Pre Historic Age of Indian People

Pre stone age


Do you know the members of your family Who along time ago. They are your ancestors Could you image the ancestors of human beings? just image how the early human beings had lived on the earth. much of your knowledge of ancient history is based on the evidences supplied by archaeological. according to the reports of archaeological analysts it is estimated that millions of years have passed since the first human beings lived on the earth Pre history refers to the period When human beings did not know read or write. We get our information about the prehistoric period from objects like tools and weapons,pottery,coins,jewellerys and figures which these people left behind. The period when human beings used stone implements alone is called the stone Age. The stone age has been further sub-divided into three parts-the old stone Age.,the Middle stone Age and the New stone Age.


Old stone age


The pre-historical period between 2.50,000 B.C to 10,000 B.C is know as old stone age This age is also called palaeolithic age. Polaeo means old and lithic means stone. Early humans were hunters. They ate flesh of the animals that they killed. they wandered in groups from place to place in search of food. The tools used by early humans were crude and unpolished and were mostly made out of a type of hard rock called Quartzite. These were nothing more than pieces of broken pebbles. These early humans lived in caves. Their early tools were made out of a hard type of rock which were later fashioned into hammers,scrapers,choppers and axe heads.Small pieces of rock were used as knives,spears,arrow-heads and sickles.


Later stone age


The period from 10,000 B.C to 6,000 B.C is known as later stone age.In this age,people learn to make fire. They used fire cooking, for softening and making food more tasty. Life became more comfortable. Ability to make fire was one of the major discoveries of later sone age. Their tools were now polished and improved. These were now sharper and more efficient.


New Stone Age


The period between 6,000 B.C to 1,000 B.C is known as New stone age or the Neolithic age. Their tools were better made. The discovery of the wheel was a great land mark. Wheeled carts made traveling easier and more comfortable. The wheel gave shape and size to the pottery. They begin to cover their bodies with cloth. They learn to grow crops and domesticate animals. They began to rattle down along the banks of the rivers and learn many crafts. Woman learn to spin, to weave and to stitch. Cotton and woolen cloths came into use men and women were fond of ornaments. They wore ornaments made of shells and bones. They painted animals and the pictures of humans on the caves. They learn the building a boats through which they traveled to Babilonia, Egypt and Greece and trades with these countries. Some of the New stone Age sites have been excavated in Brahmagiri, Singanakallu, Utnoor, Tekkali Kota and Maski place in India.


The Age of Metals


A great change came over the life of people with the discovery of metals and with the knowledge of their use. The metallic age began in 5,000 B.C. Copper was the first metal discovered. By mixing copper with tin, early humans got an alloy called Bronze. In this age early humans used bow and arrows; swords and lancers made of metals. Dravidans are recognized as earlier people who used the metals in ancient India.

Indian History – Periods – Sources

Indian History has been divided into Ancient period, Medieval period and Modern period. There are several sources to know the history of ancient India. These are Archaeological and literary sources. Literary Sources – Written sources or literary sources of India and foreign authors are very important to know the Indian history.


Religious literary sources


Vedas, Jain and Buddist religion books are very important. There are four Veda. 1. Rigveda, 2. Yujurveda, 3. Same veda and 4. Atharvana veda. From Rigveda we know the political, social, economic and religious aspects of the people in that time. Yajur, Sama, Atharvana vedas tell us about later development of civilization. Ramayana and Mahabharatha are epics. Livelity hood, state system, social, economic situations were pictures in Ramayana, and in Mahabharatha political system was explained.


Non Religious sources : Sanskrit books – Arthashastra writtenby Kautilya has the state adimistrative principles. Panini's Ashatadhayayi, Patanjili's Mahabashyam are most important to history. Kalhana's Rajatharangini is the first historical book in Sanskrit language. Amarasimha's Amarakosham is the first dictionary in Sanskrit language.


Prakrit books: Jains and Buddhists wrote the religious books in Prakrit, the spoken language of people for easy understanding. The sacred books of Jains are called Angas where as Buddhist books are called Thripitakas. Hala's Gathasapthashathi, Guradya's Brihathkatha Manjari are other important books in Prakrit language.


Books in Dravidian languages: Dravidian language has the oldest literature. Shilppadikaram and Manimekala which belong to Sangama Era tell us the religious aspects and foreign trade of this period. Kannada text kavirajamargam written by Nrupathunga, pampa's Vikramariuna Vijayam are very useful to knew the history and Culture of the Deccan.


