Write on the importance of river valleys in the history of early Indian.

The importance of river valleys in the history of early Indian: River Valleys have always been significant in the development of early civilizations. Many of the first cities have been founded in the lower parts of large rivers where they meet the sea and there are many reasons for this.

Large rivers afford many benefits. Firstly they provide a large amount of easily accessible fresh water, the stable commodity for any population, water not only for drinking but also for cooking, washing and as a resource for building and all the other trades that develop in an organized population. The river itself provides more than just water though, the very force of the flow acts as the motorways of the ancient world allowing easy travel down towards the coastal population centers bringing in trade and supply from the outlying areas. Food was also to be found in large quantities in river valleys, marine life in many forms, especially in the estuaries and deltas would provide a wealth of opportunity to feed a population.

With the development of agriculture, thought to have its roots around 4000 B.C., the large amount of water becomes the sustaining force in this new fixed society that has taken over from the earlier hunter gather culture of the Mesolithic era. With farmland to be worked, irrigation systems were developed and again the river itself was the source of this. There were a number of prominent cultures that arose as the direct result of their close proximity to major rivers. The best known is the Egyptian culture which developed an urbanized society between 4000-3000 B.C. and owed its total existence to the river Nile which rises in the African highlands and flows north to the Mediterranean Sea.

There is a seasonal phenomenon that makes the Nile particularly important, in the for in of an inundation of minerals that is pushed down the river and which makes the farmlands surrounding the river very fertile. The Delta regions of the Nile was home to many of the major urban centers of this early empire and many of those cities continued to thrive and prosper long after the old order of the ancient Egyptian empire had been swept away. To the east of Mesopotamia we find the Indus Valley Culture that rose to prominence in the second millennium B.C. and again was supported by a major river system and all the benefits that it confers. River Valleys remained an important stepping stone on the rise of civilization and even today play a major role in travel, trade and industry.

Between about 1500 and 1000 B.C., as the great cities of the Indus region crumbled into ruins, nomadic Aryan invaders from central Asia moved into the fertile Indus plains and pushed into the Ganges River valleys to the east. It took these unruly, warlike peoples many centuries to build a civilization that rivaled that of the Harappans. The Aryans concentrated on assaulting Harappan settlements and different Aryan tribal groups. As peoples who depended primarily on great herds of cattle to provide their subsistence, they had little use for the great irrigation works and advanced agricultural technology of the Indus valley peoples.

Though they conserved some Harappan beliefs and symbols, the Aryan invaders did little to restore or replace the great cities and engineering systems of the peoples they had supplanted. Eventually, however, many of Aryan groups began to settle down, and increasingly they relied on farming to support their communities. By 700 B.C., their priests had begun to orally record hymns and ritual incantations that had long been central to Aryan culture. In the following centuries, strong warrior leaders built tribunal units into larger kingdoms. The emergence of priestly and warrior elites signaled the beginning of a new pattern of civilization in South Asia. By the 6th century B.C., the renewal of civilized life in India was marked by the emergence of great world religions, such as Hinduism and Buddhism, and a renewal of trade, urban life, and splendid artistic and architectural achievements.

Tags: Ba History

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