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Worksheet Paper

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Texts referenced:

De, Bary W. T. “Source of Indian Tradition” Introduction to Oriental Civilizations. New York: Columbia University Press, 1964. Print.

Robb, Peter. A History of India. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave, 2002. Print.

Stein, Burton. “Ancient Days” A History of India. Oxford: England: Blackwell Publishers, 1998. Print.

Time Period/Era Studied: 400,000-150,000 years ago

1. Of the following factors, explain WHICH ONE do you consider the most significant to the era we studied this week? WHY do you think so? WHICH historical events, circumstances, or phenomena support your choice?

• Economy • Society • Religion • Politics • Environment

Economy:

The economy was one of the most important factors towards the civilisation of India. This influenced other facets of the state such as the social structures, religion, politics and the environment. Economic conditions and activities determined the social structures, which were present in ancient India and up to date. The social structures included the division of people in terms of their social classes such as the rich or nobles and the dalits or socially inferior individuals (Stein 41).

Economic activities such as pottery, agriculture and trade, defined the Indian society. The goods and products traded by the Indian communities gave definition of the community in terms of the cultural beliefs and practises. Such products included fabrics, pottery and other merchandise. This provided the communities with the ability to interact with other communities in terms of exchange of goods and other forms of trade. Additionally, this enabled the communities to exchange cultural aspects through intermarriages and other social interactions. Hence, this could explain the cultural similarities between the indicant communities and communities in the Asian region (Stein 46).

2. WHICH factor would you rate #2 in importance? In what ways does it relate to your #1 rated choice?

Society:

The society defined the Indian communities in terms of the cultural and social structures. It defined the Indian communities, in that the economic activities undertaken by the communities provided for classification of individuals in terms of their respective economic abilities. The rich engaged in higher levels of economic activities such as trade whereas the peasants were farmers and servants. The society was an essential aspect in the Indian communities in that it defined the social classifications based on economic and financial ability. Individuals were classified as royalty, nobles and dalits or commoners. This classification was based on cultural beliefs and practises in the Indian communities. Furthermore, the societal structures were a representation of the economic activities and religious beliefs. The religious beliefs provided for classification of individuals as a representation of the calling to serve the gods or supernatural beings in which the communities believed in (Stein 52).

3. How would these factors have impacted the daily lives of people living during that era?

The economic activities undertaken by the Indian communities provided people with various means of survival. Activities such as agriculture and pottery influenced civilisation and growth of the Indian society. The trade and development of goods such as bronze and iron items was a crucial factor in the movement towards civilisation. This provided the Indian communities with the ability to engage in agriculture and increase productivity, in farming activities. Additionally, movement of goods provided the communities with the ability to interact with other communities and gain ideas such as architectural designs and trade ideas. The society was beneficial as it defined the Indian communities in the ancient period. In addition, this provided the religious beliefs, and an illustration of the basic activities such as agriculture, trade, social interactions and religious beliefs (Stein 33).

4. If you were writing a historical novel, what kind of character do you think would best represent this period in India’s history? What class status, religion, occupation, and gender would you give them, and why?

In my novel, I would use a dalit as a main character. This would provide the reader with the ability to understand the basic beliefs and social structure of the Indian communities. This includes the social classifications, which were existent in the Indian community. The dalit would be a representation of the Buddhist beliefs that dalits are socially inferior individuals in the community. As a dalit, she would assume a character as a servant in royal or noble household. The dalit would be a woman to illustrate the role of women as caretakers of households, which is a traditional role. Additionally this would provide an express illustration of the existent inequality between individuals in the Indian community due to roles and classifications provided by cultural and religious beliefs.

Work Cited

De, Bary W. T. “Source of Indian Tradition” Introduction to Oriental Civilizations. New York: Columbia University Press, 1964. Print.

Robb, Peter. A History of India. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave, 2002. Print.

Stein, Burton. “Ancient Days” A History of India. Oxford: England: Blackwell Publishers, 1998. Print.

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