Foreigners writings


India's wealth and spiritual thoughts attracted several foreign travelers and traders. They wrote in their books of the things what they have seen and heard in India. Greeks, Arabs, Chineese and Europeans were among them. Megastanese mentioned about the Mauryan period. From the books of Chinese travelers Hieun-Tsiang, ltsing, Fahien, we know the social, religious conditions of Gupta period. Hieun-Tsang visited india during Harshavardhana's period and praised about Harsha and his contemporaries in his book Si-yu-Ki. Itsing described the socio-economic aspects and Buddhist institutions in our country. Al-masudi, an Arab traveller, mentioned about the livelihood of Kanoj people under Mihirabojas rule.


Al-Beruni, a court scholar of Gajini Mohammed, wrote Kitab-ul-hind, Jiya uddin baruni wrote “Thariki Firojshahi” book about the rule of Ferojshah Thuglak who patronised him. Aamir Khusro wrote 'Thuglak nama'. Nikolokanti-Abdul Razak. Domingopaes, Feronuniz wrote about the history of Vijayanagara rules.


Unwritten Sources


Archaeological Sources: The Sources which contribute to the study of history of mankind. These are 4 kinds. Monuments, Inscriptions coins and material remains sculptures, slackened houses, house hold articles are the main sources of pre-historic age. Archaeologists excavated the sites of Harappa, Mohenjadaro, Takshashila, Nalanda, Saranath, Pataliputra. Hasthinapura and Nagarujunakonda from these excavations we can have the knowledge regarding the ancient Indian architecture, sculputral skills, idols made of stone and metal. They are the great evidence of the contemparary Indian culture and skills of the people in that period. Sanchi, Sarnath, Amaravathi, HaleBeedu, Beluru, Mahabalipuram, Orugallu, Konark, Somnathpur monuments are the best example of archeological sources. The wall paintings of Ajanta and Ellora caves express the Indian art and painting skills of the people of the time.


Inscriptions: Inscriptions are available on hill caves, stones, stone pillars, stone plates and copper plates. The earliest inscription in India are those of Emperoe Ashoka. Allahabad inscriptions laid by Samudragupta describe his qualities, character and victory in wars. Nanaghat inscription laid by Deni Naganika, Nasik inscription laid by Gowthami Balasri are main sources of Shatavahana history. Kharavela's Hathigumpha inscription, Pilakesin-II's Aihole incriptions tell us about the rules who laid them.


Coins


The Indian coin punching system was refined during Indo Bactrian rule. All Indian dynasties circulated special punched coins. From the coins we come to know about the economic and trade situations, sculpture development, personality of several rules and their interests in religion and arts. The discovery of large number of Roman coins in South India confirms the fact that there was brisk trade between India and Roman Empire. That also refers to the economic property of India and seagoing activities of its people.

Indian History – Culture

Unity in diversity is the unique feature of India. The ideals of freedom and liberty large geographical area with varied land forms, diversity in the life style of people with different customs and traditions reflect the diversity, but the cultural co-existence which is a unique feature of India, binds all Indian together.


India has geographical diversities that make this country as a glimpse of world culture. It is a country of great geographical extent and distinctive lectures. So it is called as a sub continent. India has diversified physiography conditions with a verity of land form like great Bangalakatam sea in East, Himalayan mountains in North, Indo Gangetic plains in the middle, a hot desert in the West, number of plateaus in the South penisula and the coastal plains along the peninsula.


From the Ancient period many clans entered India. They settled in India and completely identified themselves with the Indians. Thus India is called as union of different clans. Different languages are formed. Over 100 Indian languages have script. Nine out of the 30 largest languages spoken in the world are in India. India is a land of many religions which live together. In India majority of the population is Hindus with 82 percent. Muslim constitute about 13.4 percent, Christians 2 percent. Sikhs 109 percent and Buddhist and Jains less than one percent each. Thus India has religious diversity having Hindu, Islam, Christian, Jain, Buddhist, Sikh and Zoroastrian religions.


The social status and occupation of a person was determined by the caste in which the person was born in our country. As per the estimates of the government there are 6,748 castes in India. Cultural integration in India is formed by the mixture of culture of different tribes and clans: Indian culture is a union in Aryan and Dravidian culture. From the ancient period through the Indian is divided into small states, there was a under current unity.


People of India followed their traditions since a long time and protected them selves. They made acquaintance with foreigners. From the ancient period King patronized different languages. Hindi languages is declared our National language. Though there are many religions in India. Religious tolerance practiced by respecting each other and celebrating festivals like Dasara, Diwali, Ramzan, Chrismas, Holi, Moharrum together. People of India live together though there is diversity in customs and traditions. Culturally Indian are united.

