top of page
BHIC-131: History of India from the Earliest Times upto c. 300 CE

BHIC-131: History of India from the Earliest Times upto c. 300 CE

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2021-22

If you are looking for BHIC-131 IGNOU Solved Assignment solution for the subject History of India from the Earliest Times upto c. 300 CE, you have come to the right place. BHIC-131 solution on this page applies to 2021-22 session students studying in BAG courses of IGNOU.

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

BHIC-131 Solved Assignment Solution by Gyaniversity

Assignment Solution

Assignment Code: BHIC-131 / ASST / TMA / 2021-22

Course Code: BHIC-131

Assignment Name: History Of India from The Earliest Times Up to C. 300 C.E.

Year: 2021 -2022 (July 2021 and January 2022 Sessions)

Verification Status: Verified by Professor

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

Part – I

Answer the following in about 500 words each. (Any two)

Q1. What is Archaeological sources. Evaluate the importance of Archaeological sources for the study of ancient Indian History. 20

Ans) Archaeology is a discipline of science that explores material culture in order to gain a better understanding of the past. It is closely associated with the field of history. Sculptures, pottery shards, bone fragments, house ruins, temple ruins, floral remains such as burned grains, coins, seals, inscriptions, and other artefacts make up the material culture that archaeologist’s study. We have been able to examine the prehistoric past thanks to archaeological evidence. Archaeology has even been used to reconstruct the protohistoric period in India. However, we cannot limit archaeology's utility to these times alone; it is important even for periods for which written evidence exists and which lie within the scope of history. The Indo-Greeks' history, for example, has been reconstructed entirely from coinage.

It is just about two centuries old that archaeological sources have been used to recreate India's past. It wasn't until the 1920s that Indian civilization was thought to have started about the 6th century BCE. However, the antiquity of Indian civilization has been traced back to around 5000 BCE thanks to discoveries at Mohenjodaro and Harappa. The discovery of prehistoric artefacts has revealed that human activity began here two million years ago. Similarly, it was formerly thought that most of the Indian subcontinent became populated only in the latter half of the first millennium BCE, but archaeology has revealed that it was populated sporadically and densely from the Stone-Age periods forward.

Excavation and investigation are crucial archaeological methods because they reveal a wealth of information about trade, state, economy, societal features, religion, and even banal details like how people lived, ate, and dressed themselves. The excavations yielded a wealth of information on the Palaeolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic, Chalcolithic, Iron Age, Megalithic, and other societies. Because the Harappan script has yet to be deciphered, all information about this time period has come primarily from archaeology. It describes the civilization's beginnings, spread, settlement patterns, town layout, trade, polity, economy, agriculture, hunting, crops, agricultural equipment, technology, beads, seals, fire altars, religion, and decline.

Archaeological Source

For recreating Indian history, a wide range of archaeological finds are useful. Excavated relics, standing monuments, sculptural reliefs, and inscribed records are only a few examples. Sites are discovered through ground reconnaissance, which includes approaches such as review of documentary sources, place name evidence, and so on. Aerial surveying, which involves airborne or space-borne remote sensing, can detect places that are commonly overlooked on the ground. Settlement patterns, site creation processes, and geo-archaeological analyses can all be determined by comparing and rigorously studying sites that have been designated on the terrain. Paleontologists (who study fossilised animal bones), palynologists (who study and analyse fossil pollen), geo-archaeologists (who study earth formation and soil and sediment patterns), archaeo-zoologists (who study, identify, and analyse faunal species from sites), ethno-archaeologists (who study living people and tribes to arrive at hypotheses about the past), and many others are all involved in the study of archaeological artefacts.

Q2. How do we reconstruct the nature of the pre-historic hunter get heroes society? Discuss. 20

Ans) Since millennia, human communities have been hunter-gatherers. This suggests that before humans began making food some 10,000 years ago, they subsisted on natural resources. This they accomplished by harvesting various edible products from nature, such as roots, fruits, sudd, honey, and so on, as well as by killing animals, birds, and fish in their immediate surrounds. Their complete reliance on nature or their environment for the most of their lives has numerous ramifications. It means that the way they obtained their sustenance altered the nature of their interaction with nature as well as how they regarded it. Second, hunter-gatherers were organised into groups based on their food-gathering methods.

Humans continue to live as hunter-gatherers in diverse parts of the world. The writings of ethnographers/anthropologists who study existing human societies provide a wealth of knowledge regarding various aspects of the hunter gatherers' way of life, social organisation, and environment. Their work gives us valuable insight into the living conditions of hunting-gathering cultures.

However, we rely heavily on the work of archaeologists and scientists who have specialised in locating, examining, and interpreting the tools manufactured by these groups, the remnants of animals they killed and ate, and the type of environment they lived in for information about former communities. When archaeologists associate animals, plants, and other organic remains with human communities in the hunting-gathering stage, this method considers many categories of evidence, including the study of animals, plants, and other organic remains, and this gives an insight into the character of the immediate physical environment of the early man and the way it was utilised.

Archaeologists use words like paleoliths and mesoliths to classify tools of various types and periods because hunter-gatherer implements have remained in the form of stone tools. The economy and civilization of the prehistoric humans can also be deduced from rock carvings and paintings.

