Dristhi IAS Ancient Indian History Notes download pdf

Dristhi IAS Ancient Indian History Notes download pdf

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Ancient Indian History Notes for CSE 2018

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• The idea of pre-history is barely 200 years old. And so is the word pre-history; it was fi rst used by M. Tournal in 1833.
• Dr. Primrose rediscoverd Indian pre-history by discovering prehistoric implements (stone
knives and arrow heads) in 1842 at a place called Lingsugur in Karnataka.
• Robert Bruce was another person who enriched our knowledge about Indian prehistory when he discovered a large number of prehistoric sites in South India and collected Stone Age artifacts.
• These early efforts could not place India on the prehistoric map of the world.
• Sir Mortimer Wheeler’s efforts in 1921, resulted in our knowledge of the entire pre historic culture sequence of India, putting India fi rmly on the world map of prehistory.
• As regards the early man; no fossils of early man have been found in the entire subcontinent, but their presence is indicated by stone tools dated around 250,000 BC. Earliest traces of human activity in India go back to the second Inter-Glacial period between 400,000 and 200,000 B.C.
• From their first appearance to around 3000 B.C. humans used only stone tools for different purposes. Based on the tool mining traditions, this period is therefore known as the Stone Age and the entire Stone Age culture has been divided into 3 main stages i.e. Paleolothic (early or Old Stone Age), Mesolithic (Middle Stone Age) and Neolithic
(New Stone Age).

Palaeolithic Age (500,000 B.C.–8000 B.C.)

• The Palaeolithic Age commenced from the time when the earliest man learnt the art of making stone tools. The greatest achievement of the earliest man could be traced to his learning as to how to make a fist hatchet, the spear and the fire.
• In India, the Palaeolithic Age developed in the Pleistocene period or the Ice Age and was spread in practically all parts of India except the alluvial parts of Ganga and Indus.
• Food gathering and hunting were the main occupations of the people of this phase and Palaeolithic men learnt to use animal skins for wrapping their dead bodies.
• Man during this period used tools of unpolished, undressed rough stones and lived in caves and rock shelters. They had no knowledge of agriculture, fire or pottery of any material and mainly used hand axes, cleavers, choppers, blades, scrapers and burins. Their tools were made of a hard rock called ‘quartzite’ and hence Palaeolithic men are also called ‘Quartzite Men’.
• Homo sapiens fi rst appeared in the last of this phase and the Palaeolithic man belonged to the
Negrito race.
• Sir Robert Bruce Foot discovered the fi rst Palaeolithic stone tool in the Indian sub-continent near Madras in 1863 A.D. The discovery of Indian Pre-history got a boost after the Yale-Cambridge expedition in 1935 under De Terra and Patterson.
• The Paleolithic stage has been divided into Lower Palaeolithic (250,000-100,000 B.C.), Middle Palaeolithic (100,000-40,000 B.C.) and Upper Paleolithic stage (40,000-10,000 B.C.) primarily based on tool typology and technology and also according to the nature of change in the climate.
• The tools of the lower Paleolithic stage are mainly hand axes, cleavers, choppers and chopping tools and covered the greater part of the Ice Age. In this period the climate became less humid.
• The middle Paleolithic age tools are mainly based on fl ake industries.
• The upper Paleolithic stage is characterized by burins and scrapers and a warm and less humid climate.
• Agewise the lower Paleolithic extended upto 100,000 years ago, middle Paleolithic extended upto 40,000 years ago and upper Paleolithic up to 10,000 BC.
• The Son and the adjacent Belan valley (Mirzapur, UP) provide a sequence of artifacts from lower
Paleolithic to Neolithic.
• Situated around Bhimbedka hill, in central India near Hoshangabad on the Narmada River, the caves and rock shelters have yielded evidence of Paleolithic habitation.
• At Bhimbetka near the Narmada, a series of rockshelters have been excavated from caves. This site lacks in Chopper and Abbevillian hand axes.
• During middle palaeolithic age, Pithecanthropus or Homo erectus evolved. But this cultural stage was dominated by Neanderthal Man.
• The upper Palaeolithic culture belongs to the last phase of the Ice Age. This culture is marked by the appearance of new fl int industries and the evolution of Homo sapiens or the modern man.
• At Chopani-Mando in the Belan valley of the Vindhyas and the middle part of the Narmada valley, a sequence of occupation from all the three stages of the Paleolithic to Neolithic stage have been found in sequence. Chopani Mando is an important site where fossil animal bones have been found.

Dristhi IAS Ancient Indian History Notes download pdf, Dristhi IAS History notes download, Dristhi IAS notes free download, Dristhis IAS study material pdf

Mesolithic Era (8000 B.C.–6000 B.C.)

