top of page
BHIC-102: Social Formations and Cultural Patterns of the Ancient World

BHIC-102: Social Formations and Cultural Patterns of the Ancient World

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2022-23

If you are looking for BHIC-102 IGNOU Solved Assignment solution for the subject Social Formations and Cultural Patterns of the Ancient World, you have come to the right place. BHIC-102 solution on this page applies to 2022-23 session students studying in BAHIH courses of IGNOU.

Looking to download all solved assignment PDFs for your course together?

BHIC-102 Solved Assignment Solution by Gyaniversity

Assignment Solution

Assignment Code: BHIC-102/ASST/TMA/2022-23

Course Code: BHIC-102

Assignment Name: Social Formations and Cultural Patterns of the Ancient World

Year: 2022-2023

Verification Status: Verified by Professor


There are three Sections in the Assignment. You have to answer all questions in the Sections.



Answer the following questions in about 500 words each. 20x2


Q1) Explain in detail the different approaches related to transition to agriculture.

Ans) Domestication of plants and animals did not occur as an abrupt break from hunting and gathering. Long-term exposure to various climatic conditions, as well as the plants and animals that supported them, have improved human communities' horticultural and zoological expertise. The move to agriculture with the use of new, "grounded and polished" instruments and the resulting changes in the look of a village economy and society are the most significant development.


Climatic Stress Hypothesis – The Oasis Theory

One of the main theories regarding the beginnings of agriculture is known as the "Oasis Theory," which holds that humanity first began domesticating plants and animals out of necessity due to climatic change. It has never seemed rational that people switched from hunting and gathering to farming as a means of subsistence. In a world with few people and plenty of resources, archaeologists and anthropologists believe that hunting and gathering are less labor-intensive than ploughing and undoubtedly more flexible.


Cooperation is necessary for agriculture and residing in a settlement has social repercussions like disease, social inequality, ranking, and labour division. In the early part of the 20th century, the majority of European and American social scientists just didn't think that people were creative or inclined to change their ways of life unless forced to. Nevertheless, mankind did alter their way of life at the conclusion of the last Ice Age.


Nuclear-Zone Hypothesis

The climatic hypothesis has continued to engage the attention of scholars ever since the extent of climatic change in the immediate post-Pleistocene epoch with some either doubting or arguing that the climate change had in fact taken place towards the end of the Pleistocene during the Younger Dryas episode when there was an increase in the cold and arid spell.


Therefore, a variety of developments in human culture led to the transition to agriculture. The majority of academics, including Braidwood, believed that agriculture was a revolution and an admirable human accomplishment that had allowed prehistoric people to live in security and leisure.


Demographic Hypothesis

The traditional population dynamics models serve as the basis for the demographic buffering theory. It foresees the use of selection to lessen the variance of the important rates that have the greatest impact on population growth and personal fitness. Rising sea levels at the end of the Pleistocene forced the population of hunter-gatherers toward fishing in Southwest Asia and along the coast of Peru. Population expanded as subsistence practises changed, pushing population densities over the environment's carrying capacity.


Ecological Hypothesis

Ecological model in which human intervention was given utmost primacy. He bases his argument on the following premises:

  1. Food shortages do not give rise to agriculture.

  2. The "hearths of domestication" can be found in locations with a notable diversity of plants and animals, which are also regions with a diverse topography and a changing climate.

  3. River basins, which are prone to flooding and aridity and require irrigation, are not where domestication first started.

  4. In "wooded lands," agriculture was first practised.

  5. The early agriculturalists had already developed specialised abilities that made domestication easier for them.

  6. Since cultivating crops requires constant attention, the agricultural pioneers were already sedentary.


Social Hypothesis

The social models rely on people and organisations having to exchange goods and services and holding feasts and ceremonies to forge social relationships. The people who lived in hunter-gatherer societies were lured into a bartering and trading system for food and non-perishable things. Therefore, the increasing sedentarism of a society centred on food production was caused by the need to produce in order to trade. The risk of famine was decreased as a result of the new arrangements, which increased social sharing and collaboration.


