India is a South Asian country named after the Indus River. In its constitution, the term ‘Bharata’ is used as a designation for the country, referring to the Ancient Indiat legendary ruler, Bharata, whose narrative is chronicled in part in the Indian epic Mahabharata.
Bharata conquered the whole Indian subcontinent and administered it in peace and harmony, according to the Puranas (religious/historical texts written down in the 5th century CE).. As a result, the area became known as Bharatavarsha (Bharata’s subcontinent). The Indian subcontinent has been populated for about 250,000 years, making it one of the world’s oldest inhabited places.
Archaeological digs have uncovered items used by early humans, such as stone tools, implying an unusually early age for human settlement and technology in the region. While Mesopotamia and Egypt have long been acknowledged for their famous contributions to civilization, India has often been ignored, particularly in the West, despite its equally rich history and culture. The Indus Valley Civilization (c. 7000-c. 600 BCE) was one of the greatest of the ancient world, spanning more land than Egypt or Mesopotamia and generating a civilization that was equally dynamic and advanced.
It is the origin of four main global religions: Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism, as well as the Charvaka intellectual system, which inspired the development of scientific thought and investigation. Many parts of contemporary life that we take for granted today were invented and innovated by the inhabitants of ancient India, including the flush toilet, drainage and sewer systems, public pools, mathematics, veterinary science, plastic surgery, board games, yoga and meditation, and many more. India’s Prehistory
Archaeologists and researchers have found the richest sites of the most ancient ancestry in present-day India, Pakistan, and Nepal. Homo heidelbergensis (a proto-human progenitor of current Homo sapiens) lived in the Indian subcontinent for millennia before people migrated to the region known as Europe. Homo heidelbergensis was found in Germany in 1907, and subsequent finds have shown pretty definite migratory pathways of this species out of Africa.
The recognition of the antiquity of their presence in India has been primarily owing to the relatively late archaeological interest in the area, since western excavations in India did not begin in earnest until the 1920s, unlike work in Mesopotamia and Egypt. Though the ancient city of Harappa was known to exist as early as 1829, its archaeological significance was overlooked, and subsequent excavations corresponded to an interest in locating the locations mentioned in the famous Indian epics Mahabharata and Ramayana (both from the 5th or 4th century BCE), while dismissing the possibility of a much older past for the region.
To provide just one example, the hamlet of Balathal (near Udaipur in Rajasthan) goes back to 4000 BCE, demonstrating the antiquity of India’s history. Balathal was found in 1962, although excavations did not begin until the 1990s CE. Far older is the Neolithic settlement of Mehrgarh, which was found in 1974 and is dated at 7000 BCE but shows signs of even earlier occupancy.
Archaeological excavations in India and, by extension, world history have changed drastically in the last 50 years. The oldest evidence of leprosy in India is a 4000-year-old skeleton unearthed in Balathal in 2009. Prior to this discovery, leprosy was assumed to be a much younger illness that had been spread from Africa to Ancient India and then from India to Europe by Alexander the Great’s army after his death in 323 BCE.
Many historical assumptions based on earlier studies in Egypt and Mesopotamia must now be examined and changed, as it is now recognized that considerable human activity was ongoing in India by the Holocene Period (10,000 years ago). Now that the beginnings of India’s Vedic tradition, which is being practiced today, can be traced back to indigenous people living in ancient locations like Balathal and their interaction and blending with the culture of Aryan migrants who came in the region between c.. 2000 and c. 1500 BCE, kicking off the so-called Vedic Period (c. 1500-c.500 BCE) during which the Hindu scriptures known as the Veda were written.
Leave a Reply