Ancient History

Evolution of Human Life

  • The theory of Continental Drift was proposed by …….. Alfred Wegener in 1915
  • Wegner hypothesized that 200 million years ago a gigantic supercontinent was existed namely Pangaea means ………. “ All Earth ”
  • During Jurasic period Pangaea started to break up in to Laurasia and Gondwanaland ..
  • By the end of the Cretaceous period this continent developed to our modern day continent.
  • Continental Drift theory was published in Wageners Book “On the Origin of Continents and Oceans “ .
  • The theory that says that Modern humans evolved from Homo erectus is “ Radiation.theory “
  • It says the evolution of Modern humans happened at first in Africa and then migrated to different routs.
  • The Radiation theory is supported by the genetic evidence of modern human populations .
  • The theory holds that modern humans evolved in parallel from several homo erectus populations is called Parallel Evolution theory.
  • This theory was supported by Fossil evidence .
  • Africa is said to be the cradle of human race .
  • Anthropologists have Un earthed the oldest human skeletons in East African places such as Hadar , Olduvai , Laetoli.
  • The best preserved female skeleton named “ Lucy “ was found at Hadar in Ethiopia .
  • The first true hominid fossil discovered from Indian subcontinent is “ the Narmada skull “ of Hathnora near Hoshangabad in Madya Pradesh on 1982 .
  • The Hathnora species dates from the middle pleistocene and belongs to the advanced “Homoerectus “ as Archaic Homosapience variety .
  • The earlist traces of human existence in India discovered to the period between 300,000 and 200,000 B.C.

Pre – Historic Period

  • It is the period of history which depends on artefacts other than written documents.
  • It is broadly classified into four based on the materials used in this age

(1) Palaeolithic or Old stone age

  • It is developed in the Pleistocene or the last of Great Ice Age about 2 million years ago.
  • It has been devided in to three phases based on the nature of the stone tools and changes in the climates and environment .
    • a) The lower palaeolithic phase :- Used the stone tools such as handaxes , cleavers , choppers and chopping tools .
    • b) The middle palaeolithic phase :- Used the tools as Flakes .
    • c) The upper palaeolithic phase :- It is characterised by the tools as burins and scrapers .
  • The palaeolithic stage is the :- Hunting- gathering stages of social evolution .
  • Towards the end of the palaeolithic period the modern human beings” Homo sapiens “ First appeared around 36000 B.C.
  • Major palaeolithic sites in Indian subcontinents are :-
    • The Siwalik region of the Potwar Plateau is Pakistani Punjab .
    • Riwat south east of Rawal pindi
    • The Pabbi hills to the east of Jhelum
    • The Kukeli valley in the Puna area of Maharashtra.
    • Beluchistan the western area of Bengladesh .
    • Ladakh in Jammu Kashmir.
    • The Palghat area of Kerala.

(2) Mesolithic Age or the Late stone Age

  • This age began around 8000 BC , it was a transitional age between th Palaeolithic age and the Neolithic Age.
  • It is in the end of the Ice Age .
  • In India it continued well up to about 4000 BC .
  • The Mesolithic tools are called „Microliths”.
  • Microliths are small stone tools and their length ranges from 1 to 8cm.
  • Blade , Corepoint ,Triangle ,Lunate, and Trapeze are the main type of Mesolithic tools .
  • The technique of Mesolithic blade production is called fluting .
  • The pachpadra basin , the Sojat area in Rajastan are rich in microliths.
  • ‘ Tilwara ‘ is a Mesolithic habitaties site with two cultural phases .
  • In second phase of Tilwara wheel made pottery and Iron Pieces are foundtogether with misoliths .
  • The largest Mesolithic site found in India is “ Bangor “ in rajastan on the bank of River Kothari with three cultural phases .
  • Langhna j in Gujarat on River Sabarmathi is another mesolithic site with three cultural phases .
  • Bimbetka in madya Pradesh is another significant Mesolithic site .
  • Bimbetka caves are discovered by dr .Vishnu Wakankar of Vikram University in 1957 – 58.
  • The rock paintings shows that the most ancient scenes commomnly belonging to the mesolithic age .
  • Chota Nagpur plateau , Central India and south of the River Krishna are some of the Mesolithic sites .
  • Pre – Neolithic and Neolithic associated Microliths have been reparted from chota Nagpur plateau .
  • The two Mesolithic sites in India shows evidence for domestication of cattle and sheep or goat are Bagaz and Alamgarh
  • The Mesolithic Microliths are not known in Banaras and Lilly area of the north east .
  • The Palaeolithic hunting – gathering pattern continued during the Mesolithic
  • Age , but there has been a shift from large animal hunting to small animals and fishing .
  • The efficient food collection leading to the beginning of plant cultivation .

