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BHIC 131

History Of India From The Earliest Times Up To C. 300 C.E

BHIC 131 Free Solved Assignment

BHIC 131 Free Solved Assignment July 20222 & Jan 2022

                         Part -I

1 What is Archaeological sources. Evaluate the importance of Archaeological sources for the study of ancient Indian History.

Ans: Archaeological sources

Archaeological sources are basically the material evidence like historical buildings, coins, inscriptions and other remains that gives important and detailed information pertaining to a particular period.

It provides us with more unbiased information. These sources are divided into two main groups. They are Archaeological and Literary.

The Archaeological Source can again be divided into three groups, namely, Archaeological Remains and Monuments, Inscriptions and Coins.

Every trace of past human activity is an archaeological resource. These non-renewable resources are often the only tangible evidence of the passage or occupation of human groups that have disappeared or been displaced.

Source literature is a term with different meanings. Literature (understood as printed texts) is one kind of information source.

In a way, all literature is a kind of source literature. It might, for example, be cited and used as source in academic writings. The meaning of “source literature” is relative.

Archaeological sources include all physical evidence of past cultures. So at one end you might have large monumental construction, such as Stone Henge or Castles, at the other end you have soil micromorphology, BHIC 131 Free Solved Assignment

which can tell you about ancient ecosystems, or micro scanning of rocks and tools which can reveal marks invisible to the naked eye, or indeed paleao DNA analysis.

Importance of Archaeological sources for the study of ancient Indian History:
Following are the Importance of Archaeological sources for the study of ancient
Indian History:

i.Archaeology is the study of human culture in historic as well as pre-historic times, by examining the material remains of early human settlements.

ii. These material remains may range from human or plant fossils to excavated artifacts or ruins of an old building. A broad study of human culture, archaeology is often regarded as a subset of anthropology.

iii. Archaeology is an elaborated process, which starts with a detailed study and surveying of a particular area to ascertain sites, with possible human settlements in the past.

iv. The site is then excavated to recover material remains. After classification, this unearthed matter is analyzed and interpreted to reconstruct historical events.

The archaeologist has to be very careful with the handling aspect of the ‘unearthed matter’. Its documentation is of great importance, as the amount of information derived from it can be beneficial in terms of quality as well as quantity.

v. It throws light on the cultural history of various countries and answers various questions about the lifestyles of people who lived in that part of the world. It has also helped to ascertain the chronology of the pre-historic times.

vi. The excavations, which started in 1920, opened the door to a human settlement that was far more evolved and scientifically advanced; characterized by well-planned cities and a well-developed network of trade routes.BHIC 131 Free Solved Assignment

vii. The importance of archaeology has led to its categorization into various sub-divisions. While historical archaeology includes the study of cultures,

underwater archaeology is a study of the remains of any human activity, found in the bed of a water body.

viii. The material remains of this era included carvings on the walls of caves, artifacts like pottery, weapons used to hunt animals for food etc.

Even after writing was developed, written records which were maintained were highly biased and largely based on assumptions.

BHIC 131 Free Solved Assignment
BHIC 131 Free Solved Assignment

3 Describe the main features of mature Harappan urbanisation?

Ans: Main Features of the Harappan urbanisation

The Harappan culture was distinguished by its system of town planning. Harappa and Mohenjodaro each had its own citadel or acropolis, which was possibly occupied by members of the ruling class.

Below the citadel in each city lay a lower town containing brick houses, which were inhabited by the common people.BHIC 131 Free Solved Assignment

The remarkable thing about the arrangements of the houses in the cities is that they followed the grid system. Big buildings distinguished both Harappan and Mohenjodaro the latter was extremely rich in structures.

Their monuments symbolized the ability of the ruling class to mobilize labor and collect taxes; the huge brick constructions also impressed the common people with the prestige and influence of their rulers.

The most important public place of Mohenjodaro seems to be the Great Bath, comprising the tank which is situated in the citadel mound. In Mohenjodaro the largest building is a granary.

Approximately it had the same area as the Great Granary at Mohenjodaro. at Kalibangan also we notice in the southern part brick platforms, which may have been used for granaries.

Thus, it would appear that granaries constituted an important part of the Harappan cities. The use of burnt bricks in the Harappan cities is remarkable because in the contemporary buildings of Egypt dried bricks were mainly used.

The drainage system of Mohenjodaro was very impressive. In almost all cities every big or small house had its own courtyard and bathroom.

The street drains were equipped with manholes.The drainage system of Harappa is almost unique. Perhaps no other Bronze Age civilization gave so much attention to health and cleanliness as the Harappan did.BHIC 131 Free Solved Assignment

The urban culture of the Bronze Age found in Harappa in Pakistani Punjab was a path-breaking discovery.

In 1853, A. Cunningham, the British engineer who became a great excavator and explorer, noticed a Harappan seal. Though the seal showed a bull and six written letters, he did not realize its significance.

Much later, in 1921, the potentiality of the site of Harappa was appreciated when an Indian archeologist, Daya Ram Sahni, started excavating it.

