This lecture addresses the question of the ‘beginnings’ of South Asian civilization. It locates the migrations out of Africa that ‘settled’ South Asia, and then traces the context of the art and architecture of the cave dwellers, with focus on Bhimbetka, a centrally located pre-historic site (this section can be presented in context with the GAHTC lecture module on the Architecture of the First Societies, by M. Jarzombek). The lecture then moves to the contexts of the establishment of the civilization around the Indus Valley River system, identifying the growth of agriculture, and trade with West Asia as key factors. The rise of the big cities of the Indus Valley are then traced to developments in ‘global’ trade. Mohenjodaro and Harappa are discussed in terms of hydraulic engineering, along with Dholavira. The ‘end’ of the Indus is finally presented in terms of climate change and geological change.
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