Indus Valley Civilization: Crash Course World History #2

Indus Valley Civilization: Crash Course World History #2

Hi, I’m John Green, and this is Crash Course
World History. Let’s begin today with a question. Why am I alive? Also, why don’t I have any
eyes? Ah, That’s better. The way we answer that question ends up organizing
all kinds of other thoughts, like what we should value, and how we should behave, and
if we should eat meat, and whether we should dump that boy who is very nice, but insanely
clingy, in a way that he cannot possibly think is attractive. All of which adds up- Uh, Mr. Green, Mr. Green, uh, are you talking
about me? Yes, I’m talking about you, me from the
past. I’m telling you that one of the reasons we study history is so that you can be a less
terrible boyfriend, but more on that momentarily. [theme music] Today we’re going to talk about civilizations,
but in order to do that, we have to talk about talking about civilizations, because it’s
a problematic word. So problematic, in fact, that I have to turn to camera 2 to discuss
it. Certain Conglomerations of humans are seen
as civilizations, whereas, say, nomadic cultures generally aren’t, unless, you are — say it
with me — the mongols By calling some groups civilizations, you
imply that all other social orders are uncivilized, which is basically just another way of saying
that they’re savages or barbarians. side note: originally Greek, the word Barbarian
denoted anyone who did not speak ancient Greek, because to the Greeks, all other languages
sounded like bar bar bar bar bar bar. So, that is to say that we are all essentially
barbarians, except for the classics majors, which is worth remembering when we’re discussing
civilizations. Civilizations are like most of the things
we like to study, they’re intellectual constructs. No one woke up in the city of Thebe’s in
Egypt one morning and said, “what a beautiful morning, I sure am living at the height of
Egyptian civilization.” Still, they’re useful constructs, particularly when you’re
comparing one civilization to another. They’re less useful when you’re comparing a civilization
to a non-civilization type social order, which is why we will try to avoid that. And yes, I am getting to the good boyfriend
stuff. Patience, grasshopper. So what is a civilization? Well, diagnosing
a civilization is a little like like diagnosing an illness. If you have four or more of the
following symptoms, you might be a civilization. Surplus production. Once one person can make
enough food to feed several people, it becomes possible to build a city, another symptom
of civilization. It also leads to the specialization of labor,
which in turn leads to trade. Like, if everybody picks berries for a living, there’s no reason
to trade, because I have berries, and you have berries,  but if I pick berries for a living and
you make hammers, suddenly, we have cause to trade. Civilizations are also usually associated
with social stratification, centralized government, shared values, generally in the form of religion,
and writing. And at least in the early days, they were almost always associated with rivers. These days you can just bisect a segment of
land horizontally and vertically, and boom, build a city. But 5000 years ago, civilizations
were almost always associated with rivers. Whether that’s the Tigris and Euphrates, the Yellow River,
The Nile, the Amazon Basin, the Coatzacoalcos – Gaaah! I was doing so good until I got to
Coatzacoalcos! (computer says: Coatzacoalcos) Coatzacoalcos.
Maybe. Why river valleys? They’re flat, they’re well watered,
and when they flood, they deposit nutrient-rich silt. We’ll have more to say about most of these
civilizations later, but let’s talk about this guy, the Indus Valley Civilization, ‘cause
it’s my all time favorite. The Indus Valley Civilization was located
in the flood plain of the Indus and Sarawati rivers, and it was about the best place in
the world to have an ancient civilization because the rivers flooded very reliably twice
a year, which meant that it had the most available calories per acre of pretty much anywhere
on the planet. We know the Indus Valley Civilization flourished
a long time ago. Probably around 3000 BCE. Why is that question literally hanging over
my head? But people of the Indus valley were trading
with Mesopotamians as early as 3500 BCE. We also know that it was the largest of the ancient civilizations.
Archaeologists have discovered more than 1500 sites. So what do we know about this civilization?
Let’s go to the Thought Bubble. Everything we know about the Indus Valley
Civilization comes from archaeology, because while they did use written language, we don’t
know how to read it, and no Rosetta Stone has thus appeared to help us learn it. I meant the other Rosetta Stone, Thought Bubble, yeah. Although, come to think of it, either would be acceptable. So here’s what we know, they had amazing
cities. Harappa and Mohenjo Daro are the best known, with dense, multi-story homes constructed
out of uniformly sized bricks along perpendicular streets. I mean this wasn’t some ancient
world version of Houston, more like Chicago. This means they must have had some form of
government and zoning, but we don’t know what gave this government its authority. Cities were oriented to catch the wind and
provide a natural form of air conditioning. And they were clean. Most homes were connected
