Notes from Chap. 3 - Ancient India and China

On test:
  • 1.Vocabulary words
  • 2.The text of chap 3
  • 3.What we go through in class today….

Key Concepts

  • • 1. Paleolithic era: humans (hunter-gathers, hunter-foragers) made tools, built fires and developed spoken languages. There were migrations.
  • • 2. Paleolithic to Neolithic: The agricultural revolution. More food, populations increased, pastoralists conduit for tech change, forced labor, elites with concentrated power
  • • 3. Cities. About 5,000 years ago, the advances made by early farming communities led to the rise of cities and civilizations


  • The first Indian civilization, arising in the Indus Valley, lasted 1,000 years
  • This Indus Valley civilization was the largest of any ancient civilization; two main cities Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa, carefully planned.
  • The Aryans overran the Indus Valley and then created a new civilization along the Ganges River.
  • The Vedas and Aryan epic poems Mahabarata and the Ramayana reveal much about the lives and religious beliefs of the Aryans.


  • Long distances and physical barriers separated China from the other ancient civilizations and contributed to the Chinese belief that it was the sole source of civilization
  • (Pyramids)
  • Shang AND Zhou Civilizations
  • Chinese: veneration of ancestors, and the concept of yin-yang balancing
  • During Shang and Zhou dynasties the Chinese made achievements in astronomy, bronze work, discovered how to make silk, books, and a complex system of writing.
  • Mandate of Heaven. The Zhou Dynasty developed the idea of the dynastic cycle and the Mandate of Heaven

Stuff to know…

  • In India, rivers are venerated.
  • Indus Valley civilization collapsed because of...
  • Harappa – Moheno Daro.
  • Indians- Polytheistic.
  • Vocab: ideographs, calligraphy, oracle bone, dynastic cycle, rajah, feudalism, Vedas
  • Vedic Age: 1500 BC to 500 BC
  • Aryans divided people by occupation: priests, warriors, herders, laborers (Sudras)…this was somewhat informal, but over the centuries became hardened into the fixed nature of the caste system in which one could never leave the caste of one’s birth (until reincarnation…)