· The history of human settlement in India goes to pre-historic times when no written records were available for the pre-historic India. However, a number of archaeological remains are found in different places of India to reconstruct the history of this period.
· They include the stone tools, pottery and metal implements used by pre-historic people. The development of archeology helps much to understand the life and culture of the people who lived in this period.
· The pre-historic period is divided in to following parts
The Palaeolithic Age (Old Stone Age)
è The palaeolithi men were hunters and food gatherers as they had no knowledge of agriculture ,fire or pottery
The Mesolithic Age (Middle Stone Age)
è The Mesolithic people also lived on hunting, fishing and food-gathering. At a later stage they also domesticated animals.
è The people of this age used tools by men and the culture based on the use of stone axes.
The Neolithic Age(New Stone Age)
è Mehargrah is the famous new stone age place from where evidences of wheat and barely have been found.
è Burials of dogs, wolves and wild goats have also been found.
The Chaloclithic Age(Metal age)
è Copper was the first metal used by men and the culture based on the use of stone and copper tools is called the Chalcolithic culture
INDUS VALLEY CIVILISATION
· The Indus Valley Civilisation is firstly called as the Harappan Civilisation, because earliest excavations in the Indus Valley were done at Harappa in the West Punjab and Mohenjodaro
In Sindh. Both places are located in Pakistan now.
· The Harappan culture matured in Sind and Punjab. It spread from there to Southwards and Eastwards. The total spread of this civilization was bigger than Egypt and Mesopotamia.
· But this Civilisation was later named as the Indus Civilisation due to the discovery of more and more sites far from the Indus Valley.
· Among the many other sites excavated during the Harappan Civilisation, the most important are kot Dizi in Sindh, Kalibangan in Rajasthan, Ropar in Punjab, Banawali in Haryana, lothal, Surkotada and Dholavira in Gujrat.
· Mohenjodaro is the largest of all the Indus Valley Cities and it is estimated to have spread over an area of 200 hectares
· Town Planning
· => The Indus civilization was distinguished by its system of town planning on the lines of the grid system ( streets and lanes cutting across one another almost at right angles).
· => Harappa, Mohenjodaro and Kalibangan each had its own citadel built on a high podium of mud brick.
· => Below the citadel, a lower township were built, containing brick houses for common people.
· => The underground drainage system connecting all houses to the street drains which were covered by stone slabs or bricks.
· => There was a great progress in all spheres of economic activity such as agriculture, industry and crafts and trade during the Indus Civilization. They practised barter system for exchange.
· => When and barely were the main crops grown besides sesame, mustured and cotton. Surplus grain was stored in granaries.
· => Painted pottery is of bettere quality. This pictorial motifs consisted of geometrical patterns like horizontal lines, circles, leaves plants and trees. On some pottery pieces we find figures of fish or peacock.
· => The seals and the terracotta models of the Indus valley reveal the use of bullock carts and oxen for land transport and boats and ship for river and sea transport .
· => the Harappa crafts display an impressive level of standardisation. Kenoyer has suggested that state control may have been responsible for such a high level of standardisation in craft.
Major Harappan Sites and their Excavators and Findings.
Name Of Sites
Of Punjab (Pakistan) on the left bank of the river Ravi
· Rows of six granaries
· A red send stone naked male, dancing, Nataraj and Virgin Goddess seal
Larkana district in Sindh on the right bank of Indus (Pakisan)
· Pashupati seal, bronze image of a dancing girl
· The Great Granary and the Great Bath
M Gopal Majumdar Mackey in 1931
Situated in Sindh on The bank of the Indus River
· Huge number of cupper implements
· Specialised drills for bead making
A Ghosh in 1953
Situated in Rajasthan on the left bank of the river Ghaggar
· A ploughed field with two sets of furrows at right angles, fire altars,wheels of toy carts, a terracotta ship
MS Vats, BB Lal and SR Rao in 1931
Situated on the left bank of Mahi River (Gujarat)
· Rice was cultivated
Yd Sharma in 1953
Situated in Punjab on the Banks Of the river Sutlej
· Buildings made of stone and soil
· Evidence of burying a dog with a human burial
SR Joshi in 1967
Situated in Gujarat in
the Rann of Kutch
· Terracotta model of Egyptian Mummies, sacrificial fire altar
· Remains of rice husk a terracotta figurine, dock
JP Joshi in 1967
Situated in Gujarat in the Rann of Kutch
· Giants reservoirs
· Megalithic burials
RS Bist in 1974-77
Situated on the left bank of the river Saraswati
· Terracotta model of the plough
· Good quality of barely
· Clay figurines of Mother Goddess
The chef male deity was Pashupati (Proto-Shiva), represented in seals as sitting in a yogic posture with three faces and two horns. He is surrounded by elephant, tiger, rhino and buffalo, all facing a different direction and two deer appear on his feet.