At about the same time, R.D. Banerjee, a historian, excavated the site of Mohenjo-daro in Sindh. Both discovered pottery and other antiquities indicative of a developed

Large-scale excavations were carried out at Mohenjo-daro under the general supervision of Marshall in 1931.

Mackay excavated the same site in 1938. Vats were excavated at Harappa in 1940.

In 1946 Mortimer Wheeler excavated Harappa, and the excavation of the pre-Independence and pre-Partition period brought to light important antiquities of the Harappan culture at various sites where bronze was used.

In Pakistan, Kot Diji in the central Indus Valley was excavated by F.A. Khan, and great attention was paid to the Hakra and pre-Hakra cultures by M.R. Mughal. A.H. Dani excavated the Gandhara graves in the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan.

American, British, French, and Italian archaeologists also worked at several sites including Harappa. BHIC 131 Free Solved Assignment

The area formed a triangle and accounted for about 1,299,600 sq. km which is a larger area than that of Pakistan, and certainly larger than ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia.

No other culture zone in the third and second millennia BC in the world was as widespread as the Harappan. Nearly 2800 Harappan sites have so far been identified in the subcontinent.

BHIC 131 Free Solved Assignment
BHIC 131 Free Solved Assignment
                               Part - ii

4 Discuss the social, political and religion conditions during early Vedic era.

Ans: Social conditions during early Vedic era:

i. Caste Society: Most important change was the evolution of the caste system. Various sub-castes evolved in addition to the traditional four-castes.

ii. Education: A vast mass of Vedic literature, as well as a highly developed intellectual life, speaks abundantly about a well-planned system of education in the later Vedic Period.

iii. Position of women: The women lost the high position which they had in the Rig Vedic Age.

iv. Economic Condition: Like political and social conditions, the economic condition of the later Vedic period also underwent significant changes.

V. Agriculture: In the later Vedic period people lived in the villages. In the villages, small peasant owners of the land were replaced by big landlords who secured possession of entire villages. BHIC 131 Free Solved Assignment

Political conditions during early Vedic era:

The polity of the Early Vedic period was basically a tribal polity with the tribal chief in the centre. The tribe was called Jana and the tribal chief was called Rajana.

Rajana looked after the affairs of the tribe with the help of other tribal members and two tribal assemblies i.e. Sabha and Samiti.

Sabha consists of elder members of the tribe, whereas the Samiti mainly dealt with policy decisions and political business.

Religion conditions during early Vedic era:

During the later Vedic period the religious spirit underwent a great change. Religion was overshadowed with rites and rituals.

New gods and goddesses emerged during this period. The Rig Vedic gods, Varun, Indra, Agni, Surya, Usha etc. lost their charm.

The people worshipped them with less zeal. New gods like Siva, Rupa, Vishnu, Brahma etc. appeared in the religious firmament of the Later Vedic Period.

5 Discuss the factors responsible for the rise of the new religious ideas in the sixth century B.C.E.

Ans: Factors responsible for the rise of the new religious ideas in the sixth century B.C.E:

The main factors that led to the rise of new religious sects in the sixth century BCE in India are the following: BHIC 131 Free Solved Assignment

1 Rigid Caste System: in the social hierarchy the priests were on the top and the shudras were on the bottom. The shudra or the fourth Varna people were not allowed to perform the Vedic rituals and they were banned to chant the Vedic mantras.

2 The new coinage: the traditional people opposed the use of coinage. They preferred the traditional barter system instead of coinage.

3 Language barrier: the Vedas were written in the Sanskrit, this was not the language of common people.

Therefore, the third and fourth Varna people could not understand the beliefs of Vedas. Therefore, they wanted a religion that would be accessible for all Varna people.

The sixth century B.C. is regarded as an important epoch of world history. The time before that century is described as the pre-historic age.

From sixth century B.C., however, historical evidence came to exist. Thus that there began the historical period in the sixth century B.C. This adds significance to that time.

It was in the sixth century B.C. that there lived in India the founders of two great religions of mankind. They were Mahavira Jina and Gautama Buddha, the founders of Jainism and Buddhism. BHIC 131 Free Solved Assignment

Enough of literature came to be written about Jina and Buddha and about their religions. Though the Jaina and the Buddhist literature were religious in character, yet they contained much information about the political and social conditions of that time.

History could be written from those literary sources. It was the rise of Jainism and Buddhism which made the sixth century B.C. great and glorious.

6. Account for the rise of sixteen Mahajanopada with special reference to Magadha.

Ans: Rise of sixteen Mahajanopada:

The Janapadas were the major kingdoms of Vedic India. During that period, Aryans were the most powerful tribes and were called ‘Janas’. This gave rise to the term Janapada where Jana means ‘people’ and Pada means ‘foot’.

By the 6th century BCE, there were approximately 22 different Janapadas. Socio-economic developments chiefly due to the use of iron tools in agriculture and military, along with religious and political developments led to the rise of the Mahajanapadas from small kingdoms or Janapadas.

