I am starting a new category on the History of the World before 1 CE. I find this period to be very fascinating as interesting personalities lived in India at that time. This include, Buddha, Mahavira, Chanakya, Chandra Gupta Maurya, and Panini. It was at this time that Alexander passed through the North Western border of India, which many historians, enthusiastically call, “Alexander’s invasion of India”. By concentrating on that period, I want to find out how life was in that era and what influenced these people.
So first let’s go back to neolithic age or New Stone Age (8.000 – 5.500 BC). Contrary to popular belief, rice cultivation may have started in India, according to some “new archeological discovery”:http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/cms.dll/html/uncomp/articleshow?artid=23873
bq. Recent excavations at Jhusi by the Department of Ancient History, Culture and Archaeology, University of Allahabad, has revealed that this area had become the nuclear region of rice cultivation during the Neolithic phase.
The excavations were carried out at Jhusi, about 9KM from Allahabad and
bq. Fossil of animals like the cow, sheep, goat, boar and barasingha indicate that the area was characterised by grassy lands with few trees but not dense forests. Marshy lands and lakes also seem to have been present. Fish definitely constituted an important item of their diet.
If this is true, then the Gangetic plain was not a dense forest as believed. Remember, it was after 5500 BC that the Mohanjedaro-Harappa Civilization flourished in the Indus Valley.
Now let’s move a few thousand years to 2100-1700 B.C. There have been excavations in at the ancient town of Gilund in southern Rajasthan and they have revealed
bq. a bin filled with more than 100 seal impressions dating to 2100-1700 B.C. The existence of the seals, and their particular styles, offer surprising new evidence for the apparent complexity of this non-literate, late and post-Indus Civilization-era culture, according to Dr. Gregory Possehl, UPM curator and excavation co-director.
This is located 200 miles away from the Indus Valley. What does this say about the people who lived during that time ?
bq. the unexpected collection of so many seal impressions strongly points to the presence of a populate of elite citizens who used stamps as identification of themselves and their elevated status–and who marked commodities that were stored in this building under their control.
The “website”:http://www.museum.upenn.edu/new/research/possehl/ahar-banas.shtml has pictures of the seal impressions and photos of the location where the excavations were done.