to a centralized drainage system that used gravity to carry waste and water out of the
city in big sewer ditches that ran under the main avenues, a plumbing system that would
have been the envy of many 18th century European cities. Also, in Mohenjo Daro, the largest public
building was not a temple or a palace, but a public bath, which historians call the Great
Bath. We don’t know what the great bath was used for, but since later Indian culture
placed a huge emphasis on ritual purity, which is the basis for the caste system, some
historians have speculated that the bath might have been like a giant baptismal pool. Also, they traded. One of the coolest things
that the Indus Valley Civilization produced were seals used as identification markers on goods
and clay tablets. These seals contained the writing that we still can’t decipher, and a number of fantastic
designs, many featuring animals and monsters. One of the most famous and frightening is
of a man with what looks like water buffalo horns on his head, sitting cross-legged between
a tiger and a bull. We don’t know what’s really going on here, but it’s safe to say
that this was a powerful dude, because he seems to be able to control the tiger. How do these seals let us know that they traded?
Well, because we found them in Mesopotamia, not the indus valley. Plus, archaeologists
have found stuff like bronze in the indus valley that is not native to the region. So
what did they trade? Cotton cloth. Still such a fascinating export, incidentally that it
will be the subject of the 40th and final video in this very series. But here’s the most amazing thing about the
Indus Valley people. They were peaceful. Despite archaeologists finding 1500 sites, they have found
very little evidence of warfare, almost no weapons. Thanks Thought Bubble. OK, before we talk
about the fascinating demise of the Indus Valley Civilization. It’s time for the open
letter. Magic! I wonder what the secret compartment has for
me today? Oh! Fancy clothes. I guess the secret compartment didn’t think
I was dressed up enough for the occasion. An open letter to Historians. Dear historians,
the Great Bath? Really? THE GREAT BATH? I’m trying to make history fascinating, and you
give me a term that evokes scented candles, bath salts and Frederic Fekkai hair products? I know sometimes the crushingly boring names
of history aren’t your fault. You didn’t name the federalist papers or the Austro-Hungarian
Empire or Adam Smith. But when you do get a chance to name something, you go with THE
GREAT BATH? Not the Epic Bath of Mohenjo Daro, or the Bath to End All Baths, or the Pool
That Ruled, or the Moist Mystery of Mohenjo Daro or the Wet Wonder? The Great Bath? Really?
You can do better. best wishes, John Green. So what happened to these people? Well, here’s
what didn’t happen to them. They didn’t morph into the current residents of that area
of the world, Hindu Indians or Muslim Pakistanis. Those people probably came from the Caucasus. Instead, sometime around 1750 BCE, the Indus
Valley Civilization declined until it faded into obscurity. Why? Historians have three
theories. One: Conquest! Turns out to be a terrible military
strategy not to have any weapons, and it’s possible people from the Indus Valley were completely
overrun by people from the Caucasus. Two: Environmental Disaster! It’s possible they brought
about their own end by destroying their environment. Three: Earthquake! The most interesting theory
is that a massive earthquake changed the course of the rivers so much that
a lot of the tributaries dried up. Without adequate water supplies for irrigation,
the cities couldn’t sustain themselves, so people literally picked up and headed for
greener pastures. Well, probably not pastures, it’s unlikely
they became nomads. They probably just moved to a different plain an continued their agricultural
ways. I am already boring you and I haven’t even told you yet how to be a better boyfriend
and/or girlfriend. I’m going to do that now. So we don’t know why the Indus Valley Civilization
ended, but we also don’t really know why it started. Why did these people build cities, and dig
swimming pools, and make unnecessarily ornate seals? Were they motivated by hunger, fear, a desire
for companionship, the need to be near their sacred spaces, or a general feeling that city
life was just more awesome than foraging? Thinking about what motivated them to structure
their life as they did helps us to think about how we structure our own lives. In short,
you’re clingy because you’re motivated by fear and a need for companionship, and she finds it annoying because it’s enough
work having to be responsible for herself without having to also be responsible for
you. Also, you’re not really helping her by clinging,
and from the Indus Valley in the bronze age, to school life today, human life is all about
collaboration. Trading cloth for bronze, building cities
together, and collaborating to make sure that human lives are tilted to catch the wind. Next week we will travel here to discuss the
Hot Mess o’ Potamia, but in the meantime, if you have any questions, leave them in comments,
and our team of semi-trained semi-professionals will do their best to answer them. Also, you’ll find some suggested resources
in the video info below, he said, pointing at his pants. Thanks for watching, and we’ll
see you next week!

