ANCIENT HISTORY UPSC Notes | EduRev

UPSC : ANCIENT HISTORY UPSC Notes | EduRev

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As we all know , our history can be divided into 3 different stages-

# ANCIENT HISTORY 

# MEDIEVAL HISTORY

# MODERN HISTORY

Some will ask you to focus on modern history only, but i will urge you to focus on all 3 stages so that if the questions are asked from any part, you are able to answer that.

So, we will start with ANCIENT HISTORY....which again has some subtopics to cover-

#1 SOURCES

#2 PREHISTORY

#3 INDUS VALLEY CIVILIZATION

#4 VEDIC LITERATURE AND CIVILIZATION

#5 BUDDHISM AND JAINISM

#6 MAGADHA /MAURYA PERIOD

#7 POST MAURYAN PERIOD

#8 GUPTA AND HARSHA PERIOD

So, before we start , two terms are most frequently used in our history books -

BC - before christ ( before the birth of christ )

AD- anno domini( in the year of christ)

Now our first topic is -

#1)   SOURCES


As the name indicates ,  sources  is how we got to know about our history .

* Through Archaeology - It is a study of excavated things.

Lord Curzon made Archaeological Survey Of India(Delhi).

Carbon dating - to estimate the age of materials like wood , leather etc.

( C-12 is the stable isotope of carbon which is present in atmosphere. C-14 is its unstable form. When organism dies, it contains standard ratio of C-14 to C-12 , but C-14 decays with no possibility of replenishment , so proportion of C-14 decreases at a known rate . And in this way, half life is determined.)

* Through Numismatics - study of coins of old times. ( different metals were used and different names of the kings were written.)

* Through Epigraphy /Palaentology- It is the study of inscriptions (different languages.) eg Ashokan inscriptions - Sarnath Pillars.

* Through Literature- it is by the means of calendars -

Shaksamvat calendar ( written in saka era )

Gregorian calendar

Official calendar of India , Hindu Calendar-1st month Chaitra (March 22); last month Phalguna(Feb 20).

*Through Prashasti( Eulogy)- It is by the means of good things written about a king.

eg- Ain-I-Akbari by Abu Fazal.

SO, this was all from sources...now our next topic is-


#2) PREHISTORY

This period has 6 different ages.

Ice Age/ Pleistocene - It is around 5lakh years ago.

There was NO LIFE till this period. ( whole earth was covered with ice sheets.)

*Holocene- LIFE appeared in this age.

Homonids are the progenitures of mankind.( Homo sapiens are existing branch of homonids.)

*Stone age- Prehistoric man started using stone for utilitarian purpose. This age is further categorised into 3 different ages:-

# PALEOLITHIC (OLD STONE AGE)-  people were hunters and food gatherers.

They started use of fire.

Eg - Bhimbhetka caves (homosapien caves, M.P)

Kurnool caves ( Andhra pradesh , indicate use of fire).

Further , this age can be categorised into 3-

lower paleolithic- chopping tools were used.

middle paleolithic- homoerectus appeared and scrapper tools were used.

upper paleolithic- homosapiens appeared and sharp tools were used.

# MESOLITHIC (MIDDLE STONE AGE)- more sharp stone tools were used.

Domestication of animals started.

Small tools were made (microliths).

eg Bagor in Rajasthan ( largest mesolithic site in India , Krishna River.)

#NEOLITHIC (NEW STONE AGE)- very few stone tools used

wheelmaking invention.

development of agriculture. eg - Mehargarh (Baluchistan in Pakistan )

*Chalcolithic age(copper stone age)-  1st metal was discovered- copper 

eg- Brahmgiri , Mysore, Karnataka.

*Bronze Age- copper and tin used to make Bronze.

used by Indus Valley Civilisation People.

*Iron Age- large stones found megaliths.

Iron was discovered.

trade concept started.


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