2. Indus River Valley
● Asia’s first cities 4500 years ago
o Mohenjo Dahro
Carefully laid out streets
Buildings to store grain
With the growth in population the civilization
thrived by farming, trade, and the use of
● Copper & Bronze tools
● Cotton cloth
● Clay pottery
3. Indus River Valley
● The Indus civilization declined between
1700 and 1500 BCE after nearly a thousand
years of prosperity.
● It is believed that earthquakes and floods
may have damaged the cities and the Indus
river itself may have changed course.
● 1500 BCE nomadic herders called
Aryans settled in South Asia
● Believed to have come from the
● Developed a spoken language called
o Passed on hymns and teachings by
word of mouth
Sanskrit later became a written language
and teachings were written in sacred
texts called Vedas
The Vedas show that Aryans were
organized into four Varnas or social groups
4. Unskilled Laborers/Servants
Over time a Caste system emerged. A Caste is a social group a person is
born into and cannot change. The term for Caste in South Asia is Jati.
● Rise to power in 300s BCE
● Founded by Maurya family
● Most famous ruler Asoka
o Was a Buddhist
o Let his people practice other religions
o Sent Buddhist missionaries throughout Asia
o Dedicated his life to peace
● Empire prospered through trade
● After Asoka’s death invasions led to
Mauryan Empire’s fall
7. Gupta Empire
● In 320 AD Gupta Empire set up in
● Northern India by Chandragupta I
● Under Hindu rulers contact with the
outside world led to:
o Increased trade
o Academia thrived
● South Asian mathematicians developed the numerals 1-9
o Later adopted by Muslim Arab traders and eventually
brought to Europe
● During the early 1500s Muslim warriors
known as Moguls came from the North of India.
● Akbar was the greatest Mogul ruler.
o Added lands to the empire
o Lowered taxes
o Supported the arts
o Allowed Hindus to worship freely and hold
● Later Mogul rulers were not as good
o Heavy taxes led to rebellion
o Foreign invasions led to empires collapse
in the 1700s
9. Modern History
● 1600s British established the East India Trading Co.
● Through trade and Military might the British became the dominant power in
South Asia by the 1800s.
● As British tried to introduce European practices and ideas South Asians
● Indian soldiers attempted revolt in 1857 but failed.
● British textiles destroyed economies of the region with heavy taxes on poor
● Severe famines and poor health care under British rule kept resentment
and tensions high.
● Mohandas “Mahatma” Gandhi born in 1869.
● Mahatma means great one.
● Goal was to bring independence to India
● Opposed violence of all forms.
● Believed Civil Disobedience was preferable.
o Used Fasts as social protest.
o Held Strikes
o Refused to buy British goods
o Led the Dandi Salt march in 1930.
o Was imprisoned many times for many years.
● Independence gained in 1947 but as two nations.
o Hindu controlled India
o Muslim controlled Pakistan
● Assassinated in in 1948
11. South Asia today
● Upon independence West & East Pakistan
● Hindus fled the Pakistan’s to India and
Muslims fled India to the Pakistan’s.
● Half a million died in fighting
● In 1971 Civil War broke out between East
and West Pakistan.
● East Pakistan became Bangladesh.
● In 1948 Britain gave independence to
the island of Ceylon which reclaimed it’s
ancient name of Sri Lanka
● In 1965 the Maldive Islands gained its
independence from Britain.
12. India & Pakistan
● Tensions remain between the two
● Religious differences
● Both countries claim ownership of Kashmir
in the Himalayas and Karakoram mountains
● They have fought several wars over the
● Both countries have nuclear weapons
● Through peace talks the countries have
better relations but are still in disagreement