IGNOU EHI-02 INDIA:Earlist Times to 800 A.D | IGNOU EHI-02 FREE SOLVED ASSIGNMENTS (2019-20)

INDIA:Earlist Times to 800 A.D


COURSE CODE:EHI-02 (2019-2020) 

Section 1: Answer each question in about 500 words.

Q.1.Discuss the town planning, drainage and architectural features of Harappan civilization.

Ans. The discovery of the Harappan civilization holds a very special significance for the study of Indian history. Harappan civilization was famous for its material characteristics such as town planning, pottery, tools and implements etc. which are described below: -

Town Planning:- Archaeologists like Mortimer Wheeler and Stuart Piggott believed that the Harappan towns had a remarkable unity of conception. This was suggested by the division of each town into two parts. In one part was suggested by the division of each town into two parts. In one part was a raised citadel where the rulers staying in the other part of the town lived the ruled and the poor. This unity of planning would also mean that if one was walking on the streets of Harappa – the houses, the temples, the granaries and the streets themselves will be almost identical to those of Mohenjo-Daro or any other Harappan town for that matter. Harappans towns were located on the flood-plains of rivers, on fringes of deserts or a sea coast. This meant that people living in these different regions faced different kinds of challenges from nature. Their adaption to environment introduced diversity in their town-planning and lifestyle too. Also many large and seemingly important buildings were located in the lower city. 

Drainage system of Harappa:- In Harappan civilization, cities like Mohenjo-Daro showed excellent arrangement for sanitation. The waste water from houses would pass through chutes connected with public drains aligned to the margin of the streets. This again indicates the presence of civic administration which would take decisions for the sanitary requirements of all townsmen. 

Agricultural features of Harappan civilization:- In Harappa, Mohenjo-Daro and Kalibangan, there were some large structure, like the citadel areas, which contained monumental structures which must have had special functions. This is clear the fact that they stood on a high mud brick platform. Among these structures, is the famous ‘Great Bath’ of Mohenjo-Daro. The brick built structure measures 12m by 7m and is about 3m deep. The average citizen seems to have lived in the blocks of houses in the lower city. Here too there were various in the sizes of houses. It could be single room tenements meant for slaves like that the ones discovered near granary in Harappa. There were other houses complete with courtyards and having upto twelve rooms. The bigger houses were provided with private wells and toilets. These houses had much the same plan – a square courtyard around which were a number of rooms. The entrances to the houses were from the narrow lanes which cut the streets at right angles. No windows faced the street. This meant that the road ward facing of the house would be like a row of brick walls. The description of the houses and townships of the Harappan Civilization indicates that there were people who owned large houses. Some of them bathed in an exclusive swimming pool or ‘the great bath’.There were others who lived in barracks. The houses in the lower city also contained a large number of workshops. 

Also Read: IGNOU Free Solved assignments: BEVAE - 181 (2019 - 20)

Q.2.What were the main features of economy and society of the Mauryas?

Ans.There were some features of the economy and society during Mauryan period, which have given below: -

1)Most distinguishing features of the Mauryan economy was the emphasis on state control in agriculture, trade and industry. During this period, it was necessary for the state to levy a variety of taxes. The requirements of resources for the Mauryan state were very high. The taxes realised from the religion of Magadha and adjoining areas were not enough to meet this demand. Therefore, attempts were made to control resources in other parts of the country as well. For example, Kallinga, the Karnataka plateau and western India where Ashoka inscriptions are found, were such areas. To regulate certain types of economic activities in such far off regions, the Mauryas worked out different strategies. This depend on the nature of resources the particular region offered. 

2)The Arthasastra and the inscriptions of Ashoka tell us about the tribes (atavikas, aranya cars) that inhabited the various parts of the empire. They often separated the more developed areas from the less developed areas. Kautilya’s advice to the state was to win them over to a settled agrarian life. He devotes a full chapter to how tribes could by systematically broken up and several methods, fair or unfair, were developed to do this. This was necessary in order that groups of five to ten families could settle down permanently for bringing more land under cultivation. Ashoka’s attitude towards the tribes was paternalistic, but he too warns them that in case they failed to conform or disobeyed orders of the Mahamatras, stern action would be taken against them. Controlling of the forest tribes was important from two points of view: -

a)First, it was necessary for new agrarian settlements to be secure as disturbances from tribes would interrupt their economic development. 

b)Secondly, trade routes often bordered or passed through regions and these had to be made secure. 

It is difficult to have an exact idea of how many tribal groups were thus converted to peasants, but, that the process was encouraged by the state is significant to take note of. Archeological evidence for many parts of India shows habitation sites that were not fully developed as urban centres during this period. The case of innumerable megalith sites, especially those dated to the third century B.C. or so, in many parts of the Deccan and South India, indicate simple farming or pastoral communities with only a limited knowledge of craft production. 

Section 2: Answer each question in about 250 words. 

Q.3.(OR) Discuss the Megalithic culture of India. 

Ans. Most of the information about the iron age in South India comes from the excavations of the megalithic graves. The megalithis usually refers to burials amidst stones in graveyards away from the habitation area. In South India this kind of elaborate burial came with Iron age. Megalithic burials have been reported in large numbers from Maharashtra (around Nagpur) Karnataka (sites like Maski), Andhra Pradesh (Nagarjunkonda), Tamil Nadu (Adichanallur) and Kerala. 

