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08 Feb

Ancient India Customs and Practices

What, Where, How and When?
• Narmada: earliest people who lived here were skilled gatherers; they knew about the vast
wealth of plants in the surrounding forests, and collected roots, fruits for food; also
hunted animals.
• Sulaiman and Kirthar hills: current Sindh; where women and men first began to grow
crops such as wheat and barley about 8000 years ago; rearing animals.
• Garo Hills & Vindhya: where agriculture developed; rice was first grown to the north of
the Vindhyas.
• Indus: 4700 years ago, some of the earliest cities flourished on the banks
• Son, a Ganga tributary: Magadha rulers were very powerful, and set up a large kingdom.
On the trail of the earliest people
• Factory Sites: places where stone was found and where people made tools are known as
factory sites.
• Habitation-cum-factory: sometimes, people lived here for longer spells of time.
• Kurnool Site: current A.P; traces of ash have been found here. This suggests that people
were familiar with the use of fire.
• Paleolithic: importance is finding of stone tools; period extends from 2 million years ago
to about 12,000 years ago;long stretch of time is divided into the Lower, Middle and
Upper Palaeolithic. This long span of time covers 99% of human history.
• Mesolithic: environmental changes; 12,000 years ago till about 10,000 years ago; stone
tools 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.
• Ostrich in India: palaeolithic period; large quantities shells were found at Patne in
Maharashtra; designs engraved on some pieces.
From gathering to growing food
• Climate of the world was changing, and so were plants and animals that people used as
• They look after plants and also grow – farmers.
• First animal to be tamed was the wild ancestor of the dog; later relatively gentle animals
to come near the camps where they lived such as sheep, goat, cattle; protect these animals
from wild attacks – herders
• Domestication was a gradual process, began about 12,000 years ago.


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