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HISTORY OF INDIA - ANCIENT INDIA | THE EARLY MAN

THE EARLY MAN

  • The fossils of the early Human Being have been found in Africa about 2.6 millions years back,but there are no such evidence in India. So, it appears that India was inhabited later than Africa.
  • The recent reported artefacts from BORI  in Maharashtra suggest that the appearence of human beings in India was around 1.4 million years ago.
  • The evolution of the Easth's crust shows four stages . The fourth stage is divided into PLEISTOCENE  ( most recent ) and HOLECENE (present).
  • Man is said to have appeared on the Earth in the early Pleistocene.
  • They used tools of stone roughly dressed by crude clipping . This period is therefore, known as the STONE AGE, which has been divided into :
  • THE PALAEOLITHIC OR OLD STONE AGE
  • THE MESOLITHIC OR MIDDLE STONE AGE
  • THE NEOLITHIC OR NEW STONE AGE

THE PALAEOLITHIC AGE
( 500000 BC - 9000 BC )



  • It seems that Palaeolithic men belonged to the Negrito race. HOMO SAPIENS first appeared towards the end of theis phase.
  • Palaeolithic men were hunters and food gatherers . There was lack of knowldege of fire, agriculture and pottery . They are also called QUARTZITE MEN.
  •  The age is divided into three parts:-
  • Early or Lower Palaeolithic 
  • Middle Palaeolithic
  • Upper Palaeolithic .




THE MESOLITHIC AGE
( 9000 BC - 4000 BC )

  • It intervened as a transitional phase between the Palaeolithic Age and the Neolithic Age.
  • In this age, climate became warm and dry, which bought about changes in fauna and flora and made it possible for human beings to move to new areas.
  • The Mesolithic people lived on hunting, fishing  they also domesticated animals.
  •  Tools of the Mesolithic Age are microliths, pointed cresconic blades, scrapers,  made up of stones .
  • The people of Palaeolithic and  mesolithic ages practiced painting .
  • BHIMBETKA  in Madhya Pradesh is a striking site of PRE-HISTORIC PAINTING of mesolithic age. 




THE NEOLITHIC AGE 
( 4000 BC - 1800 BC )

  • The people of this age are characterised by the use of polished stone tools. They particularly used stone axes.
  • It is interesting that in BURZAHOM dogs were buried with their masters in their graves.
  • The Neolithic were the earliest farming communities . They produced ragi and horse-gram ( KULATHI ). Neolithic sites in Allahabad district are noted for the cultivation of rice in the sixth milenium BC. They domesticated cattle, sheeps and goats. They wove cotton and wool to make clothes.
  • Hand made pottery and use of potter wheel first appeared during the Neolithic Age.
  • They knew the art of making boats . In the later phase , people lived a more settled life and lived  in circular and rectangular houses made of mud and reed.
  • Koldihwa in UP revealed a three fold cultural sequence : Neolithic , Chalcolithic and Iron age . MEHARGARH in BALUCHISTAN  is the oldest Neolithic site in India ( 7000 BC ).
  • Important sites include Chhotanagpur region, Central India and South of the Krishna river. Belan valley of Vindhays and middle part of the Narmada valley and middle part of the Narmada valley shows all the three phases of Stone age.




THE CHALCOLITHIC CULTURE
 (1800 BC - 1000 BC )

  • Copper was the first metal to be used in neolithic age
  • Chalcolithic culture refers to the stone -  copper phase. People also used hand - axes and other objects made up of copper ware.
  • Chalcolithic people were primarily rural communities. They domesticated animals and practised agriculture . They were not acquainted with burnt bricks and lived in thatched houses. 
  • The people of Chalcolithic culture were the first to use painted pottery . Black and red pottery painted with white line design was most popular.
  • The MALWA WARE is considered the richest among the Chalcolithic ceramics.
  • Important sites of this phase are spread in Rajasthan , Maharashtra , West Bengal, Bihar , Madhya Pradesh etc.

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THE MAURYAN EMPIRE | ANCIENT INDIA

ORIGINS OF THE MAURYASMUDRARAKSHASA - Mauryas were conncected with the Nandas and were called them  Vrishal/Kulhina ( of low clan ).BUDDHIST TRADITION - Chandragupta was a Kshatriya ( Sakya clan ) . The region was full of peacocks (Mors), so became famous as 'moriyas'.PURANAS -They belonged to the Moriyan clan ( low caste ) .JUNIGARH ROCK INSCRIPTION OF RUDRADA - Man ( AD 150 ) suggests that Mauryans might have been of Vaishya origin.
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