You are on page 1of 14

Early Indus Civilizations

The Aryans & the Vedic Age


Aryan Migration
• Group that
moved into
the Indus
Valley and
eventually
ruled over all
of India
• Approx. 2000
B.C.
Aryan Migration
• Aryans were
warlike people
• Believed to
come from
Central Asia
• n
Aryan Migration
• Aryans were pastoralists
– Nomadic people kept herds of livestock
as food source
• learned farming after moving into
India
• Were taller and lighter skinned than
the people in the Indus Valley
Sanskrit
• Written
language used
by the Aryans
The Vedic Period
• Most of what we know
about the early Aryan
period comes from the
Vedas
• Vedas
– Scared writings, Epic
poems, hymns, magic
spells
– Passed on by oral
tradition
– Provide details about
Aryan history and
society
Vedic Society
• Vedas tell us that:
– Aryans lived in smaller villages than
Harappans
– Villages came together under the rule of
Rajas
• War chiefs
• Protected the people in return for food and
money
Vedic Religion
• Polythesitic
– Worshipped many gods
connected to a single
eternal spirit
• Priests performed
rituals that they claimed
kept order in the
universe
– Fire sacrifices
– Chanting hymns
Vedic Social Structure
• Rig Veda
– Oldest of the Vedas
– Describes the creation of the four varnas
– Each varna had played a specific role in society
• Brahmins
– Priests and teachers
• Kshatriyas
– warriors and rulers
• Vaisyas
– Traders, farmers, herders
• Sudras
– Servants
Brahmins

WHO IS… Kshatriyas

 The mouth?
 The arms? Vaishyas
 The legs?
 The feet?
Shudras
Varna (Social Hierarchy)
Brahmins
(priests)

Kshatriyas
(warriors)

Vaishyas
(herders, farmers, merchants,
craftspeople)

Shudras
Non-
Aryans (servants, laborers)

Untouchables
Untouchables
• Did not belong to a caste
• No protections of caste laws
• Could not associate with other
castes
• Could only perform jobs that
other castes did not
• Handling dead animals
• Digging graves
• Handling trash
The Caste System
• The varnas were the basis for the
caste system
• Castes
– Determined what:
• jobs you could have
• Who you could marry
• Who you could eat with
– Some castes had more privileges than
others