• Although major changes began to appear around 10,000 B.C. the Mesolithic era seems to have started around 9000 B.C. and 8000 B.C. with the folding up of the Ice Age and continued at certain places till 4000 B.C.
• In this age, climate changes brought about changes in the fauna and fl ora and made it possible for human beings to move to new areas. Since then there haven’t been major changes in the climate.
• The Mesolithic era is characterized by the reduction in the size of well established tool types from the archaeological point of view with a decrease in size of some artifacts and the presence of a higher proportion of ‘geometric’ microliths.
• Microliths, fi rst discovered from the Vindhyan rock shelters by C.L. Carlyle in 1867; are the characteristic tools of the era comprising of pointed, cresconic blades, scrapers, etc. all made of stone. These are very small in size with their length varying from 1-8 cm. Blackened blade, core, point, triangle, lunate and trapeze are the main Mesolithic tools. However some tools used earlier like choppers, burins and scrapers continue.
• The hunting implements are spears with multiple barbs apparently obtained easily by attaching microliths. The crude material is chert, agate, carnelian and quartz.
• Bagor, a Mesolithic site in Rajasthan on the river Kothari is the largest Mesolithic site in India also from where systematic burials of skeletons have been found.
• Tapti, Narmada, Mahi and Sabarmati river basins in Gujarat have yielded many Mesolithic sites.
• Langhnaj in Gujarat is the fi rst discovered site in the arid zone to demonstrate the development of a Mesolithic culture.
• The site of Chopani Mando in Allahabad provides a continuous sequence from late upper Palaeolithic to
late Mesolithic stage with crude handmade pottery. Here round hut fl oors were found.
• In Peninsular India the Mesolithic industry is based on milky quartz. A new feature in the tool industry
is the appearance of ‘D’ shaped, transverse arrowhead.
• A large number of animal bones were found in the rock-shelters of Adamgarh in Madhya Pradesh
which indicate domestication of animals only, not a pastoral economy……………

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Indus Valley –

The Indus Valley civilization was an ancient civilization thriving along the Indus river and the Ghaggar-Hakra river in what is now Pakistan and north-western India. Among other names for this civilization is the Harappan civilization in reference to the fi rst excavated city of Harappa.
• An alternative term for the culture is Saraswati- Sindhu civilization based on the fact that most of the Indus Valley sites have been found along the Ghaggar-Hakra river.
• R.B. Dayaram Sahni first discovered Harappa (on Ravi) in 1921. R.D. Banerjee discovered Mohenjodaro or ‘Mound of the Dead’ (on Indus) in 1922. Sir John Marshal played a crucial role in both these.
• Harappan civilization forms part of the proto history of India i.e. the script is there, but it cannot be deciphered and belongs to the Bronze Age.
• The Indus valley civilization gradually developed to a full-fledged civilization which has been established through a continuous sequence of strata named as Pre-Harappan, Early Harappan, Mature Harappan and Late Harappan stages or phases.
• The long term indigenous evolution of this civilization which obviously began on the periphery of the Indus Valley in the hills of eastern Baluchistan and then extended so far into the plains, can be documented by an analysis of four sites which have been excavated in recent years: Mehargarh, Amri, Kalibangan and Lothal which refl ect the sequence of the four important phases or stages in pre and proto history in the north-west region of the Indian sub-continent.
• The sequence begins with the transition of nomadic herdsmen to settled agriculturists in eastern Baluchistan (First Phase), continues with the growth of large villages and the rise of towns in the Indus Valley (Second Phase), leads to the emergence of the great cities (Third Phase), and finally, ends with their decline (Fourth Phase).
• Mediterranean, Proto-Australoid, Mongoloids and Alpines formed the bulk of the population, though the first two were more numerous.
• More than 100 sites belonging to this civilization have been excavated.
• According to radio-carbon dating, it spread from the year 2500-1750 B.C.
• Copper, bronze, silver and gold were known but not iron.

Geographical Extent

• Covered parts of Punjab, Sindh, Baluchistan, Gujarat, Rajasthan and some parts of Western U.P. It extended from Manda in Jammu in the north to Daimabad in the south and from Alamgirpur in western U.P. to Sutkagendor in Baluchistan in the west.
• Major sites in Pakistan are Harappa (on river Ravi in west Punjab), Mohenjodaro (on Indus), Chanhu-Daro (Sindh), etc. In India the major sites are Lothal, Rangpur and Surkotda (Gujarat), Kalibangan (Rajasthan), Banawali (Hissar) and Alamgirpur (western U.P.)
• The largest and the latest site in India is Dholavira in Gujarat. Dr. J.P. Joshi and Dr. R.S. Bisht were involved in it.

Town Planning

• The Indus Valley people were primarily urban people. Elaborate town-planning following the Grid System. Roads were well cut dividing the town into large rectangular or square blocks. Lamp posts at intervals indicate the existence of street lightening. Flanking the streets, lanes and by-lanes were well-planned houses. The streets were quite broad varying from 9 feet to 34 feet in breadth.
• Burnt bricks of good quality were used for building material except in Rangpur and Kalibangan. Elsewhere in the contemporary world mud bricks were used. No pottery-kiln was allowed to be built within the four walls of the city.
• Houses were often of two or more storey, of varying sizes but were quite monotonous – a square courtyard around which were a number of rooms. The windows faced the streets and the houses had tiled bathrooms. It is especially noteworthy that almost every house had its own wells, bathrooms, courtyards, drains and kitchens.
• There was a good drainage system and drains were made of mortar, lime and gypsum and coveredwith large brick slabs for easy cleaning which shows a developed sense of health and sanitation. Every house had its own soak-pit which collected all the sediments and allowed only the water to flow into the street drain. House drains emptied themselves into the main drains which ran under the main streets and below many lanes. There were special trenches constructed outside every city for the rubbish to be thrown in them.
• The towns were divided into two parts: Upper part or Citadel and the Lower part. The Citadel was an oblong artifi cial platform some 30-50 feet high and about some 400-200 yards in area. It was enclosed by a thick (13 m in Harappa) crenellated mud brick wall. The Citadel comprised of public buildings whereas the lower part comprised of
public dwellings.
• In Mohenjodaro, a big public bath (Great Bath) measuring 12 m by 7 m and 2.4 m deep has been found. Steps led from either end to the surface, with changing rooms alongside. The Great Bath was probably used for ritual bathing.
• Lamp posts at intervals indicate the existence of street lighting.
• There were special series constructed for the travelers and a system of watch and word at night also existed.

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