The people gained a strong allegiance to the territory or Janapada they belonged to rather than the tribe or the jana. BHIC 131 Free Solved Assignment

This period is also known as the era of second urbanisation, first being the Harappan civilisation.

During that period, the political centre shifted from the west of the Indo-Gangetic plains to the eastern side of it.

This was due to better fertility of the land because of more rainfall and rivers. Also, this region was closer to iron production centres.

The names of 16 Mahajanapadas were Kasi, Kosala, Anga, Magadha, Vajji, Malla, Chedi/Cheti, Vatsa, Kuru, Panchala, Matsya, Surasena/Shurasena, Assaka, Avanti, Gandhara, Kamboja Majority of these states were monarchical but some were also republics, known as “ganasangha”.

Ganasangha had an oligarchic system for governance where the administration was headed by an elected king who had a large council for his aid. This was close to be called a democracy but the common man had no say in the administration.


7 Black and red ware culture

Ans: Black and red ware culture:

The black and red ware culture (BRW) is an early Iron Age archaeological culture of the northern Indian subcontinent. It is dated to roughly the 12th – 9th century BCE, and is associated with the post-Rigvedic Vedic civilization.

In some sites, BRW pottery is associated with Late Harappan pottery. BRW may have directly influenced the Painted Grey Ware and Northern Black Polished Ware cultures.

BRW pottery is unknown west of the Indus Valley.

Use of iron, although sparse at first, is relatively early, postdating the beginning of the Iron Age in Anatolia (Hittites) by only two or three centuries, and predating the European (Celts) Iron Age by another two to three hundred years.

8 Post vedic society

Ans: Post Vedic society: BHIC 131 Free Solved Assignment

Post-Vedic period means the time when people will not follow the Vedic texts. It will start after some 5000 years. That time there will be hardly any follower of Vedic texts.

This doesn’t mean eternal religion or Sanatana Dharma will disappear.

There are innumerable universes and planets where the inhabitants practice the principles of Dharma.

It will just disappear to a certain degree on earth, but it will rise again like the Sun just before the end of Kaliyuga.

Another answer: Just like the Aryan invasion theory, some people to satisfy their own beliefs, has created a myth like before 2000 years, ancient people had only followed the primary Vedas and after that people started to follow the 5th Veda i.e Puranas and Itihasa.

According to them, this is the post-Vedic period. But, they are not aware of what the primary Vedas itself says about the 5th Veda.

9. Teaching of Mahaveera

Ans: Teaching of Mahaveera: BHIC 131 Free Solved Assignment

Mahavir made religion simple and natural, free from elaborate ritual complexities. His teachings reflected the internal beauty and harmony of the soul.

Mahavir taught the idea of the supremacy of human life and stressed the importance of the positive attitude of life.

Mahavir’s message of nonviolence (Ahimsa), truth (Satya), non-stealing (Achaurya), celibacy (Brahmacharya), and non-possession (Aparigraha) is full of universal compassion.

Mahavir said that “A living body is not merely an integration of limbs and flesh but it is the abode of the soul which potentially has perfect perception (Anant-darshana), perfect knowledge (Anant-jnana), perfect power (Anant-virya), and perfect bliss (Anant-sukha).

Mahavir’s message reflects freedom and spiritual joy of the living being. Mahavir emphasized that all living beings, irrespective of their size, shape, and form how spiritually developed or undeveloped, are equal and we should love and respect them.

This way he preached the gospel of universal love.

10 Concept of Tinai

Ans: Concept of Tinai: BHIC 131 Free Solved Assignment

The ancient Tamils had divided the Tamil country into five distinct ecological zones, with each zone having its own characteristics.

Each zone with its distinct characteristics is called Tinai. The concept of tinai can be compared to the modern ecosystem approach adopted in the study of cultures. The five tinai are:

1) Kurinci – mountainous zone,

2) Mullai – pastoral zone,

3) Marutam – riverine zone,

4) Neytal – coastal zone and

5) alai-arid zone

These zonal classifications were adopted for the composition of poems. Besides, they also more or less reflected the actual ecological systems of Tamil country.

However, it should not be considered that the five fold divisions were found as distinct units in reality. They were idealised landscapes. BHIC 131 Free Solved Assignment

Though such distinct units existed in some areas, quite a few regions had overlapping of various duals. Tolkappiyam refers to such a situation as tinai mayakkam.

11 Sangam literature

Ans:Sangam literature

Sangam literature is the name given to the earliest available Tamil literature. The Sangam age roughly extends between 300 BC and 300 AD*, although most of the work is believed to have been composed between 100 CE and 250 CE.

The word ‘Sangam’ literally means association. Here, it implies an association of Tamil poets that flourished in ancient southern India.

The Ancient Tamil Siddhar Agastyar is traditionally believed to have chaired the first Tamil Sangam in Madurai. This period is known as the Sangam Period.

The three chief Tamil kingdoms of this period were the Cheras, the Cholas and the Pandyas. The term Sangam was coined by later scholars. BHIC 131 Free Solved Assignment

In total, there are about 2300 poems that are attributable to 473 poets.



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