This is the the first chapter of Indian History. In this chapter we will discuss the different types of historic ages based on written records. Then we will study about the development of human civilization through the stone age.
So basically Indian History can be divided into three phases based on availability of written records:
- Pre-History: This is that part of human history for which we have no written records. Humans were in their primitive stage and did not learn to read or write. The stone age belongs to this period.
- Proto-History: This is that part of human history for which we have written records but they are not yet deciphered. So we are not aware of their scripts, language etc. Hence we cannot understand what they used to communicate. The Harappan Civilization belongs to this period.
- Historic era: This is that part of Indian history for which we have written records and they are deciphered. For India this period begins with “The Vedic Age” which we will study in the later chapters.
In this chapter we will study only the first part: Pre History/ Stone Age
Pre History/ Stone Age
So this phase can again be divided into three parts:
It means Old Stone Age. It is the oldest(200,000 BCE-10,000 BCE). Only blunt and rough tools were used. Main occupation was hunting, fishing and food gathering. Life was nomadic. Bhimbetka in Madhya Pradesh is an important Paleolithic site with about 500 rock shelters which ha pre historic paintings on walls.
It means middle stone age. It is between 10,000 BCE – 8,000 BCE. Climate warmed in 10,000 BCE to bring about major change. Grasslands developed.Hence grazing animals increased. Hence Domestication also started. Microliths/small stone tools were used by attaching them to wood or bones.
This means new stone age. This existed between 8,000 BCE-3000 BCE. After 3000 BCE copper was discovered. Hence chalcolithic age began. Polished and smooth tools were used with fine cutting edge. Fire and wheel was discovered. Agriculture started around 6000 BCE. Mehrgarh in Pakistan is an important Neolithic site.
So with this we come to the end of the chapter. After agriculture developed in the neolithic age, the human civilization moved towards a settled life. Villages started to develop. These slowly turned into planned cities like Harappa andd Mohenjodaro. We will read about them in the next chapter.
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