The megalithic burials shaved a variety of methods for the disposal of the dead. In some cases bones of the dead were collected in large urns and buried in a pit. The pit was marked by a stone circle or a capstone or both. In other cases pit circles have been formed with stones for burying the dead. Cist graves made with granite stats have also been reported. In Kerala rock cut chambers have been made for burial. Yet another kind of megalithic burial in stone alignment comp rows of standing stones set in diagonal or square plan. 

Q.4.Discuss the main features of urbanization in the 6th century B.C.?

Ans. The period starting with the sixth century B.C. saw the emergence of cities in ancient India for the second time. The urbanization was more significant in the sense that it endured for a longer time and it saw the beginnings of a literate tradition. There are some main features of urbanization in 6th century B.C. and they are as following: -

1)The urbanization tradition in this era embodies in Buddhism, Jainism and many important strands of Hinduism looks back on this period as its formative epoch. 

2)The archaeological records indicate that many agricultural settlements came into existence between 8th to 6th century B.C. Two factors which proved to be of great help in increasing agricultural production were the increasing use of iron tools and the practice of wet rice cultivation in the middle Gangetic valley. By about 1000 B.C. Indians had learnt the art of smelting iron. Over the next three or four centuries iron came into increasing use. That’s why a large number of iron tools and implements have been found from Ujjain, Sravasti and Hastinapur. Iron weapons in particular have been found in large numbers. Iron had direct impact on the economy too. Iron axes could be used to clear forests and iron plough shares could facilitate agricultural operations. This was especially useful in the middle Gangetic valley, where wet rice cultivation was higher. 

Q.5.Write a detailed note on Shungas and Kushanas.   

Ans.The Shungas: -The Shungas, a brahmna family, possibly originally belonged to the region of Ujjain in Western India, where they worked as officials under the Mauryan kings. The founder of Shunga dynasty was Pushyamitra Shunga who according to tradition, assassinated the last of the Mauryan Kings Brihadartha in 180 B.C. This is corroborated by Bana, the Sanskrit prose writer and court poet of Harshvardhan of Kanuj. Pushyamitra appears to have been a keen supporter of Brahmanism and is known to have undertaken the performance of the ‘asvamedha’ or horse sacrifice, a vedic ritual symbolizing royal glory. 

The Kushanas: -The Kushanas dynasty succeeded Pratihans in the extreme north-west and spread themselves in successive stages in the regions of Northern India. The Kushanas are also referred to as Yueh-chis or Tocharian. They belonged to one of the fine clans of the Yueh-chi tribe. They were a nomadic people, originally from the steppes of North Central Asia, living in the vicinity of China. They were responsible for ousting the Sakas in Bactria and also the Parthians in the Gandhara region. The Kushanas first consolidated territories beyond the Indian border. 

Q.6.Discuss Ashoka’s Dhamma.

Ans. Ashoka Maurya, succeeded to the Mauryan throne about 269 B.C. Many historians consider him as one of the greatest kings of the ancient world. His policy of ‘Dhamma’ has been topic of lively discussion among scholars. The word ‘Dhamma’ is the Prakrit form of Sanskrit word. Dhamma has been variously translated as piety, moral life, righteousness and so on. The principles of Dhamma were so formulated as to be acceptable to people belonging to different communities, and following any religious sect. Dhamma was not given any formal definition of structure. It emphasized on toleration and general behaviour. Dhamma stressed on dual toleration-it emphasized on toleration of people themselves and also on toleration of their various beliefs and ideas. There is a stress on the notion of showing consideration towards slaves and servants; there is stress also on obedience to elders; generosity towards the needy, Brahmnas and Sramanas, etc. The policy of Dhamma also laid stress on non-violence. Non-violence was to be practised by giving up war and conquests and also a restraint on the killing of animals. The policy of ‘Dhamma’ also included certain welfare measures, like planting of trees, digging of wells, etc. 

Section 3: Answer in about 100 words each. 

Q.7.Write short notes on any two of the following: 

(i) Gautama Buddha. 

Ans.Gautama Buddha:-Buddhism was founded by Gautama Buddha, who had been given the name Siddhartha by his parents. His father was Suddhodana, the chief of the Sakya clan and mother was Maya, princess of the Koliya clan. He was born in the Lumbini grove in Nepal, Tarai Gautam spent six years as a wandering ascetic. From a sage named Alara Kalama he learned the technique of mediation and teachings of Upanishadas. He practised rigid austerities and resorted to different kinds of self torture to find the truth. 

(ii) Rig Veda. 

Ans.Rig Veda:- Rig Veda is one of the important literary sources of ancient India to know the early vedic history. Among four veda, Rig veda is the earliest veda. The Rig veda comprises ten books or “Mandalas” of which books II to VII are considered to be the earliest and belong specially to the early Vedic phase. Books I, VIII, IX and X are considered to the later additions to Rig veda. Scholars found similarities in the language used in Rig veda and the Avesta, the oldest Iranian texts, older to Rig veda.





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