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Exam Ready Notes History

Match the following:
Narmada Valley                                  The first big kingdom
Magadha                                               Hunting and gathering
Garo hills                                             Cities about 2500 years ago
Indus and its tributaries                        Early agriculture
Ganga Valley                                         The first cities

SOME IMPORTANT  DATES
  •  the beginning of agriculture (8000 years ago)
  • the first cities on the Indus (4700 years ago)
  • cities in the Ganga valley, a big kingdom in Magadha (2500 years ago)
  • the present (about 2000 AD/CE)
  • the Mesolithic period (12,000-10,000 years ago)
  • the beginning of the Neolithic (10,000 years ago)
Rosetta is a town on the north coast of Egypt, and here an inscribed
stone was found, which contained inscriptions in three different languages
and scripts (Greek, and two forms of Egyptian). Scholars who could read
Greek figured out that the names of kings and queens were enclosed in a
little frame, called a cartouche.

inscriptions are written on hard surfaces. Many of these
were written several hundreds of years ago. All inscriptions contain both
scripts and languages. Languages which were used, as well as scripts,
have changed over time. So how do scholars understand what was written?
This can be done through a process known as decipherment.


BC, we have seen stands for ‘Before Christ.’
You will sometimes find AD before dates. This
stands for two Latin words, ‘Anno Domini’, meaning
‘in the year of the Lord’ (i.e. Christ). So 2005 can
also be written as AD 2005.
Sometimes CE is used instead of AD and BCE
instead of BC. The letters CE stand for ‘Common
Era’ and BCE for ‘Before Common Era’. We use
these terms because the Christian Era is now used
in most countries of the world. In India we began
using this form of dating from about two hundred
years ago.
And sometimes, the letters BP meaning ‘Before
Present’ are used


Historians, that is, scholars who study the past,
often use the word source to refer to the information
found from manuscripts, inscriptions and
archaeology. Once sources are found, learning
about the past becomes an adventure, as we
reconstruct it bit by bit. So historians and
archaeologists are like detectives, who use all these
sources like clues to find out about our pasts.

Bhimbetka (in presentday Madhya Pradesh). Some sites, known as habitation sites, are  places where people lived. These include caves and rock shelters such as the one shown here. People chose these
natural caves because they provided shelter from the rain, heat and wind. Natural caves and rock shelters are found in the Vindhyas and the Deccan plateau. These rock shelters are close to the Narmada valley

Sites are places where the remains of things (tools, pots, buildings etc.) were found. These were made, used and left behind by people. These may be found on the surface of the earth, buried under the earth, or sometimes even under water.

Stone tools were probably made using two
different techniques:
1. The first is called stone on stone. Here, the
pebble from which the tool was to be made (also
called the core) was held in one hand. Another
stone, which was used as a hammer was held in
the other hand. The second stone was used to
strike off flakes from the first, till the required
shape was obtained.
2. Pressure flaking: Here the core was placed
on a firm surface. The hammer stone was used
on a piece of bone or stone that was placed on
the core, to remove flakes that could be shaped
into tools.

Names and dates
Archaeologists have given lengthy names for the time that we are studying.
They call the earliest period the Palaeolithic. This comes from two Greek
words, ‘palaeo’, meaning old, and ‘lithos’, meaning stone. The name points
to the importance of finds of stone tools. The Palaeolithic period extends
from 2 million years ago to about 12,000 years ago. This long stretch of
time is divided into the Lower, Middle and Upper Palaeolithic. This long
span of time covers 99% of human history.
The period when we find environmental changes, beginning about
12,000 years ago till about 10,000 years ago is called the Mesolithic (middle
stone). Stone tools found during this period are generally tiny, and are
called microliths. Microliths were probably stuck on to handles of bone or
wood to make tools such as saws and sickles. At the same time, older
varieties of tools continued to be in use

The next stage, from about 10,000 years ago, is known as the Neolithic.
Many of the caves in which these early people
lived have paintings on the walls. Some of the
best examples are from Madhya Pradesh and
southern Uttar Pradesh. These paintings
show wild animals, drawn with great accuracy
and skill.

Ostriches were found in India during the
Palaeolithic period. Large quantities of ostrich egg
shells were found at Patne in Maharashtra. Designs
were engraved on some pieces, while beads were
also made out of them

Complete the sentences:
(a) Hunter-gatherers chose to live in caves and rock
shelters because ————————.
(b) Grasslands developed around ———————— years
ago.
(c) Early people painted on the ———————— of caves.
(d) In Hunsgi, tools were made of ————————.


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