UW-Madison Center for South Asia
Teachers Workshop: “New Perspectives on the Ancient Indus Civilization”
Saturday, March 21, 2015 │ 9 am – 5 pm
Pyle Center, 702 Langdon Street, Madison WI
The Center for South Asia at UW-Madison invites middle and high school teachers to participate in a one-day workshop that will introduce new perspectives on the Indus Civilization, the first civilization in India and Pakistan. The Indus Civilization (2600-1900 BC) ranks with Egypt, Mesopotamia, and China as one of the earliest state-level societies in the world. However, it has many features that make it unique and thus an especially interesting topic for high school history courses. Particularly striking are its lack of evidence for militarism, monumental temple and palace architecture, and royal burials rich in exotic grave goods. While these unique features have been known to archaeologists for quite some time, new evidence of Indus contacts across the Arabian Sea points to even greater social and economic complexity than previously imagined. This workshop will provide a detailed overview of many key issues in the study of the Indus Civilization today, including:
- The origins of the Indus Civilization
- Diversity in the social and ethnic composition of Indus cities and towns
- Regional diversity in material culture and ways of life
- Factors leading to the end of the Indus Civilization
- The current status of the “Aryan Invasion Theory” and the concept of “aryan”
- New archaeological evidence for links between the Indus and communities in the Arabian Peninsula and beyond
- New information about trade and migration gained from the cutting-edge scientific techniques of archaeological chemistry
- The role of ethnographic studies in understanding ancient civilizations
The workshop leaders, Katie Lindstrom, Randall Law, Gregg Jamison and Brett Hoffman, are alumni of the UW-Madison Department of Anthropology and specialists in the archaeology of the Indus Civilization, and South Asia more broadly. They are trained by UW Madison Professor Jonathan Mark Kenoyer, one of the world’s foremost experts on the Indus.
This workshop will provide background information and teaching materials that school teachers can use to develop their own lesson plans. Articles and teaching materials will be made available including “The Silent Walls of the Indus” documentary film, and Dr. Mark Kenoyer’s high school-level text book, “The Ancient South Asian World” (Oxford University Press, 2005).
Registration: $50 will be required to register for this course – this will cover breaks and lunch, as well as a reader and DVD. Deadline to register will be Tuesday, March 17th. Register online now!
UW credit: 1-graduate credit is pending for this course. Very likely students interested in the credit option will be required to pay the UW segregated fees ($94-115) and required to attend a follow-up meeting on Saturday, April 11th, from 10 am – 1 pm to demonstrate lesson plans on the workshop topic.