Harappan Culture

In 1922 A.D. Archeology revealed the existence of vast civilization in the region of Indus valley with its two centers at Harappa and Mohenjodoro that belonged to 300 B.C. The life in this period known as civilization of Indus valley or Harappan culture. Later archaeologists dug out many more cities. Near about 250 prominent ones are found in sindh, Lothal and Dholavira in Gujarat, Kalibangus in Rajasthan. India has been recognized as a country, with one of the most ancient civilizations of the world by excavation of Indus valley civilization.


From the observation of material remains, that spread in the area between Indus valley and Ganga valley, we know that the civilization of Harappa and Mohenjadaro was an urban civilization. Streets of Mohenjadaro were straight and 3 to 10 mts wide. Buildings where built on high ground. The houses were made of burnt bricks. Every house had its own well. There was a good drainage system. The houses were made of common people in Harappa were of either one or two rooms where that of the rich people were five or six wide rooms. The people of Indus valley civilization were experts in town planning.


The most remarkable structure in Mohenjadaro is the Great bath (swimming pool). This was built of bricks. It had steps on its North and South sides. A well was used to send water into the pool. There was also an arrangement to send hot water into the pool. A special construction of Harappan people was Granary. Houses for labors were also there in the same city. Government building were built on high ground and public building were built in low land in East. The hill forts were constructed on high land of the west region. Every street had drain pipes made of bricks. The drains of houses were linked with the street drains, which carry the water out. This kind of good drainage system is found nowhere else.

The Great wall of China
The Chinese emperors started building the Great wall of China about 2400 years ago. 6400 kms long wall was built along the Northern boundary to protect the country from Mongolian plunder. The wall was built with bricks and granite (stone). A wide road was laid on the wall. Thousands of labor were engaged in the construction of this wall. Clock tower are constructed for every 100 – 200 meters. This is one of the wonder of the world.


Matriarchal system was followed by Harappan people. In this system mother is given more importance. In family matters mother was the decision maker. Agriculture was the main occupation of the Indus vally people. Some people were engaged in various works like trade, cattle rearing and handicraft. The knowledge of iron was unknown to the Indus vally people. Plenty of crops were grown in this period. The main crops of Indus vally people were wheat, barly and cotton. Rice was also cultivated by them. Granaries were used storing surplus grain (food). Milk, vegetables, fruits, wheat, barly and meat were their staple food. Ox, buffalo, dog, sheep, pig, cow and camel were domesticated by the people. But they knew nothing about Rhino, tiger, monkey and bear.


copper was largely used by Harappan people for utensils and for weapons they used bronze. By forming sustain in social and economic system Indus people led a luxurious life. They wore clothes made from cotton and wool. Both men as made of gold, silver, copper, ivory, shells and bids. Ivory combs and mirrors were used by them. Eye-black and perfumes were used by Indus vally people. They painted their lips. The woman had dressed their hair in a variety of styles like plaints and buns. They were fond of dancing, hunting and games of dice. The figures of men, women and animals were used as toys by children.


The traders used a variety of weights and measures barter system was followed. The bullock carts were used as main means of transport. People of Indus valley civilization had trade and culture relations with countries like Afghanistan, Iraq and Iron. People traveled by boats across Arabian sea. They exported the decorated pottery. The main seaport was Lothal.


An idea of the religion of Harappan people can be known from the seals, stone status and metal idols made by them. Mother goddess was worshiped by the people. The idols of Pashupthi and Linga were also found in the cities of Indus valley. Worship of trees, animals and snakes was common. Animal sacrifices prevailed in this civilization. The dead bodies were buried, the script available on the seals was pictograph. This script was written from left to right and then right to left. This type of writing is called Boustrophedon (sarpa lekanam). Even though this script is similar to the ancient script of Mesopotamian and Egypt. This script is not deciphered till now. A strong foundation to Indian culture was laid by people of Indus valley civilization. Our people have inherited many customs and belief from this ancient and wonderful civilization.

ARYAN CIVILIZATION : Early Vedic Civilization

Early Vedic Civilization


The Vedic Civilization that flourished to the south of Harappen civilization between the rivers of Ganga and Yamuna. The credit of shaping the Indian culture in a proper manner goes to Aryans. The Rigveda is the main source of information about the culture, civilization, socio and economic life of the Aryas. Rigveda is the oldest book of India. Veda means knowledge. According to Histories, the home land of Aryans was the coastal plains of Central Asia, Arctic region, South Russia, Hungary and Germany.


