Ancient India is an important part of History Syllabus for UPSC IAS/PSC Prelims Exams. Most of the questions related to History, Art and Culture have been appearing from this section in Prelims Exam. Candidates are advised to go through previous year questions to fully understand the nature of questions from Ancient History Part.
1. Paleolithic age
- Handaxe, cleavers and choppers were characteristic stone tools of Lower Paleolithic Age.
- These tools were used for chopping, digging and skinning.
- In India such tools have been excavated from many sites such as Belan valley in Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh, Didwana in Rajasthan, Bhimbetka in Madhya Pradesh, etc.
- Tools made on flakes were predominantly used during Middle Paleolithic. Upper Paleolithic Age was characterized by use of tools made on blades and flakes.
Paleolithic groups developed increasingly complex tools and objects made of stone and natural fibers.
Language, art, scientific inquiry, and spiritual life were some of the most important innovations of the Paleolithic era.
2. Mesolithic Age
In Mesolithic period, small stone tools were made. These were used as composite tools and were hafted in woods, bones, etc. Due to small size of the tools, Mesolithic period is also known as Microlithic period Such small tools were an adaptation to new environment where small animals, birds and fishes were abundant.
The period of the earth’s history called the Stone Age was filled with remarkable achievements, made by early humans who roamed the globe following large animals around for food and for clothing. These early nomadic humans called hunter-gatherers needed tools and weapons that would be strong enough to take down animals much larger than what our minds can imagine today.
We called this time the Stone Age because of the tools that early humans used during the period that were crafted from stone. The period began in different places around the world, earlier in places like Africa (2.5 million years ago), and later in places like China (1.7 million years ago).
The first part of the Stone Age was called the Paleolithic Age, also known as the Old Stone Age when the world was particularly cold You could also call this period the Ice Age, when most of the world was covered in ice. Early humans would have needed large animals for their fur in order to make clothing to keep warm and survive.
Neolithic Age was the last phase of Stone Age. The beginning of Neolithic Age is characterized by crop farming and cultivation. This significant change in subsistence resulted in far reaching changes in socio-economic life of people. People transformed their nomadic life into sedentary and settled life. Such changes took relatively less time. This is why the farming practice of that time is called Agricultural Revolution.
The next period of the Stone Age, the world warmed considerably and the Ice Age came to an end This middle part of the Stone Age was known as the Mesolithic Age.
In India, the period began about 12,000 BCE and lasted until 2,000 BCE.
- On the bank of river Kothari in Bhilwara District.
- Most ancient source of animal husbandry is found here.
- Tools are excavated in large numbers.
- Excavated by Virendranath Mishra.
- Biggest Mesolithic Site in India.
- On the bank of river Luni in Barmer district.
- Evidence of animal husbandry is found here.
- Excavated by Virendranath Mishra.
The term Chalcolithic is a combination of two words- Chalcolithic was derived from the Greek words “khalkos” + “líthos” which means “copper” and “stone” or Copper Age. It is also known as the Eneolithic or Æneolithic (from Latin aeneus “of copper”) is an archaeological period that is usually considered to be part of the broader Neolithic (although it was originally defined as a transition between the Neolithic and the Bronze Age).
People in this phase used copper tools along with stone tools; hence it is given such name. Chalcolithic Age is considered to be a transition between Stone Age and Bronze Age.
- Also known as Banas Culture.
- Six Hearth stone are found from a single home which shows the evidence of joint families living under the same roof.
- Black and Red Ware pottery were found here.
- Other important sites were Gilund, Balathal, Pachamta, etc.
Chalcolithic Sites in Indian Sub-Continent:
- Indus Region
- Ganges Region
- Brahmaputra Region
- Mahanadi Region
- Chambal Region
- Paramar kheri
- Ghanta Bilaod
- Saurashtra Region
- Prashas Patan
- Narmada Region
- Tapi Region
- Godavari-Pravara Region
10. Bhima Region
- Karnataka Region
The first metal to be used at the end of the Neolithic period was copper which was used in addition to stone by several cultures. The cultures to use stone and copper implements were known as Chalcolithic which means stone-copper phase. The main occupations of the phase were hunting, fishing, and farming.
Following are some Multiple Choice Questions of Ancient History. These questions are also useful for UPSC CSE/State PCS Prelims Exams.
- Cleavers and Handaxe were characteristic tools of
(A) Lower Paleolithic Age
(B) Middle Paleolithic Age
(C) Upper Paleolithic Age
(D) Iron Age
2. Chalcolithic Age is also known as
(A) Iron Age
(B) Stone Age
(C) Copper Age
(D) Neolithic Age
3. Mature phase of Harappan civilisation is dated between
(A) 3000 BC to 2000 BC
(B) 4000 BC to 3000 BC
(C) 1500 BC to 1000 BC
(D) 2600 BC to 1900 BC
4. Chirand in Bihar is a
(A) Lower Paleolithic site
(B) Mesolithic site
(C) Middle Paleolithic site
(D) Neolithic site
5. Which of the following is also known as Microlithic period?
6. Which of the following is correct about Indus Valley Civilisation?
- The cities were planned
- Non- standardized weights were used
- There was elaborate water drainage system
Select using following codes:
(A) 1 only
(B) 2 only
(C) 1 and 3 only
(D) 3 only
7. At which of the following Indus Valley Civilization yarns of spun cotton have been found?
8. Which of the following deity was not worshiped in Indus valley civilization?
(B) Peepal tree
(D) Mother goddess
9. the most common motif found on the seals of Indus Valley Civilisation is
10. Agricultural Revolution took place in
(A) Paleolithic Age
(B) Mesolithic Age
(C) Neolithic Age
(D) Iron Age