India is home to one of the richest and the most ancient civilizations in the world, which existed over 5,000 years ago. This civilization originated in the Indus River Valley, hence the name given to it was Indus Valley civilization. It is the origin of many of the ideas, philosophies and movements which have shaped the destiny of mankind. The civilization with its main cities Mohenjadaro and Harappa flourished for over eight centuries. Its people thought to be Dravidians, whose descendants still inhabit the far south of India.
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The history of India begins with evidence of human activity of Homo sapiens as long as 75,000 years ago, or with earlier hominids including Homo erectus from about 500,000 years ago. The Indus Valley Civilization, which spread and flourished in the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent from c. 3300 to 1300 BCE, was the first major civilization in India. A sophisticated and technologically advanced urban culture developed in the Mature Harappan period, from 2600 to 1900 BCE. This Bronze Age civilization collapsed before the end of the second millennium BCE and was followed by the Iron Age Vedic Civilization, which extended over much of the Indo-Gangetic plain and which witnessed the rise of major polities known as the Mahajanapadas. In one of these kingdoms, Magadha, Mahavira and Gautama Buddha were born in the 6th or 5th century BCE and propagated their Å›ramanic philosophies.
Almost all of the subcontinent was conquered by the Maurya Empire during the 4th and 3rd centuries BCE. It subsequently became fragmented, with various parts ruled by numerous Middle kingdoms for the next 1,500 years. This is known as the classical period of Indian history, during which India has sometimes been estimated to have had the largest economy of the ancient and medieval world, controlling between one third and one fourth of the world’s wealth up to the 18th century.
Much of northern and central India was once again united in the 4th century CE, and remained so for two centuries thereafter, under the Gupta Empire. This period, witnessing a Hindu religious and intellectual resurgence, is known among its admirers as the “Golden Age of India”. During the same time, and for several centuries afterwards, southern India, under the rule of the Chalukyas, Cholas, Pallavas, and Pandyas, experienced its own golden age. During this period, aspects of Indian civilization, administration, culture, and religion (Hinduism and Buddhism) spread to much of Asia.
The southern state of Kerala had maritime business links with the Roman Empire from around 77 CE. Islam was introduced in Kerala through this route by Muslim traders. Muslim rule in the subcontinent began in 712 CE when the Arab general Muhammad bin Qasim conquered Sindh and Multan in southern Punjab,setting the stage for several successive invasions from Central Asia between the 10th and 15th centuries CE, leading to the formation of Muslim empires in the Indian subcontinent such as the Delhi Sultanate and the Mughal Empire.
Mughal rule came to cover most of the northern parts of the subcontinent. Mughal rulers introduced Middle Eastern art and architecture to India. In addition to the Mughals and various Rajput kingdoms, several independent Hindu states, such as the Vijayanagara Empire, the Maratha Empire, and the Ahom Kingdom, flourished contemporaneously in southern, western, and northeastern India respectively. The Mughal Empire suffered a gradual decline in the early 18th century, which provided opportunities for the Afghans, Balochis, Sikhs, and Marathas to exercise control over large areas in the northwest of the subcontinent until the British East India Company gained ascendancy over South Asia.
Beginning in the mid-18th century and over the next century, India was gradually annexed by the British East India Company. Dissatisfaction with Company rule led to the Indian Rebellion of 1857, after which India was directly administered by the British Crown and witnessed a period of both rapid development of infrastructure and economic decline. During the first half of the 20th century, a nationwide struggle for independence was launched by the Indian National Congress and later joined by the Muslim League. The subcontinent gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1947, after being partitioned into the dominions of India and Pakistan.
WHAT ARE THE ARTIFACTS ?
An artifact or artefact is any object made or modified by a human. “Artifact” is the usual spelling in the US and Canada, “artefact” in the UK and Australasia (see spelling differences). In archaeology, where the term is most commonly used, an artifact is an object recovered by some archaeological endeavor, which may have a cultural interest. Examples include stone tools such as projectile points, pottery vessels, metal objects such as guns, and items of personal adornment such as buttons, jewellery and clothing. Other examples include bone that show signs of human modification, fire cracked rocks from a hearth or plant material used for food.
Imported Mycenaean stirrup vase found in the acropolis of Ras Shamra (Ugarit), 1400-1300 BC
Artifacts can come from any archaeological context or source such as:
Buried along with a body (grave goods).