Q2) Examine the development and consolidation of the Sassanid Empire.

Ans) Before the early Muslim invasions of the 7th and 8th century CE, the Sasanian or Sassanid Empire officially known as the Empire of Iranians and also known by historians as the Neo-Persian Empire was the last Iranian empire. It was the longest-lasting Persian imperial dynasty, lasting from 224 to 651 CE and bearing the name of the House of Sasan. In late antiquity, the Sasanian Empire replaced the Parthian Empire and restored Persian dominance alongside its nearby arch-rival, the Roman Empire.


Development and Consolidation of the Sassanid Empire

Ardashir I, an Iranian king who came to power after Parthia was weakened by internal strife and wars with the Romans, formed the empire. He founded the Sasanian dynasty by defeating Artabanus IV, the last Parthian shahanshah, at the Battle of Hormozdgan in 224. He then set out to revive the Achaemenid Empire by enlarging Iran's realm. The Sasanian Empire covered the entirety of modern-day Iran and Iraq, as well as areas of modern-day Pakistan, the eastern Mediterranean, southern Arabia, the Caucasus, and Central Asia during its height of dominance. The Derafsh Kaviani was said to be the Sasanian Empire's vexilloid.


Before the conquest by Arab Muslims under the Rashidun Caliphate and Iran's subsequent islamization, the Sasanian era is regarded as a high point in Iranian history and in many respects represents the pinnacle of ancient Iranian culture. The Sasanians revived Zoroastrianism as a legitimising and unifying force of their rule, while also tolerating the diverse faiths and customs of their people. They also built a sophisticated and structured administrative apparatus. They also supported cultural and educational institutions and erected impressive monuments and public works.


Beyond its borders, the empire had a significant cultural impact on Western Europe, Africa, China, and India, which influenced both European and Asian mediaeval art. Persian culture served as the foundation for most of Islamic culture, having an impact on Muslim countries' works of art, architecture, music, literature, and philosophy.


Shapur I: After the undetermined date of his father's demise, Shapur I came to power in 240–241 CE. A trilingual inscription on the base of a structure known as the Ka'ba of Zoroaster in Persepolis provides some details on the rule of Shapur I. This provides information about military operations, the structure of the empire and its court, as well as the numerous provinces that made up the empire. Gordian III, the emperor of Rome, was defeated militarily by him. The Arab who took his place, Philip, was able to keep it by giving Shapur I a hefty tribute. Shapur invaded Syria and seized power in numerous cities.


Successors of Shapur I: Control over the "non-Iranian" provinces was greatly loosened during the rule of Narseh, Shapur I's son. The regional governors had a great deal of discretion as a result. Western Armenia was already under Tigranes the Great's power thanks to the Romans. The leader of Armenia's eastern region was Narseh. Bahram I and Bahram II, Narseh's forebears, each lost authority over a number of provinces in the empire's east. Another mighty Sassanid king, Shapur II spent most of his 70-year reign fighting different battles to defend the eastern boundaries against the Chionites, "a tribe of presumably Iranian Origin prominent in Bactria." In order to prevent the Arab Bedouins from infiltrating his property, he started building limes in Iraq. He is thought to have drawn inspiration from the Roman limes that were constructed along the Syrian desert's edge.



Answer the following questions in about 250 words each. 10x3


Q1) Who were the Greeks? Write a short note on Mycenaean Civilization.

Ans) The name ‘Greeks’ was given to the people of Greece later by the Romans. They lived in mainland Greece and the Greek islands, but also in colonies scattered around the Mediterranean Sea. There were Greeks in Italy, Sicily, Turkey, North Africa, and as far west as France. They sailed the sea to trade and find new lands. The Greeks took their ideas with them, and they started a way of life that's similar to the one we have today.


