As in other parts of the world, the earliest civilizations in East and South Asia developed along the great river systems. First to evolve was the Indus Valley Civilization, also known as the Harappan civilization after the great city it gave rise to. Flourishing around theIndusriverbed around 2500-1700 BC, it encompassed areas that now comprise the eastern provinces ofPakistanand adjoining Indian states. Almost a thousand years later, along the Yellow River sprang another civilization in the plains of North China; one that would go on to become the largest and most prosperous in the region.
Apart from having a river as the centre, both these civilizations flourished in areas that were relatively cut off from the rest of the world. This, perhaps, was an important factor which allowed the people to develop their culture, identity, crafts and technology uninterrupted from outside influences. However, although separated by a thousand years and by land, there is evidence that these two civilizations interacted with and influenced each other in certain areas. Records maintained by ancient Chinese historians refer to ‘Shendu’ which is probably a term for the IndusValleyas it comprised a region known later as ‘Sindh’. In turn old records discovered from Taxila, (which was a major city at the crossroads of trading routes between the Chinese,Indus and Central Asian Civilization, now inPakistan) reveal evidence of Chinese products and influence.
1. “Indus civilization”. Encyclopædia Britannica. 2007. http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9042359. Retrieved on 2007-02-16
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