(3) Neolithic Age

  • The term “Neolithic “ was coined by Sir john Lubock in his book “ Prehistoric Times “.
  • Neolithic settlement in the Indian sub continents are not older than 4000 BC.
  • In World context it began much earlier in 7000BC .
  • Neolithic settlements in Baluchistan series to be the oldest dating around 3,500 BC.
  • It is a food producing stage .
  • Domestication of plants and animals has been considered as one of the main characteristic features.
  • On the basic of the archaeological evidences recently obtained the beginning of Domestication of plants and animals took place from Nile valley in Egypt .
  • In India the settled life based on food production first began in the “ North west “ .
  • The food production does not characterise the Neolithic economy of the ‘ Burzahom’ Is Srinagar Vally .
  • The earliest known agrarian settlement in the Indian subcontinent is Mehrgarh in North eastern Baluchistan on 6000 BC.
  • In Indian subcontinent the North Western Neothic culture includes the region Afghanistan and western Pakistan particularly the kachi plains in Baluchistan.
  • The earliest evidence of the orgin of wheat and barly cultivation is in „ North Westen Neolithic culture “ .
  • The ancient Neolithic site “ Mehrgarh “ is located at Kachi plain s, 150 km from quetta in Baluchistan .
  • The cereals cultivated in Mehrgarh included Two varieties of barley and three varieties of wheat .
  • The subsistence pattern of Neolithic period is characterised by A mixed economy based on farming , domestication of Animals and hunting .
  • The first domesticated animals are Dog , goat and sheep
  • The earliest grown cereals are Wheat and Barley
  • The settlement of human beings in certain areas in Neolithic periods leads to the growth of Village and farming communities
  • The type of pottery used by Neolithic peoples are Ochre – coloured pottery .
  • An important discovery in Neolithic period is The Wheel
  • The earliest known use of wheel was a potter’s wheel at ‘Ur’ in Mesopotamia in 3500 BC ? The first use of the wheel for transportation was on Mesopotamian chariots in 3200 bC .
  • The two famous Neolithic settlement present in Kashmir vally are Burzahom and Gufkoal about 2500BC
  • The first Aceramic or Pre – pottery phase discovered in India is Earliest phase of Gufkral
  • The Neolithic culture of Kashmir vally is characterized by “ Pit dewellings with wellmade floors smeared with red – ochre “.
  • Dog burials along with human burials have been repeated from Gufkral
  • The period of Neolithic culture present in Kashmir valley is 2500 – 1500 BC .
  • Beehive type hutments found in the Neolithic site of “ Chopani Mando in Belan valley “ .
  • The Chirand , Cheehar ,Senuwar and Teradib are the Neolithic settlement found in Lower Gangetic valley in 2000 – 1600 BC .
  • The Neolithic sites in Ganga valley which known for their remarkable stone tools are “ Chirand “ and “ Senu War “ .
  • The Eastern Indian Neolithic settlement comprises. The hills of Assam including North cachar , the Garo and Nagahills .
  • The Assam Neolithic culture phase has been tentatively dated around 2000 BC.
  • The south Indian Neolithic settlements are mainly discovered from “ Decan Plateau “
  • The main rivers drained to the South Indian Neolithic sites are “ Bhima , Krishna , Tungabhadra and Kaveri “
  • Major excavated Neolithic sites of South India are Sangankallu , Nagarjunakonda , Maski , Brahmagiri , Tekkalakota, Piklihal ,Kupgal , Hallur ,Palavoy ,Hemmige and T.Narsipur .
  • The two main Doabs present in the South Indian Neolithic region are
    • The Raichur Doab between the Krishna and the Thungabhadra
    • The Shorapur Doab between the Bhima and the Krishna .
  • The South Indian Neolithic culture include the Karnataka Plateau , the Plateau region of North western part of Tamilnadu , Telengana , and Rayalaseema in Andra Predesh
  • The Archaeologists classified three phases of South Indian Neolithic culture .
    • The earliest 1st phase → It is reported from the sites Sangankallu and Nagarjunakonda.
  • The pottery characterised in the early south Indian Neolithic phase is Reddish brown pottery .
  • The early phase is dated from 2500 BC .
    • The second phase The pottery of 2nd phase of south Indian culture is “Red ware pottery “ .
    • The third phase The pottery of 3rd phase of south Indian culture is “ Grey ware pottery “
  • The date which starts from 1500 BC .
  • One of the earliest crop cultivated by the Neolithic farmers of South India is Millet or Ragi
  • The Neolithic and Chalcolithic amalgam excavated from piklihal and Tekkalakote in Karnataka or Guntur and Nagarjuna konda in Maharastra .
  • The jorwe culture is found in Maharashtra .
  • The Neolithic – chalcolithic cultural Megalithic burials found in The area between vidarbha region of Maharashtra and the lip of southern Peninsula .
  • The important feature of Suthern Neolithic culture is Presence of Neolithic ashmount .
  • The Neolithic period of south India is in 2600 – 1000 BC