Mycenaean Civilization

The name "Mycenaean" refers to Greek art and civilization between c. 1600 and 1100 B.C. The Peloponnesus location of Mycenae, where a substantial Mycenaean fortified palace formerly stood, is whence the name of the place originates. Homer praises Mycenae as the residence of King Agamemnon, who commanded the Greeks in the Trojan War. In terms of modern archaeology, the location originally rose to prominence as a result of Heinrich Schliemann's mid-1870s excavations, which unearthed artefacts whose splendour and age appeared to match Homer's description of Agamemnon's palace. The Shaft Graves at Mycenae demonstrate to a strong elite culture that thrived in the four centuries that followed thanks to the enormous material richness that was left behind.


The prosperity of the Greek mainland's Mycenaean era was concentrated on cities like Mycenae, Tiryns, Thebes, and Athens. Local craftsmen created decorative glass ornaments, carved gem jewellery, vases made of precious metals, and practical pottery and bronze goods. Mycenaean culture, particularly in the arts, was significantly shaped and developed as a result of contact with Minoan Crete. Mycenaean items were traded widely from Spain and the Levant throughout the Mediterranean region. Vases make up the majority of the evidence, although their contents were undoubtedly the main items of commerce.


The Mycenaeans were not only daring traders but also outstanding engineers who created amazing bridges, defensive walls, and beehive-shaped tombs using Cyclopean masonry and complex irrigation and drainage systems. In Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, their palace cities, "golden Mycenae" and "sandy Pylos," are described. A new script called Linear B was used by palace scribes to record an early Greek language. The best surviving of its kind Linear B tablets, found in the Mycenaean palace at Pylos, indicate that the king presided over a highly organised feudal system.


Q2) Write a note on the settlements and architecture of the Egyptian civilization.

Ans) Less and less frequently, there is evidence of towns and communities. South Egyptian cities like Hierakonpolis, Abydos, Elephantine, and Edfu are significant. The majority of the settlements were little provincial towns. They were encircled by a substantial wall. Every town had a shrine, which was often located inside the perimeter walls. The Libyan desert's oasis were home to significant settlements. These included Farafra, Dakhla, Kharga, and Bahriya. These towns had connections to the Nile valley.


At Dakhla, excavations have uncovered evidence of a wall, pottery kilns, mud-brick buildings, and graveyards. For Egypt's western frontier to be protected, control of the villages and oasis was crucial. The personnel and resources in the desert regions were of importance to the Egyptian government. The areas have abundant diorite, amethyst, copper, and gold mineral resources. In addition to providing access to ebony, panther skins, ivory, and high-quality oils, Nubia was a significant settlement. The copper deposits were located near the Buhen village.


Egypt's centre of religion was Thebes. The magnificent royal burial site served as a royal burial ground for 500 years and was composed of rock-cut tombs. Mummies of ancient Pharaohs and queens can be found in the tomb. The Tutankhamun tomb was located in this area in 1922. The dead bodies were mummified as part of the funeral rites. The embalming of King Seti I of the Nineteenth Dynasty reportedly took 70 days.


Vital organs like the lungs, intestines, liver, and stomach were removed from the body and stored separately in containers called canopic jars, which were then placed inside a lavishly decorated and gilded shrine guarded by four Goddesses: Isis, Nephtys, Neith, and Selkis. The body was then dried with the naturally occurring salt known as natron. The body of the King was covered in linen bandages, stuffed with resin and bundles of linen, and cleansed before being filled with amulets of protection. After the Fourth Dynasty, the number and size of the pyramids significantly decreased regionally.


Q3) Explain the discovery and spread and impact of iron.

Ans) The beginning of the Iron Age coincides with the collapse of Bronze Age civilizations, modifications in warfare, the arrival of nomadic peoples, changes in trade ties, etc. The most notable effect of iron was the evolution of military tactics in terms of armoury, weapons, chariots, etc. Around the eighth to seventh century BCE, iron was gradually incorporated into agricultural tools, which had a huge social and economic impact. Utilizing hoes, ploughshares, and other implements constructed of iron would allow for technological advancements in the agricultural industry.


Spread and Impact of Iron

By the end of the Bronze Age, alphabetic writing and iron technology had been perfected.

