History: History is a chronological account of events as they took place in the past.
Why should we study History?
(i) We should study history as it tells us about our past.
(ii) It gives us understanding about our ancient culture and lifestyle.
(iii) It helps us to solve the problems of the present day world.
Fig: Indian historyTime frames of History:
(i) Historians use chronological sequence for a better understanding. Birth of Jesus Christ has been taken as year zero.
(ii) Any event before Christ is called Before Christ (BC) and any event after the birth of Jesus is called Anno Domini (AD).
(iii) Timeline of history is divided into three stages – Prehistory, Protohistory and History.
Where did people live?
(i) People lived near river valleys. This was because rivers provided water for all purposes.
(ii) Traces of life were found near Sulaiman and Kirtar hills in North West.
(iii) Traces of life even existed along Ganga. Mahajanapadas like Magadha, Kashi, Vajji, etc. flourished 2500 years ago.
Fig: People living near valleys in history (iv) The Himalayan mountain has acted as natural barrier between India and Central Asia since ages.
(v) The places where rice was first grown are to the north of the Vindhyas.
How was the name India Derived?
(i) Our country is called India and Bharat.
(ii) Bharat was used by the people of North India in the Sanskrit composition Rigveda.
(iii) The word Indus traces its roots from the river Indus which is called Sindhu in Sanskrit.
How do we know about the past?
(i) Archaeologists and historians study several sources to tell us about the past. There are two sources - archaeological and literary.
(ii) Archaeology: The study of human history and prehistory through the excavation of sites and the analysis of physical remains.
(ii) Inscriptions: Inscriptions are writings on relatively hard surfaces such as stone or metal. In the past, when kings wanted their orders inscribed so that people could see, read and obey them, they used inscriptions for this purpose.
(iv) Archaeologists use sources like monuments, artefacts, inscription and coins.
(v) Handwritten or any other written record of the past is known as a literary source.
(vi) Literary sources include two types of literature - religious literature and secular literature.
(vii) Manuscripts are the books written long ago written by hand. These were written on palm leaves, or on the specially prepared bark of a tree known as the birch, which grows in the Himalayas. These books dealt with all kinds of subjects: religious beliefs and practices, the lives of kings, medicine and science.
Fig: Literary sources for ancient historyWho studied sources of History?
(i) There were two groups of people who studied history. One was called archaeologist and the other group was called historians.
(ii) Archaeologists studied remains of buildings made of stones, bricks, paintings and sculptures.
(iii) The other group called historians were the people who studied the past and used information found in inscriptions, seals and scripts.