Indus Civilization Workshop 2015


“New Perspectives on the Ancient Indus Civilization”
Saturday, March 21, 2015
Pyle Center, 702 Langdon Street, Madison WI 53706

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.

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).

The College of Letters and Science has previously approved a tuition waiver for this course. Though the workshop has ended, the resources provided are still intact and can be used as a guide in further research. The requirements for the previous credit option are listed below:

1. Complete the Required Reading and Viewing (materials will be handed out at the workshop):

2. Write a Curriculum Plan:

Based on the workshop presentations, required reading and video screening develop a curricular plan to incorporate new knowledge of the Indus Civilization in your teaching. As you develop this plan, consider the deliverability of your lesson to other K-12 teachers who did not attend this workshop, but seek new ideas to include this ancient world into their classroom. The Center for South Asia would like to post these lesson plans on our outreach website. While there is no requirement for the length of your plan, your final grade will be based on the depth and breadth of your curriculum plan.

3. Attend Part 2: Indus Civilization Curriculum workshop

You will be required to present your plan to the workshop presenters and fellow teachers on Saturday, April 11th from 10 am – 1 pm at the Pyle Center in Madison. Based on feedback from the workshop attendees you will have time to make any changes or additions to your plan before the deadline.

Deadline for curriculum plan: Monday, April 20th, 2015 at 9 am.

Your final grade will be posted by Monday, May 4, 2015!