Around 1500 B.c. Aryans entered the North-West of India through the passes in the Hindukush mountains. The earliest Aryans lived in the geographical area covered by Eastern Afghanistan and Punjab. Those people or the Aryans. They spread their culture and civilization there. By the time Aryans settled in India, there were the native Indus people. They were called Dravidians or Dasyas. Aryans defeated the people living there, destroyed their cities and settled in India. Later the Aryans spread East ward into the region between the rivers Ganga and Yamuna around 1000 B.C. The purohit, senani and gramani were the main officers who helped the Rajan in his administration. The period from 1500 B.C to 1000 B.C is called the Early Vedic period.


We know about the Socio-economic conditions and the life style of the early Aryans through the study of Rigveda. The civilization is also known as civilization of Riveda period. Vedas were written in Sanskrit. At that time Sanskrit language was in use in North India. All Aryans belonged to one race and had several clans among themselves. Aryans not only fought with their enemies, the Dasyas, but also fought among themselves. In the “Battle of the Ten king” the Bhard tribe defeated the combined forces of the Ten kings in a bitter struggle for supremacy.

Greek city states
Mark the city states of Greece and Athens in Atlas. Democracy was in vogue about 2500 years ago.
People who attained 30 years of age were recognized as citizens. Assembly met 40 times in a year to take necessary decisions. All attended the assembly. Position were allotted on the basis of lottery. It was mandatory that every citizen worked as a soldier for some time. Ladies were not recognized as citizens. Foreigners had no citizenship. Many were slaves and worked in mines and agriculture farms. They were not citizens and were not granted citizenship.


During early vedic period the Aryans clans were under the of Rajan. Rajan means king. The king protected the people of his own clan. The king interfered as little as possible. They enjoyed, what we call today as Local self government or something similar to that. The village was called as Gram. A group of grams was called visli. The whole tribe was called Jana. The assemblies of the tribes were called Sabha and Samiti.


Agriculture and cattle rearing were the main occupations of the Aryans. Cows were their main wealth. The smith, the pottery, carpentry, weaving and cobbling were their other occupations. The Aryan civilization was mainly rural civilization. Copper and Bronze metals were known to Aryans. In course of time the Aryan society was divided into four varnas or castes. These four groups came to be known as the Brahmins, the Kshatriyas, the Vaishyas and the Sudras. Aryans had patriarchal system. The father was the head of the family and was called the Grihapathi.


Aryans preferred the birth of son. Women joined their husbands in worship, yagna and yogas. Child marriages didn't prevail in that period. Paddy, barley, fruits, wheat and sesame were the staple food of the Aryans. Clothes made from cotton and wool were worn by people. They wore silk clothes on special. Music, dancing, chariot-racing horse-racing and chess were their main-pass times. They used musical instruments. The vedic religion was a simple form of natural worship. The Aryans worshipped indra, varuna, agni, surya (sun), the moon, vayu (air) and Rudra.

ARYAN CIVILIZATION : Later Vedic Civilization

Later Vedic Civilization


The Period from 100 B.C to about 600 B.C is called the later vedic period. In the later vedic period, the Aryans invaded and subdued the fertile plains watered by the Ganga and Yamuna and by developing Agriculture some of the chieftains carved out kingdom for themselves like Kuru and Kosala. Bharata and Puru, the main clans of Aryans formed a new clan named Kuru. Kauravas and Pandavas belonged to Kuru clan. The great battle between these two clans was known as Bottle of Mahabharata. The epic called Mahabharata narrates in details, the events of the war. By the 6th century B.C the Aryans moved towards East and South, and founded sixteen Kingdoms called as Shodasha Mahajanapadas.


The samiti and sadha of Rigvedic period had very little real power. The kings commanded and led their armies in battle. They took personal interest in the welfare of their people. Rajasuya and Aswamedha Yagas were performed by the kings. Kingdoms and societies were controlled by Kshatriyas and Brahmins during this age.


Agriculture and cattle rearing were the main occupations of the people of this age. They grew a variety of crops-barley, rice, what peas and sesame. Smith, carpentry and weaving were other occupations of people. They knew to melt the metals. They knew to melt the metals. The people of later vedic period knew the use of iron. Barter system was used in trade.


