Services (Prelims) Examination Special
Quick Revision Notes
history forms an important part of the General Awareness paper of Civil Services
(Prelims) Examination. Based on analysis of types of questions asked in previous
years, we have compiled this feature to help you to be better prepared for the
examination, as also to make your preparation easier. This will be a regular
feature in the magazine and in coming months we will also provide you with
similar notes on Indian Constitution and other topics.
and Vedic Civilisation
Ancient geographers referred to
Himalayas, as also their less elevated offshootâ€” the Patkai, Lushai and
Chittagong hills in the east and the Sulaiman and Kirthar ranges in the westâ€”
Jambu-dvipa was considered to be
the innermost of seven concentric island-continents into which the earth, as per
Hindu cosmographers, was supposed to have been divided. The Indian sub-continent
is said to part of Jambu-dvipa.
Sapta sindhavah is the name of the
country of the Aryans in the Vedas.
In the ancient literature, there
are references of India being divided into five divisions. In the centre of the
Indo-Gangetic plains was the Madhya-desh, stretching from river
Saraswati, which flowed past Thanesar and Pehowa (present-day Haryana) to
Allahabad and Varanasi. The western part of this area was known as Brahamrishi-desh,
and the entire region was roughly equivalent to Aryavrata as described in
the grammar of Patanjali. To the north of Madhya-desh lay Uttarapatha
and to its west Aparanta (Western India), to its south Dakshinapath or
Deccan and to its east Purvadesh. The term Dakshinapath was in some
ancient works restricted to the upper Deccan, north of river Krishna and far
south was termed as Tamilakam or the Tamil country.
The Negritos were the first
human inhabitants of India. Originally, they came from Africa through Arabia,
Iran and Baluchistan. They have practically disappeared from the soil of India,
except in Andaman Islands.
The Munda languages belong
to the Austro-Asiatic family and are to be found at present in the eastern half
of Central India, southern border of the Himalayas and Kashmir and the territory
east of Nepal.
Prakit was the single language of
Indian sub-continent in third century B.C. Sanskrit came into being a few
The term Paleolithic is
derived from two Greek words meaning Old Stone. This name is applied to the
earliest people as the only evidence of their existence is furnished by a number
of rude stone implements.
Paleolithic men in India are also
known as Quartzite men from the fact that majority of chipped stones
found in different parts of India are made of hard rock called quartzite.
Paleolithic paintings have been
found in caverns at Singanpur near Raigarh in Madhya Pradesh, as also in Kaimur
ranges and some places in Mirzapur district.
With the advent of age of metals,
in Northern India, copper replaced stone as ordinary material for tools and
weapons. And, it took several centuries for iron to replace copper. In Southern
India, however, the Iron Age immediately succeeded the Stone Age.
The Indus civilization existed in
the same period as those of Egypt, Assyria and Babylonia.
Mohenjodaro was discovered by R.D.
Banerjee in 1922 and Harappa by R.B. Dayaram Sahni. Later on, the work
was taken over by Sir John Marshall, Director- General of Archeology.
The fertile surrounding region of
Mohenjodaro is called Nakhlistan or the Garden of Sind.
It is presumed that Iron was not
known to the Indus Valley civilisation as not a single scrap of iron has been
found in the excavations at various sites.