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Indus Valley Civilization

by: Dominique N.

Indus Valley Civilization ARHI 3100

Marketplace > University of Georgia > Art > ARHI 3100 > Indus Valley Civilization
Dominique N.
GPA 3.74

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About this Document

Indus Valley Civilization to Introduction of Sanskrit Speakers
Art History
Nicolas Morrissey
Class Notes
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Dominique N. on Monday February 22, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ARHI 3100 at University of Georgia taught by Nicolas Morrissey in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 33 views. For similar materials see Art History in Art at University of Georgia.


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Date Created: 02/22/16
Art History – Asian Art History 3100     ● Indus Valley Civilization – 2,500 – 1,500 B.C. [India/Pakistan area]   st​ ○ 1​ elements of material culture found, by accident, by British archeologist (John Marshall) at Mohenjo­Daro  (2,500 – 1,500 BCE) – citadel beneath Buddhist stupa   ■ John Marshall – Discovered the entire city of Mohenjo­Daro (had accommodations for 100,000+  people)   rd​ ■ very planned city – mercantile sections, suburbs, center, neighborhood millennium prior to  common era]   ■ After Mohenjo­Daro, found a half­dozen other cities and 500 ish smaller habitations throughout   ● They all had uniform measures of weight throughout Indus  Valley – indicates an  effective government   ● Even though it is very organized, there are no easily recognizable large, central structures  (i.e. churches, parliament, stadium, etc.)   ○ Although there is one thing at Mohenjo­Daro. It is in the citadel –  Mohenjo­Daro “Great Bath.” Stands out singularly   ○ At all of the other places found in that area, there was a huge focus on water  (water storage, indoor plumbing, water systems, preservation, etc.);  speculations of the importance of water.   ■ Purity? Ritual bathing?   ■ Mohenjo­Daro, “Priest Figure,” circa 2000 BCE   ● Only half a dozen sculptures found in all of the areas discovered   ● 2 ½” sculpture; very small   ● Male, bearded, jewelry, armband, perfectly cut hair, robe worn over one shoulder, &  headband   ■ Indus Valley Seals (2,500 – 1,500 BCE)   ● Made of many different materials (stucco, terracotta, fired, etc.)   ● Always covered in pictures and writing [the only things found that had written text in the  entire civilization]   ○ Still not deciphered   ● Small; 2”, etc.   ● Found in agricultural and trade centers; writing may be like a paper check or used for  identification of a business; no one knows; highly evolved trade   ● Lots of duplicates amongst the thousands that were found   ● Represented with animals = male animals = powerful male animals   ○ Obsession with horns and they sometimes appear on animals and parts of  animals that don’t have horns (in an inaccurate fashion)  [naturalism/supernaturalism]   ● Some have human representation; has horns too (looks like a hybrid); in a lotus­style  posture; possibly a multi­faceted man   ○ Shiva? – A theory is that the male represented is the Hindu God Shiva. He  was in touch with animals and sits in lotus position   ○ Harrapan Terracotta Tablets with ritual scene?   ● Molded Terracotta tablets; harrappa, 2,500 – 1,500 BCE   ● Powerful, male, human figure; Organized societies; centralized city – very consistent   ■ Indus Valley “Mother Goddess” Figurines (clay), 2,500 – 1,500 BCE   ● Not connected to gov’t; not connected to trade; excavated away from homes and suburbs;  no representation of females elsewhere; artisanship is crude/primitive   ○ Perhaps to promote fertility?   ○ Sometimes figurine is pregnant; could be used for protection during  pregnancy; in the ancient world infant mortality=90%; mother mortality from  birth=60%   ○ Ritual solution to problems centered around birth; type of voodoo (trying to  affect a broader reality)   ■ Agriculture is very important   ■ Jewelry   ● Much is small, delicate and fine; refined and precise skill used indicates the wealth of the  Indus Valley   ○ Some materials (metals and stones) were imported because they were not local   ○ Purchased from afar, then crafted locally   ■ The entire Indus Valley was abandoned and nothing seems to indicate a violent removal (mass  graves hastily made, things destroyed, burned things, etc.)   ● Idea – after a millennium there was a lack of production; possible that the land got  overused and over­cultivated   ● Or a combination of things over the decades   ● Completely dissipated into the surrounding area (Indian subcontinent)   ○ Some created chiefdoms   ■ Always a body of water – does it have important religious context?   ● 2000 years later – is there a coincidental relationship between the Hindu & Indus Valley  (both have water bodies and Indus seal with the male looks like Shiva)   ■ Sanskrit is close to India   ● Sanskrit speaking Caucasians went to south Asia   ○ Brought social organization and literature, but not an inclination to build  things   ○ Because of this there is not a single piece of artwork, pottery, etc.   ■ No material culture   ■ Formed basis for later Indian civilization (socially, economically,  etc.) [bridge between abandoned Indus Valley to later India]   ■ Caucasians, Aryans, and Sanskrit speakers came into this area   ■ Religious change went on to generate art   ● Buddhist art – ; built monuments and sculptures  ○ Collection of literature; passed out orally (oral preservation) ­ Veda (collection of 4 diff.  sections); recognized as a particular type of Sanskrit and identified as Vedic Sanskrit  ● Indo Europeans ­ indo european was a precursor to Sanskrit,  Greek, and a few more languages  ● the type of Sanskrit here is different and the only way this could be  is if there was an introduction of a different language (1500 BC)  ● Veda people ­ cows and cattle were very important to their culture  & horses too (although horses were not native to th  area)


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