Free Ancient India notes For OPSC Exam, Ancient History Notes
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The Early Man
👉🏾 The fossils of the early human being have been found in Africa about 2.6 million years back, but there is no such evidence in India. So, it appears that India was inhabited later than Africa.
👉🏾 The recently reported artefacts from Bori in Maharashtra suggest that the appearance of human beings in India was around 1.4 million years ago.
👉🏾 The evolution of the Earth’s crust shows four stages. The fourth stage is divided into Pleistocene (most recent) and Holocene (present).
👉🏾 Man is said to have appeared on the Earth in the early Pleistocene.
👉🏾 The early man in India 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
Free Ancient India notes For OPSC Exam Free
The Palaeolithic Age (500000 BC-9000 BC)
👉🏾The Palaeolithic culture of India developed in the Pleistocene period or the ice age.
👉🏾 It seems that Palaeolithic men belonged to the Negrito race. Homo Sapiens first appeared towards the end of this phase.
👉🏾Palaeolithic men were hunters and food gatherers. They had no knowledge of agriculture, fire or pottery, they used tools of unpolished, rough stones and lived in cave rock shelters. They are also called Quartzite men.
👉🏾 This age is divided into three phases according to the nature of the stone tools used by the people and the change in the climate.
👉🏾 Early or Lower Palaeolithic
👉🏾 Upper Palaeolithic
The Mesolithic Age (9000 BC- 4000 BC)
Phases of the Palaeolithic Age
👉🏾 It intervened as a transitional phase between the Palaeolithic Age and the Neolithic Age.
|Hand axes, cleavers and choppers
|Soan valley (Punjab)
|Flakes-blades, points, borers and scrapers
|Further decrease in humidity
|Valleys of Soan, Narmada and Tungabhadra rivers.
|Scrapers and burin
|Caves and rockshelters of this age have been discovered at Bhimbetka near Bhopal.
👉🏾 In this age, the climate became warm and dry, which brought 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 and food-gathering. At a later stage, they also domesticated animals.
👉🏾 The characteristic tools of the Mesolithic Age are microliths, pointed crescentic blades, scrapers, etc made up of stones.
👉🏾 Adamgarh in Madhya Pradesh and Bagor in Rajasthan provide the earliest evidence for the domestication of animals.
👉🏾The people of the Paleolithic and Mesolithic ages practised painting. Bhimbetka in Madhya Pradesh is a striking site of Pre-historic paintings of the 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 settlers were the earliest farming communities. They produced ragi and horse-gram (Kathi). Neolithic sites in Allahabad district are noted for the cultivation of rice in the sixth millennium BC. They domesticated cattle, sheep and goats. They wove cotton and wool to make clothes.
👉🏾 Hand made pottery and the use of potter wheel first appeared during the Neolithic age.
👉🏾Neolithic men lived in caves and decorated their walls with hunting and dancing scenes. 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. Mehrangarh in Baluchistan is the oldest Neolithic site in India (7000 BC).
👉🏾 Important sites include the Chhotanagpur region, Central India and South of the Krishna river. Belan valley of Vindhays and the middle part of the Narmada valley shows all three phases of the Stone age.
Chalcolithic Culture (1800 BC-1000 BC)
👉🏾 The end of the Neolithic period saw the use of metals. Copper was the first metal to be used.
👉🏾 Chalcolithic culture refers to the stone-copper phase. People also used hand-axes and other objects made up of copperware.
👉🏾 Chalcolithic people were primarily rural communities. They domesticated animals and practised agriculture. They were not acquainted with burnt bricks and lived in thatched houses. They venerated the mother Goddess and worshipped the bull.
👉🏾The people of Chalcolithic culture were the first to use painted pottery. Black and red pottery painted with white line design were 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.