100 thoughts on “Indus Valley Civilization: Crash Course World History #2

  1. the stick figure with a smiley face asking why it's alive is way funnier to me than it should be

  2. You mention that the guy wears horns but not that he has (at least) three faces? It would seem you and I have different priorities. ๐Ÿ˜›

    [Late to the party]

  3. How you know those people were from caucasus not current Indian or Pakistani?
    Whatโ€™s the difference between Caucasus people and Hindustani you might have found their skin from skeletons to state your end speech words ? Did you ?

  4. ….so no one is going to talk about how John wrote "ohh fancy chalk" on the board at 0:12? ๐Ÿ™ disappointing

  5. I swear the best teachers always do the AP history classes – our two most popular teachers were AP Euro and AP US history. My only regret was that the Euro curriculum (at least in the late '90s) only started at the 1300s, and the "Dark Ages" are some of my favorite material. But it was worth it for the 5 and the break on college tuition later on (one less class credit to pay for).

  6. A mistake to associate the caste system / four varnas with the Great Bath at Mohenjo Daro. The four varnas came much later, starting around 100 CE, and to begin with among the Central Asian / Indo-European / Vedic people. You may like reading Early Indians (2018) by Tony Joseph.

    Also, since Vedic Hinduism itself came after or at best, towards the end of the Indus Valley civilisation, it's incorrect to appropriate the person in the seal as Pashupati, as some of the commenters are doing. At best, Shiva or Pashupati could be an invention of Vedic Hinduism under the influence of earlier Harappan beliefs.

  7. Missed an important part: The seal is called Pashupati seal and represents an early diety in a Yoga posture. Yoga and the scriptures it was derived from are that old.

  8. to JHON GREEN
    dont you want a swiming pool in your city huh ? dont you need to be organized and give taxes ? (WITHOUT TAXES THE ONLY OPTION IS DEATH) and tablets ….. why would you not need tablets ! you can throw em to your ex who left you !

  9. the great bath could have been a drinking water tank, and the civilization never had weapons , because they used different type of weapons (protection money)

  10. So my grandmother happens to come from this state called Sindh which was India and now Pakistan. I was just curious because they are in a similar location…

  11. Ap exams are awesome ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคฌ๐Ÿคฌ๐Ÿคฌ๐Ÿคฌ๐Ÿคฌ

  12. If interested..All civilization came from The Armenians Highlands. What do other historians say…according to Anthropologist Mitchell S. Rothman regarding the extentย  of discoveries and specially on the quality of horse bones proved, According to him, that it was from the Shangavit Armenian 6000 years ago that the culture of that area spread around to the ancient world…Professor Jensen also says.ย  โ€˜For almost everything that is known in the Hittite language is Old Armenian in form..Historian Sayce (1845-1933) also consider Hittite and Armenian to be one and the sameโ€™.ย  and Rothman, quoted earlier, said…''All that was known in Mesopotamia came from Armenia and that Armenia is the absent fragment in the entire mosaic of the ancient world's civilization's construction.H.V. Hilprecht(1859-1925) a Clark research professor of Assyriology and scientific director Babylonian expedition at the University of Penn. argue that the Hittite tongue is Armenian and the Hittites themselves were of Armenian stock…according to Ellis (1861)ย  through language analysis we observe that under the names of Phrygians, Thracians, Pelasgians and Etruscans spread westward from Armenia to Italy and Elis claimed that the closest affinities of the Aryan element are the Armenians ..other historians that agree are..Hellenthal, Busgy, Brand, Wilson, Myers and Falush…let me quote Merrick (2012) All religions are descended from and ancient Vedic cosmology described in the Rib – Veda, originating in Armenia near Mt. Ararat at least 6800 ys ago and the basic concepts of a transcendental mountain extending into space and populated planet Star-gods were developed…he further says…This Astrotheology then migrated with Armenian Aryans to found the Sumerian Ethiopian/Egyptian and Indian civilizations and religions…from Language asย  a fingerprint Setyan

  13. Pls research about tamil culture also . talk about keezhadi. Time of this culture is related to indus valley civilization .. It is in south india.