· The chief female deity was the Mother Goddess represented in terracotta figurines.
· There are evidences of phallus and yoni worship for the fertility.
· Evidence of fire worship was also found at Lothal, Kalibagan and Harappa.
· Animal (Unicorn Bull) and tree worship (Pipal) was also found there
· Complete burial and post-cremation burial were popular at Mohanjodaro. At Lothal, the pit was Lined with burnt brick, inducating the use of coffins, practice of pot burials also prevailed, with pairs of bodies,
· Wooden coffins were also found at Harappa. However, there is no clear evidence for the practice of Sati.
Most of the seals are made of steatite i.e, a soft stone as the majority of the seals have an animal engraved on it with a short inscription. Shape of seals are square, rolled and triangular.
· Most frequently founded animal is unicorn bull.
· The technique of cutting and polishing these seals with white luster was a unique invention of the Indus valley civilization
Decline of the Civilisation
The Harappan culture flo urished up to 1800 BC, then it religious texts, the Vedas, which gave the Period its name. The Vedas recorded not only the religion of the Vedic people, but also details of their lives that give us a glimpse of their Political, Social and Economic life.
The history of Vedic India is known largely through its religious texts, the Vedas, which gave the period its name The Vedas recorded not only the religion of the Vedic people, but also details of their lives that give us a glimpse of their Political, Social and Economic life.
· There are many theories about the origin of Aryans. The most accepted view is that they lived in the great Asia. They were semi-nomadic people.
· The Boghaz kai inscription dated 1400 BC gives the information about peace treaty between the Hittites and the Mittanis rulers of the Hittani, in which the names of the Vedic Gods Indra, Mitra, Nasatya and Varuna are mentioned. This supports the view of the central Asian Homeland theory that Central Asia was Aryan homeland.
· Vedic age was divided in to two parts, which are as follow
(i) Early Vedic age from 1500BC- 1000BC
(ii) Later Vedic age from 1000BC- 600BC
Early Vedic Age (1500 BC-1000BC)
The main source of information for the study of early Vedic age people is the Rigveda. The founders of the Vedic culture were the Aryans, probably immigrant people whose first arrival in India is dated around 2000-1500 BC
The Rig Vedic Age
The Rig Veda age gives us information that Aryans first settled at the regions called Sapta Sindhu or the land of seveb rivers (presently that regions is—East Afghanistan, Punjab and West UP)- Indus, Jhelum, Ravi, Chenab. Beas, Sutlej and Saraswati was most pious river.
· Early Aryans were semi-nomadic and later on, they became cultivator. They gave great preference to the cattle, so the ruling class was warrior who were able to fight for cattle.
The Rig Vedic Society
· The Rig Vedic society was based on kinship. The early Aryans were essentially tribal and egalitarians.
· Tribe was called Jana. The basic unit of society was family or graham. The head of the family was known as Grihapati.
· Society was patriarchal, generally monogamy was practiced while polygamy was prevalent among the royal and noble families.
· Existence of Joint family pattern, where women were given equal opportunities as men for their spiritual and intellectual development. Eldest male member of the family was known as Kulapa
Verna was the term used for colour and it seems that the Aryan language speakers were fair and the indigenous inhabitants were dark in complexion.
· No evidence of cast system is found. Members of same family may took different occupation. This is well illustrated in a hymn of 9th mandala. Non-Aryans were called Dasas or Shudas.
· Women possessed responsible status in the society, Took part in tribal assemblies, in religious sacrifices along with their husbands. Child marriage was not in exixtance. The marriageable age was 16 or 17 years for girls.
· Window remarriage and Niyoga prevailed in society.
· There was no Purdah system and the practice of Sati was absent.
The Rig Vedic Polity
· The head was the supreme of the tribe or Jana, But he was not supreme in powers, but worked on the collective response of the tribal assemblies.
· Tribal assemblies were Sabha, Samiti, Gana, and Vidhata. Vidhata was the oldest one. These assemblies upholds every important activity (like social, millitry, religious etc.)
· Sabha and Samiti were known as rwin daughters of Prajapati.
· In Rig Veda, there is mention of tribial conflict and battle of ten kings in which Bharat found with host of ten other kings.
The Rig Vedic Religion
· The Vedic people were nature worshippers. Neither they had temples nor idols. They worshipped by the means of recitation of Mantra.
· The motive of worship was to get Praja (children), Pasu (cattle) and Dhana (wealth), till that time they don’t require spiritual upliftment.
· Boghazkai inscription of 1400 BC found in Asia Minor (Turkey) has mention of four Gods-Indra Mitra, Varun and Nasatya.
· Goddess Usha—Goddess of down, Aditi—Mother of God, Prithvi—Earth Goddess, Aryani—The Forest Goddess.
· Indra 250 hymn of Rig Veda are dedicated to Indra. He was also known as Purandhar or the destroyer of the forts. He was also worshipped as ‘God of War’.