A new wave of invasions and migrations occurred in the Middle East circa 1200-1000 BCE, according to W.H. McNeill, who was cited by J.D. Muhly. A new generation entered the records of history, ushering in a barbaric and significantly more equitable era. Particular attention is given to the Battle of Qadesh, which took place around 1285 BCE, in which the Hittites defeated Ramesses II, the Egyptian pharaoh, and the ensuing peace treaty, known as the Treaty of Qadesh, which was signed in 1269 BCE, which was thought to be the cause of the Hittites' military success.


The Bronze Age empires were replaced by nomadic groups, which brought about significant shifts in socioeconomic and cultural patterns in all nations. The Assyrian empire in the East grew and spread throughout this time. Due to their close proximity to the iron's source, such as in the Taurus mountains, the Assyrians were a military force that made extensive use of iron. There is evidence that iron was utilised to make weapons. Many academics contend that the disruption of commerce increased iron use by making copper scarcer. Iron was undoubtedly a crucial item for trade during this time, as the "Iron Letter" attests.


By the sixth century BCE, iron was gradually utilised to create agricultural equipment including ploughshares, hoes, picks, and axes in addition to weaponry. These tools were introduced, and the agricultural industry saw significant changes that increased output. As a result, we observe a gradual transition from the peasantry's usage of stone and wood to metal tools, which were more robust and long-lasting. Due to its widespread use and accessibility around the world, iron has been referred to as a democratic metal.




Answer the following questions in about 100 words each. 6x5


Q1) Bronze Age Societies

Ans) Around 4000 BCE, people in what is now Turkey and other parts of South-Eastern Europe learned how to produce bronze, which marked the start of the Bronze Age. By 2000 BCE, bronze was widely used in Europe and other parts of the world. Copper had previously been used to create decorative metal artefacts, but it was too soft to make practical tools and weapons that required frequent resharpening. Bronze was a tough metal that could be used to create tools, weapons, armour, and exquisite jewellery. It was created by fusing copper and tin. Bronze was soon in use all over the ancient world.


A settlement is a location where a group of people live together. In Europe at the start of the Bronze Age, the majority of people lived in modest settlements or on farms. They used local resources like wood and stone to construct their homes. In Western Europe, tiny, circular dwellings were the norm. In addition to raising cattle and other animals, farmers also grew cereal grains like wheat and barley. Communities started vying with one another for territory, and conflict started. In order to keep enemies out, people built high fences around their communities as a result. These were some of the earliest fortified towns.


Q2) Sources and Methods of Archaeological Research

Ans) In recent times, archaeologists employ many scientific methods to gather a proof or indication of human habitation on a site in past. Some of these recent archaeological methods of inquiry are:


  1. Aerial Photography: This method involves taking of aerial photographs of a field either from an aircraft, a helicopter, a hot air balloon or with the help of a drone.

  2. Underwater Prospection or Marine Archaeology: This method is employed to detect archaeological objects and submerged sites in marine and fresh water. The method has been particularly useful in recovering wrecks of ships.

  3. Magnetic Survey: This method, also known as magnetometry, involves a geophysical survey technique which helps in detecting and defining areas of past human activity. This is done by way of mapping spatial variations and contrast in the magnetic properties of soil, subsoil, and bedrock.

  4. Chemical Analysis of Soil: This procedure is conducted to measure the content of phosphate and potassium in a soil which help to indicate the presence of human activity in early periods.

  5. Detection of Anomalies in Subsoil: In this method archaeologists use an electric device called potentiometer to measure the resistivity or resisting power of a subsoil. Variations in resistivity and the detection and extent of any anomalies/irregularities are used to deduce the possible presence of archaeological structures such as cultural layers, stone walls, ditches, graves, etc.

  6. Prospection by Acoustic or Seismic Methods: In this method, a ground is struck to record the resulting sound and vibrations. The method is executed by using instruments that register vibratory phenomena obtained by reflection, refraction or resonance following the sounding of the site or variable-frequency Hertzian wave transmission.


