Ancient Civilizations of India and China

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5.1 Individual Reading Assignment
1. If the writing of the early Indus Valley civilization could be deciphered, what new information could they hope to learn?
If the writings of the Indus Valley civilization could be deciphered, I believe we could discover where they came from, whether another civilization taught them how to fire bricks and cultivate cotton. I believe their writings would tell us how they learned to build vast assembly halls and what type of occasions they were used for. Since they were largely an agriculture-based society (114) did they perform sacrifices? Did they worship the bull that seems to be so prolific in their art? What, if any, is the indirect link between them and the Minoans, who had a similar cult. (114) I would like to know why the bull was so important, what did they call him? Also, it is noted that they seemed to use standard weights and measures. (114) Were there other cultures that used standard weights and measures? If not, how did that come to be? With so much going for them, what weakened them? Why didn’t they expand and spread out over the land, instead of overusing the soil and woodlands? (114) What were the Aryans after when they invaded the Indus Valley?
Are there any other ancient cultures whose writing we have but cannot understand?
To the north of Rome, a new culture had appeared around 700 BCE called the Etruscan’s. Since ancient Roman times, scholars have debated about who these people were, where did they come from and what language did they speak? (87) Even today with all the archaeological discoveries, we know very little about the origins of the Etruscans. “Their language has yet to be deciphered.” (87)

2. Chief features of Buddhism?
“The Buddhists believe in a doctrine that is called the Fourfold Noble Path:
1. Existence itself is suffering
2. Suffering comes from craving and attachment.
3. There exists a cessation of suffering, which is called nirvana.
4. There is a path to

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