From any feature such as a midden or other domestic setting
Artifacts are distinguished from the main body of the archaeological record such as stratigraphic features, which are non-portable remains of human activity, such as hearths, roads, or deposits and remains, and from biofacts or ecofacts, which are objects of archaeological interest made by other organisms, such as seeds or animal bone.
Natural objects which have been moved but not changed by humans are called manuports. Examples would include seashells moved inland or rounded pebbles placed away from the water action that would have fashioned them.
These distinctions are often blurred: for instance, a bone removed from an animal carcass is a biofact, but a bone carved into a useful implement is an artifact. Similarly there can be debate over early stone objects which may be crude artifacts or which may be naturally occurring phenomena that only appear to have been used by humans.
Head of the Buddha, Gandhara style, Stucco, 5th Century
Around five thousand years ago, an important civilization developed on the Indus River floodplain. From about 2600 B.C. to 1700 B.C. a vast number of settlements were built on the banks of the Indus River and surrounding areas. These settlements cover a remarkable region, almost 1.25 million kilometers of land which is today part of Afghanistan, Pakistan and north-western India. The cities of the Indus Valley Civilization were well-organized Pot shards from Harappa and solidly built out of brick and stone. Their drainage systems, wells and water storage systems were the most sophisticated in the ancient world. They also developed systems of weights and trade. They made jewelery and game pieces and toys for their children. From looking at the structures and objects which survive we are able to learn about the people who lived and worked in these cities so long ago. The people of the Indus Valley Civilization also developed a writing system which was used for several hundred years. However, unlike some other ancient civilizations, we are still unable to read the words that they wrote.
The excavations at Mohenjo-daro
Mohenjo-Daro (English: Mound of the dead) was a city of the Indus Valley Civilization built around 2600 BC and is located in the Sindh Province of Pakistan. This ancient five thousand year old city is the largest of Indus Valley and is widely recognized as one of the most important early cities of South Asia and the Indus Valley Civilization. Mohenjo Daro was one of the world’s first cities and contemporaneous with ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilizations. It is sometimes referred to as “An Ancient Indus Valley Metropolis”.
Mohenjo-Daro, Harappa and their civilization, vanished without trace from history until discovered in the 1920s. It was extensively excavated in the 1920s, but no in-depth excavations have been carried out since the 1960s.
The excavations at Mohenjo-Daro
Mohenjo-Daro is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The most extensive recent work at the site has focused on attempts at conservation of the standing structures, undertaken by UNESCO in collaboration with the Department of Archaeology and Museums, as well as various foreign consultants. In December 1996, preservation work at the 500-acre site suspended after funding from the government and international organizations ran out, according to a resident archaeologist. However in April 1997, the UN Educational, Scientific and Culture Organization (UNESCO) funded $10 million to a project to be conducted over two decades in order to protect the Mohenjo-daro ruins from flooding. This project has been a success so far. UNESCO’s efforts to save Mohenjo-daro was one of the key events that led the organization to establish World Heritage Sites
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India is home to one of the richest and the most ancient civilizations in the world, which existed over 5,000 years ago. This civilization originated in the Indus River Valley, hence the name given to it was Indus Valley civilization. It was the origin of many of the ideas, philosophies and movements which have shaped the destiny of mankind. Its people are thought to be Dravidians, whose descendants still inhabit the far south of India.
Above articles shows that the real picture of indian culture and its value.
Artifacts and indian texts like (MAHABAHARTA, RAMANYANA etc) shows the indian culture and society in the ancient time.we can easily find out our indian history with the help of artifacts and indian text. Many historians had found the history of taj mahal or all other monuments with help of artifacts or as well as texts , it also found that how many years ago can monuments was built? What was the structures?
Artifacts are mainly as simple indicators to give us the knowledge about past.
Jewelry is an important part of Indian culture and these artifacts are insightful into the lives of the previous owners. For example, it is known in part through jewelry that before European settlement it was not uncommon for Native tribes to trade amongst themselves as the materials used in the jewelry are interchangeable. Not only were the materials such as beads, shells, copper, silver, ivory, amber, and turquoise traded but it is also likely that designs and patterns were intermingled due to similarities in the pieces. Jewelry artifacts from Indians were typically either metalwork or beadwork. The styles were often constructed by hammering and etching to create pendants as well as stitching countless beads together. It is also of interest that these artifacts were not only used for decoration but may also have served religious purposes.
According to my analysis , Indian artifacts are responsible our indian ancient culture.
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