Ancient History of Bihar Part - 1 : Pre History of Bihar
Pre History of Bihar notes/study material for preparation of BPSC Prelims and Mains and other Bihar state examinations.
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History of human evolution is divided into two parts :
- Time period before humans learnt the skill of writing . This period is called Pre-historic period.
- Time period after the humans learnt the skill of writing. This period is called the Historic period.
So, the history of the human past before the emergence of writing is called the prehistoric period.
As there are no written records available for this period, Our study of this period is mainly based on the archaeological remains ( Ex.- Stone tools, Pottery, Artifacts) that have been excavated by the archaeologist.
Such archaeological remains are found in different parts of India including Bihar which help us in reconstructing the history of that time.
Classification of Prehistoric period
Prehistoric period has been divided into various stages/ages on the basis of nature and types of stone implements used by the primitive men.
In India, the prehistoric period/Stone Age is divided into :
- Paleolithic (Old Stone Age) – Timeline – 30,00,000 BC to 1,00,000 BC
- Mesolithic (Middle Stone Age) – Timeline – 1,00,000 BC to 40000 BC
- Neolithic (New Stone Age) – Timeline – 40,000 BC to 12,000 BC
You can read more about the Prehistoric period in India here : Prehistoric period in India
Let us continue with the study of the prehistoric period in Bihar.
Prehistoric archaeological remains have been unearthed from various sites in Bihar. Some of the worth noting points are mentioned below:
- Paleolithic age ( Old stone age ) evidence has been discovered from Munger and Nalanda.
- Mesolithic age ( Middle stone age ) evidence has been discovered from Hazaribagh, Ranchi, Singhbhum and Santhal Pargana (However all of these places are now in Jharkhand, hence out of scope for now).
- Neolithic ( New stone age ) evidence has been discovered from Chirand (Saran district) and Chechar (Vaishali).
The Neolithic period was followed by the Chalcolithic/Metal age. It was the time when humans began using metals along with stones.
First metal used by humans was Copper. Hence this age was also called the ‘Copper-Stone’ age.
A number of Chalcolithic sites have been discovered in various parts of the country including Ganga plains of Bihar. Important Chalcolithic sites in Bihar include:
- Chirand (Saran)
- Muner (Patna),
- Champa (Bhagalpur),
- Chechar-Kutubpur (Vaishali),
- Taradih (Gaya)
Prehistoric rock paintings have been discovered from the Kaimur, Nawada and Jamui region of Bihar. These paintings depict the lifestyle of people during that time. The pictures depict human activities like dancing, hunting, walking etc.
Out of all the prehistoric sites, Chrirand is the most important site that has evidence of unbroken historical and cultural sequences down to the present day.
Most Important Prehistoric site of Bihar - Chirand :
Chirand is an archaeological site in the Saran district of Bihar and situated on the northern bank of the Ganga River.
The excavations in Chirand have revealed stratified Neolithic, Chalcolithic, and Iron Age settlement and provide the details about the transitions in human habitation patterns from around 2500 BC to 30 AD.
Major findings in Chirand:
- A large prehistoric mound which is known for its continuous archaeological record from the Neolithic age (about 2500–1345 BC) till the period of Pal dynasty.
- Axes made of quartzite, basalt and granite
- Paddy husk impressions
- Evidence of use of Copper and iron
- Cache of 88 Kushan period coins
- Handmade pottery
- Hearths and oblong shaped ovens
- Pendants, ear-rings, bangles, discs and combs
- Terracotta figurines such as humped bulls, birds, snakes, and human female figurines.
- Ornaments made from tortoise and ivory
This completes our study of Pre historic period in Bihar. As there is not much evidence of Indus valley Civilization in Bihar, In the next chapter, We will study about the Arrival of Aryans and Mahajanapadas period in Bihar.
Bihar Ancient History MCQs
In the next Chapter, we will study about the Arrival of Aryans and Mahajanapadas period in Bihar.
You can study complete history of Bihar in a chapterwise format here : History of Bihar Chapter-wise notes
You can study complete study material for BPSC here : Complete BPSC free study material
You can study complete ancient history of India in a chapterwise format here : Ancient History Chapter-wise notes
You can solve ancient history of India chapterwise MCQs here : Ancient History Chapter-wise MCQs
You can read all the CivilsCracker Explained articles for Ancient History here : CivilsCracker Explained
You can solve chapterwise MCQs for all subjects here : Chapterwise MCQs for all subjects
Mauryan Empire and Chandragupta Maurya notes/study material for preparation of BPSC Prelims and Mains and other Bihar state examinations
Shishunaga Dynasty notes/study material for preparation of BPSC Prelims and Mains and other Bihar state examinations
Haryanka Dynasty notes/study material for preparation of BPSC Prelims and Mains and other Bihar state examinations
Arrival of Aryans and Mahajanapadas period in Bihar notes/study material for preparation of BPSC Prelims and Mains and other Bihar state examinations