North West Frontier and Kashmir

  • This Neolithic region includes three major areas .
    • The Peshawar valley comprising Peshawar and Taxila .
    • The Potwar plateau comprising the area between swat and chitral „
    • The valley of Kashmir .
  • The Neolithic site in potwar plateau gave way to a Harappan site Kot Diji related horizon is ?
    “ Sarai khola”
  • In Kashmir most of the Neolithic sites are found in the “ Baramulla , Anantnag and Srinagar region “ .
  • The ‘ Proto – historic grave yards are found in the Kashmir vally .
  • The occurance of a Spiral headed copper hairpin is at ‘ Gufkral ‘
  • Kot – Diji type ‘homed deity design’ on a globular pot was found at “Burzahom” .
  • Hand Made grey pottery with a mat – impressed base is the distinguishing feature of the ceramic phase of the Kashmir at both its excavated site Gufkral and Burzahom.

North India

  • The cist – burials represents „ horse burial „ and red grey , black spots are found at Almora is U.P
  • The Iron – smelling site near Almora is ‘ Uleri ‘. dated around 1022 -826 BC.
  • Based on Radio Carbon dates the iron working have begun in malwa around 1100 BC.
  • Who said that the extensive forest clearance and agrarian settlement would not have been possible in the Ganga plain without the use of iron ? D.D .Kosambi in 1963 .
  • In 3rd and 4th millennium B.C , the Ganeshwar Jodhpura culture was discovered From . North east Rajastan on the bank od river Sabi or Sahibi
  • ‘Dish – on stand’ shape was found at ‘ Ganeshwar ‘.
  • A copper mining and working area should be obvious in the sites of North East Rajasthan .
  • The two Neolithic sites in Assam Doja littading in the north Kachhar hills and sarutary on the border between Assam and Megalaya .
  • From which site in U.P excavated in deposit of Black – Slipped and Gray wares . The piprahwa Ganwaria . From ‘Saipai’ in U.P discovered sword and a harpoon .
  • The Red – slipped pottery was associated with the evidence of wattle-and -daub houses supported by wooden posts were found at Atranji khera in U.P.
  • The Ochre coloured pottery ( OCP) associated with ‘Copper Hoards’ is found at Lal Qila in U.P

(4) Chalcolithic or Copper Stone Age

  • Chalcolithic periods are developed due to the beginning of use of metals .
  • In India the Chalcolithic period is Reported about 1800 – 1000 B.C
  • It is a transistional stage men used copper or bronze and stone tools and led a settled life .
  • The chalcolithic cultures are widely extending from The chota Nagpur plateau to the Upper Gangetic basin .
  • The three major Chalcolithic site excavated from South East Rajastan are Ahar , Gilund and Balathal
  • This sites are drained by the rivers Banas , Bearch and their tributeries .
  • ‘Ahore or Banas’ culture occurs in the districts of Udaipur , Chittorgarh , Bhilwara ,Ajmer , jaipur and jonk .
  • The Chalcolithic site shows a heavy reliance of Copper is „ Ahar „.
  • We get the evidence f rice from the Chalcolithic site ‘Banas’.
  • The First metal to be used in India is Copper
  • The important Chalcolithic sites are Brahamgiri near Mysore , Navada Toli .
  • The metal tools not familiar in Indian Chalcolithic sites are Bronze
  • The copper Stone Age Caltures existing in most parts of the country are younger than the Harappan Culture
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