This is an introductory overview of Indian Civilization, intended as a first book for students, comprehensive in coverage but brief enough to be read in a few sittings. It gives a big-picture survey of 5,000 years of history in South Asia, from the beginnings of farming, cities and writing, tothe present. It gives readers new to the topic a map of the territory and the tools to take on more advanced and specialized readings.It comes from the author's many years of teaching an introductory course on Indian Civilization and trying out many different textbooks, only to find that the students complained that there was too much detail and too many difficult-to-master proper names of persons, places and things, and technicalterms in Sanskrit and other languages. Eventually the author began writing a text for his students, giving it to them in course-pack form, and collecting their comments on the drafts. This text is the result of several years of field-testing and feedback from his students. It is illustrated with over 20 original drawings, which bring out the significant features of objects better than photographs can, and 13 original maps. The book has been adopted as a text for courses on Indian civilization across North America. It has been issued in India as well, where it will be going into a second edition, and an Italian translation has recently been published.