such as the potters, carpenter, weavers and many metal workers made goods that people could use and trade. They made products such as clothing, tools for farming, beautiful bowls and jewelry. Traders traveled on ships and small boats to trade these goods along with raw material such as wheat, barley and wool locally and other parts of the world. Money also became important. They could save or accumulate their money for future and future generations. Money became the new currency; everyone wanted it. The shekel, mina and talent were the coins invented by Babylonians.

Writing – The Mesopotamian were the first people to develop the written language. The writing began as pictures, words and slowly transformed into cuneiform.

Written code of law – Hammurabi’s code was very important because it explained the right and wrong actions in the society. The law was made to make sure that society functioned well.

<> <>Pictures:

Ziggurat:

 

Wheel:

Dated around 2700 BCE this ancient wooden wheel is one of the oldest known wheels.

Ancient clay tablet with cuneiform on it:


Map of Mesopotamia:

 

Comparison between Ancient India and Ancient Mesopotamia

 

Introduction:

Ancient Mesopotamia: Mesopotamia is located in the Fertile Crescent, between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. Today, Mesopotamia is made up of the parts of Kuwait, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria. The Fertile Crescent is stretched from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean Sea. Mesopotamia ruled from 3500 BCE to 530 BCE. Mesopotamia was hot and dry in the summer and Mesopotamia was mild and wet in the winter. Mesopotamia’s land was very fertile in the North because of the constant rainfall. Mesopotamia’s land in the South was also very fertile because of the annual flooding of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. The land was their source of life. They grew crops and food in those lands and got excellent vegetation. By this, the men could feed themselves and their families.

Ancient India: About 3000 BCE a great civilization grew up along the River Indus in the Indian sub-continent (in what is now Pakistan.) It is known as the Indus Valley Civilization. The Indus Valley Civilization was larger than either Sumer or Ancient Egypt. Its two great cities wear Harappa and Mohenjo Daro, each with a population of approximately 40,000 people. The civilization had a highly organized system of trade. Merchants traded grain and other agricultural produce, grown on the fertile river plains. Artifacts and jewelry wear also traded for precious metals and cloth. From about 2000 BCE, however, this mighty civilization began to decline, possibly because terrible floods destroyed the crops or because the River Indus changed course and the fertile farmland dried up. Theory is that over-grazing left the land too dry and poor to support crops. In 1926, archeologists discovered the remains of a great civilization that first appeared along the Indus River. Around 1500 BCE, the Indus Valley was invaded by new settlers who came into the northwest region. These new settlers called themselves Aryans. India ruled from about 2500 BCE till 185 BCE.

Comparison Between Mesopotamia and India

 

Mesopotamia

India

Religious Beliefs

Mesopotamians believed that the gods came from heaven.

 

Mesopotamians believed that only lugals, priests, and oracles could some way make contacts with their gods, and find out their wishes

 

Mesopotamians built huge building where the gods stayed when they visited them

Indians believed that god wasn’t one solid figure and he didn’t have just one identity. God was some sort of great power that was present inside every living thing.

 

Indians believed that anyone could approach god

 

Indians built huge temples where they had images of deities. These temples were also used for social get-togethers

 

Indians believed in re-incarnation.

Social Structure

In ancient Mesopotamia, there were six levels in the social structure: Lugals, Priests, Scribes, Traders and Craftspeople, Common people and Slaves

Women could own land and establish their own business.

Music was not as important to Mesopotamians.

There was no dowry given in marriage by the parents of the girl.

Indians had five classes (castes): priest, nobles and warriors, traders, craftspeople and farmers, servants and untouchables. Indians did not have any slaves.

Women could not own land or establish their business.

Music was extremely important to the Aryans.

The parents of the girl would give a dowry, (Money or property brought by a woman to her husband at marriage) to the young man.

People belonging to one caste could not marry, work or even eat with people of other castes.

Knowledge and Achievements

Mesopotamians invented wheel that led to faster transportation and ease of movement.

 

Mesopotamians invented many farming tools and techniques such as Irrigation.

 

Mesopotamians invented Money as a currency.

 

Mesopotamians were first people to develop written language.

 

Mesopotamians were very advanced in Astronomy (movements of Sun, moon and stars).

 

Mesopotamians were first to use bronze to make tools and weapons.

 

Mesopotamians created the first set of laws to make sure that society functioned well.

The Indians invented lots of surgical instruments. They were first people to perform plastic surgery.

City planning was one of the greatest achievements of Indians.

Indians were first people to make cloth from cotton.

Indians had great philosophers who were very advanced in scientific knowledge.

Decimal system originated in India.

Indians invented a unique method to determine the type of illness and treatment.

People from Egypt, Mesopotamia and other ancient civilizations went to Indians Universities to learn from the gurus that taught in the university. Sixty different subjects were taught at the university. More than 10,500 students went there to study.

 

Common factors between Mesopotamia and India

Religious Beliefs

Mesopotamians and Indians believed in many gods and goddesses.

Social Structure

Priests were very powerful and performed religious ceremonies. Father was the head of the family and had complete control over the family members. Parents decided whom their children married.

Knowledge and Achievements

Mesopotamians and Indians had irrigation, advanced medical facilities and developed written language.