The Brahmin were learned men and well versed in religious matters. They had grown in power and importance. During the later vedic age, varna system and patriarchal system came into existence. Yagnas and Animal sacrifices became very important during this period. Most important Rigvedic Gods Indra and Agni, lost their importance. Prajapathi, Vishnu, Chandra (the noon) became the most powerful Gods. Aranyakas and Upanishads written in this period, condemned the caste system and questioned the uses of the Yagnas.


The Ramayana and the Mahabharatha are two great epics composed in later vedic age, nearly in 500 B.C. Valmiki is the author of the Ramayana and Vyasa of the Mahabharata. The Ramayans is the story of Rama, the prince of Ayodhya, and the Mahabharata describes the story of the great battle between the Pandvas and the Kauravas. They were written in Sanskrit. Varanasi and Takshashila were famous educational centers of the period. The Bhagawada Gita a book wisdom and Holy book of Hindus reflects the Indian culture.


A Significiant change came in the life style of the people. Children of higher caste were sent to gurukulas. The teaching was done orally and the students were required to learn everything by heart. Learning instrumental and vocal music was a symbol of luxury. The coins – Karshapana (polygamy) and sathamana were used by these people. There was a practice of having more than one wife.

ARYAN CIVILIZATION : Jainism – Vardhamana Mahaveera

Jainism – Vardhamana Mahaveera


By the 6th century B.C caste system gained in strength and created hatred among the different castes. People belonging to vaishya caste, sudra and even the kshatriyas who were the rulers of kingdom were illiterate. They were considered to be inferiors. This is resented by kshatriyas. The animals of conducting the yagnas and yagas was in the hands of Brahmins only. A large number of animals were sacrificed in the name of Yagnas and Yagas. Agriculture received a setback as cattle were sacrificed. So all the sections of people condemned the conduct of Yagas, Yagnas and sacrifice of animals. Upanishads questioned the uses of the yagna and yagas.


They said that salvation can be attained only through right knowledge. Denying the susperiority of the Brahmins and condemning the animal sacrifices, Vardhamana Mahaveera and Siddartha (Gautama), both of them Kshatriyas, founded new religions. Ahimsa was mainly preached by these two religions. They proclaimed that all people are equal and condemned caste distinctions.


Jainism is the most ancient one of the Indian religions. Preachers of Jainiasm are called Tirthankaras. There are 24 Tirthankaras in Jainism. Rishabanath the founder of Jainism was the first Tiruthankara. Parshwanath was the 23rd Tirthankara. The last Tirthankara is Vardhamana Mahaveera.

Zudaism
Find Iran in your atlos. An Iranian prophet, Zoraster wrote a holy book called Avesta the teaching of Zoraster are found in this book. The Language and the practices are very similar to those of the vedas. The main teaching of Zoraster are good thoughts, words and good deeds. Here is verse from the 2nd Avesta “Lord, great strength and the rule of truth and good thoughts by means of which one shall create peace and tranquility”.


Vardhamana Mahaveera was born at Kundagrama near the city of Vaishali about 540 B.C. His father was Siddartha, who was the head of the Kshatriya caste called Jnatriya. Trishala was his mother. At the age of thirty, he left the comforts. After the twelve long years of penance he became Jina. The world jina means conquerer of Desires. The new philosophy or religion taught by Jina came to be called Jainism. His followers were known as the Jains. Mahaveera is the title of Vardhamana. Mahaveera passed away at the age of 72 in 468 B.C at a place called Pavapuri in present Bihar.


The essence of Jainism was mentioned in three rules. They are right faith, right knowledge and right action – the three Jewels or Ratnas. Right action is the practice pf the five vows of Jainism – 1. Satya 2. Ahimsa (non-violence) 3. Asteya (not desiring others property) 4. Aparigraha (not to have more than one need) 5. Brahmacharya. Mahaveera taught people that they attain moksha through following these these-vows. Angas are the holy books. Jain missionaries were sent to spread Jainism for about eight months in a year. Jainism was patronized by the rulers of Magadha – Haryanka and Nanda dynasties. Jainism flourished mainly in Rajasthan, Gujarat and Karnataka.


Jains did a great service to the society. Ordinary people could understand the teaching of Mahaveera and his followers, because they used Prakrit Language. Indian art and sculpture was enriched by joins.

Judaism :

Orayter was an Iraniam prophet caves of jains were found at places like Udayagiri in Orissa, Ellora in Maharastra. Kolonupaka is an important Jain centre in Nalgonda district of Andhra Pradesh. Dilwara temple at Mt Abu in Rajasthan, Gomateshwer statue at Shravana Belagola in Karnataka state are some of their famous works of art and culture.