Q3) Legacy of Shang Civilization

Ans) Many of the aspects of Bronze Age civilisation that were outlined above have persisted into modern times and have become integral components of what is known as "Chinese civilization." These consist of:

  1. The Script Used for Logos: One of the most distinctive main writing systems in the world today is the Chinese script. The modern Chinese written language is easily recognised due to the characters used to convey images or concepts and the lack of an alphabet-based system.

  2. The Significance of Ancestry: The cohesiveness of the common descent group has been highly valued throughout Chinese society's history. The extended family unit or clan has traditionally exercised considerable influence, if not outright control, over the individual.

  3. Ancestor Cult: Even today, Chinese families place a high value on remembering their dead ancestors. Many Chinese civilizations still practise the custom of families regularly cleaning ancestor tombs and providing them with food, cash, and other gifts.

  4. Large-Scale Labour Mobilisation: Chinese have a long history of constructing great public works that require the employment of vast labour resources, from the famed Great Wall of China to the enormous dikes and dams on the Yellow and Yangzi rivers to the construction of monumental palaces and city walls.

  5. The idea that the monarch serves as a conduit between Heaven and Earth. This idea also has its roots in the Shang king's position as the only person who could have direct communication with the gods and spirits, which eventually manifested itself in the Chinese emperors' assertion that they had the "Mandate of Heaven" to reign.

Q4) Babylonian Empire

Ans) One of the Amorite towns that emerged in Akkad, in northern Mesopotamia and Syria, was Babylon. The Amorites, who belonged to the Western Semites, a bigger tribe, played a significant role in the rise of the Old Babylonian Empire. For a considerable period of time, Akkadian was the dominant tongue in Mesopotamia and served as the official language of the empire. The Amorites inherited religious customs and aspects of Sumerian and Sumero-Akkadian civilisation, such as the cuneiform script. The imperial traditions of the great Sumerian and Akkadian kings like Sargon and the Third Dynasty of Ur were absorbed by the Babylonian Empire.


The first dynasty established by Sumu-abum, which ruled at this time, is when the Old Babylonian Empire attained prominence. The Old Babylonian Empire was destroyed by Hittite attacks that occurred around 1600 BCE. The Kassites relocated from the Zagros Mountains during the Hittite raids and took advantage of the unrest to establish a new monarchy in Mesopotamia that lasted from 1595 to 1157 BCE. The Kassites preserved Mesopotamian customs while also adding their own knowledge of horse rearing. They made the use of horses commonplace throughout Mesopotamia. The Mitanni were the most important group in the north of Mesopotamia until around 1350 BCE, while the Kassite power was strongest in the south.


Q5) History and Historiography

Ans) It is erroneous to assume that ancient people had no grasp of their past or were unconcerned with how their civilizations had developed or with their place in the natural order of things. As historians have demonstrated for a number of countries, including China, India, and ancient Greece, such preoccupations are common. History and its expressions often referred to as historiography tell us a lot about civilizations and how they have changed over time.


Greek thinkers, including those who were interested in their history, held certain beliefs about nature, the cosmos, and the moral aspects of humanity, as well as expressing concerns about the present. The term "history" is derived from the Greek word istoria, which means inquiry, and Herodotus is sometimes referred to as the "Father of Historiography." These elements of historiography are credited to the Greeks. As with any thinking and towering people of any era, they displayed a certain originality and talked in a way that pointed forward in time in addition to embodying the primary concepts of their day.

100% Verified solved assignments from ₹ 40  written in our own words so that you get the best marks!
Learn More

Don't have time to write your assignment neatly? Get it written by experts and get free home delivery

Learn More

Get Guidebooks and Help books to pass your exams easily. Get home delivery or download instantly!

Learn More

Download IGNOU's official study material combined into a single PDF file absolutely free!

Learn More

Download latest Assignment Question Papers for free in PDF format at the click of a button!

Learn More

Download Previous year Question Papers for reference and Exam Preparation for free!

Learn More

Download Premium PDF

Assignment Question Papers

Which Year / Session to Write?

Get Handwritten Assignments

bottom of page