Columbia Chronologies of Asian History and Culture

By John S. Bowman | Go to book overview

India
SCIENCE-TECHNOLOGY, ECONOMICS, AND EVERYDAY LIFE

INDUS CIVILIZATION: 3000–1700 B.C.

3000B.C.: In Baluchistan, localized cultures are distinguished by various types of tools, implements, pottery, and burial customs.

3000–2600B.C.: Early Harappan settlements live by traditional subsistence agricultural and pastoral economy. Plows are employed in a field pattern still used in modern-day Punjab. Industries include copper toolmaking and production of stone blades from cores. Economic specialization rises as factory towns such as Lewan and Taraki Qila produce tools and beads.

Gradual cultural convergence among Early Harappan communities over an enormous geographical range results in a transition to the relatively homogeneous urban Harappan culture. Some sites exhibit characteristics of mature Harappan cities: massive mud brick city walls; city planning, with separate citadel and residential districts; water storage systems; multiroomed houses. Tools include plows and grinding stones.

2600–2000B.C.: Harappan farmers practice mixed farming on floodplains using irrigation and inundation techniques. Barley, wheat, millet, peas, sesame, and perhaps rice are major crops, produced in surplus quantities. The land tax is paid in grain. Livestock includes humped cattle, sheep, goats, buffalo, and pigs.

Sophisticated, uniform urban planning in the Mature Harappan period (about ten known sites are classified as cities). Cities are sited adjacent to rivers and oriented northsouth. A citadel is built on a massive mound to west, surrounded by public buildings (assembly halls, baths and other ritual spaces); a “lower city” to the east contains a residential/commercial quarter (including warehouses and workshops). The citadel and lower city are fortified with mud or baked brick walls. Streets follow grid plan with broad main streets. Cities are periodically rebuilt, always to same plan; Mohenjo-Daro has ten layers.

Occupational specialization accompanies social classification among the Harappans: potters, dyers, metal- and shell-workers, and beadmakers are concentrated in separate quarters of towns, living in barrack-like housing.

Harappans invent the most sophisticated

-355-

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Columbia Chronologies of Asian History and Culture
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Columbia Chronologies of Asian History and Culture *
  • Contents v
  • Consultants and Contributors vii
  • Introduction ix
  • Columbia Chronologies of Asian History and Culture *
  • Part One - East Asia 1
  • China - Political History 3
  • China - Arts, Culture, Thought, and Religion 79
  • China - Science-Technology, Economics, and Everyday Life 99
  • Japan - Political History 118
  • Japan - Arts, Culture, Thought, and Religion 162
  • Japan - Science-Technology, Economics, and Everyday Life 179
  • Korea 193
  • Taiwan 225
  • Hong Kong 236
  • Macau (Macao) 244
  • Part Two - South Asia 250
  • India - Political History 251
  • India - Arts, Culture, Thought, and Religion 325
  • India - Science-Technology, Economics, and Everyday Life 355
  • Pakistan 370
  • Bangladesh 379
  • Bhutan 384
  • Maldives 389
  • Nepal 393
  • Sri Lanka (Ceylon) 400
  • Part Three - Southeast Asia 408
  • Brunei 409
  • Cambodia 415
  • Indonesia 436
  • Laos 452
  • Malaysia 465
  • Myanmar (Burma) 476
  • The Philippines 488
  • Singapore 501
  • Thailand 506
  • Vietnam 521
  • Part Four - Central Asia 545
  • Mongolia 547
  • Central Asian Republics 566
  • Tibet 577
  • Appendix 1 - National/Independence Days 583
  • Appendix 2 - Scientific-Technological Achievements in Asia 590
  • Appendix 3 - Asian History: a Chronological Overview 603
  • Index 679
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