  14. Cramming for the global history final I have in 3 hours ๐Ÿคฉ๐Ÿคฉ๐Ÿคช๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿคก๐Ÿ˜˜

  15. A recent genetic study has shown connection between people living around the Indus Valley area and Dravidians of south India.

  16. Well the decline part was quite poorly done, I must say. Aryan Invasion has been ruled & thereโ€™s no evidence of any major earthquakes. The most plausible reason is climate change and desertification, which gradually led to decline over a large period of time, along with drying up and changing course of rivers due to related reasons

  17. I'm an ancient Indian culture student and the bull horned diety is called 'pashupati'- meaning the god of animals. I liked the fact that the video says everything that's true and seems has done a lot of research before just saying all of it.

  18. I am a proud modern-day Indian descendant of Indus Valley civilization.
    India as usual is always far ahead of its time.
    Same was the case in 2500 BC.

  19. Hmm, I live in Pakistan myself and to think that we had one of the oldest civilizations here is pretty cool. The historical sites around here are poorly managed as far as I know. I think it should be looked after. ๐Ÿ™

  20. Ancient Roman trade city found near Sivagangai | Archaeologist Discovery and Antiquity, With structure after structure surfacing from under the soil, the massive scale of an ancient urban center that lies buried at Pallisanthai Thidal in Sivaganga district of Tamil Nadu is emerging. Keeladi revealed a Sangam era settlement dated to the 2nd century BCE by radiocarbon dating (The artifacts found in 3-meter depth). if they dig deeper, it could change the history of India and the world. Get ready to change the textbook content.

  21. The moist mystery of mohenjo daro ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

  22. They come from Caucasus?? Really?? Then who were the natives of that place? Aliens? Definitely not. They are present day Pakistani and north Indians. Give us some reference for this statement!

  23. This channel will need to verify it is not political subversion… Definitely several comments added shape and form to a new subverted version of free fair humanist thought.

  24. 5:09 If I'm remembering what I learned in school as a kid correctly, the guy wearing horns and flanked by a tiger and a bull on either side is supposed to be be Pashupati, a god of animals ("pashu" means animal, and "pati" indicates being the head of a group)

  25. Your time line is wrong ! It appears the Vedas mentions 3 large cities 2 have been found and to the last one Dwarka is underwater ! Last time above water 12,000 yrs ago !

  26. History is interesting, just never listen to "contemporary historians" with their milquetoast boring explanations for unknown things, their "theories" that attempt to prevent free thought. I haven't researched these "baths" but I wouldnt be surprised if they were actually something else. Or not. I mean a massive public bath could be cool with a lot of hot naked women… But the point is, DO NOT listen to the often wrong theories of "experts" when they talk about historical things that are really still mysteries. By the way, they found Gilgamesh's grave in Mesopotamia (Iraq) in 2003, but the US Military swooped in and confiscated everything. There are loads of archaeological finds that are never released to the public.

  27. indus valley civilization is not hindu civilization because there is no any temple and statue of hindu god found in indus valley

  28. Hindus would have changed the course of civilizations if it werent for the islamic and british invasions . Thats why never be too peaceful doing yoga and meditation while enemies come with swords

  29. I love history but "The Great ___ of ____" is the most over used phrase of pretty much everything. _looking at you China!

  30. GV v veg v vG v v. G. G gv v v v g v v v gv Go g v. Go g v veg veg veg v g v g gig v go. G g veg v v cv g v veg v v v. Go gv v v v v veg v v. Fav v v g veg v v v v v v v. Gv gv v. Veg v. Gag gv v gv v v g v gv v veg v v v. Gv. Gv v v v v v v v v. Gv g v v v v. Gv g g v v. Gv v

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