Early African hominins formed a hunter-gatherer culture, with evidence of their actions extending back over 2 million years. Among their distinctive qualities were the hunter-gatherers' active killing of animals for food rather than scavenging meat left behind by other predators, and the development of methods for storing plants for later consumption. Simple tools were employed by the first hunter-gatherers. Sharpened stones were employed for cutting throughout the Stone Age before hand-axes were invented, signifying the beginning of Acheulean technology around 1.6 million years ago. The controlled use of fire for cooking and warding against predators represented a watershed moment in these groups' early history. The hunter-gatherer diet comprised grasses, tubers, fruits, seeds, and nuts from the beginning. Because they lacked the means to kill larger animals, they had to rely on lesser prey or scavenging.

Studies of modern-day hunter-gatherers provide insight into the lives of small, nomadic groups that date back over 2 million years. Due to their limited resources, these communities were naturally egalitarian, pulling together enough food to subsist and constructing rudimentary housing for all. With the evolution of hunting techniques, particularly for greater game, the division of labour by gender grew more prominent. Hunter-gatherer societies can still be found on the planet today. The African rain forest pygmies are one example. They're a pleasant bunch who won't eat you just because you're there. Other prehistoric hunter-gatherers, on the other hand, will.

Q3. Describe the main features of mature Harappan urbanisation? 20

Ans) Given the vast geographical area encompassed by the Harappan civilization, the mature Harappan period did not begin on a specific date. The city, as the epicentre of evolution, most likely emerged over hundreds of years, but the city had arrived, and it was there to rule the entire north-west for the following 700-800 years.

The Harappan society was known for its urban planning system. Each of Harappa and Mohenjodaro had its own citadel or acropolis, which was likely held by ruling class members. Each city has a lower town with brick homes that were occupied by the common people beneath the citadel.

The grid method was used to arrange the houses in the cities, which was a unique feature. Both Harappan and Mohenjodaro were known for their large buildings, with the latter having an abundance of them. Their monuments signified the ruling class's ability to mobilise labour and collect taxes; the massive brick structures also impressed the common people with the rulers' prestige and power. The Great Bath, which includes the tank on the citadel mound, appears to be Mohenjodaro's most important public space. The granary is the largest structure in Mohenjodaro.

It covered roughly the same area as Mohenjodaro's Great Granary. We also see brick platforms in the southern portion of Kalibangan, which could have been utilised as granaries. As a result, it appears that granaries were an integral feature of Harappan cities. The usage of burnt bricks in Harappan cities is noteworthy, as dried bricks were often utilised in Egyptian constructions at the time.

Sindh, which corresponds to the lower Indus plains, has seen a lot of growth. The habitations on the Amri site indicate people living in stone and mud brick homes. They had also built a granary of some sort. Animal patterns like humped Indian bulls were painted on their pottery. People in Sindh, such as those in the Harappan settlements of Amri, Chanhu-daro, and Jhukar, continued to live as they had in the past. They continued to live in brick dwellings, but they abandoned the original layout. They were using Jhukar pottery, which is a slightly distinct type of pottery. It was buffware with red slip and black drawings. According to recent research, this pottery evolved from mature Harappan pottery and hence does not need to be deemed new. Several different metal artefacts have been discovered at Jhukar, which could indicate commercial ties with Iran or, more likely, the entrance of a migrant population with Iranian or Central Asian influences. In Iranian villages, ashaft-holes, axes, and copper pins with looped or ornamented heads have analogues. Contacts with cultures west of the Indus are also indicated by round stone or faience stamp seals and a bronze cosmetic container.

Mohenjodaro's drainage system was rather impressive. Practically every big or little property in almost every city has its own patio and bathroom. Manholes were installed in the street drains. Harappa's drainage system is practically unique. The Harappans, more than any other Bronze Age culture, paid close attention to health and sanitation.

Part – II

Answer the following questions in about 250 words each.

Q4. Discuss the social, political and religion conditions during early vedia era. 10

Ans) The Early Vedic period, 1800–1500 BCE, is often known as the Rigvedic period since the Rigveda is considered the oldest of all the vedas. The following is a description of their social, political, and religious lives.


The society was not separated along caste lines, and clan networks included rajas (kings), purohits (priests), artisans, and others. Inter-tribal clashes were common, mostly over cattle raids and robberies. A grama was established by a group of kulas, implying that the settlements were founded on kinship relationships. The family as a social unit spanned three generations, with the sons frequently residing in the same house as their parents. It was a patriarchal society. The desire of most people was to have a son. The value placed on masculine members. Women, on the other hand, were educated and allowed to attend assemblies.


The tribal government was not entirely egalitarian. The increasing need for greater pasture areas and livestock, as well as the necessity for protection and settlement, all likely contributed to an increase in inter and intra-tribal conflicts and warfare. Due to conflicts, the raja's position became more important. The distinction between senior and junior lineages grew even more pronounced. It's impossible to say when these political divides first became apparent.


In the hymns of the Rigveda, religious concepts are portrayed. They revered natural forces they couldn't control, like as wind, water, rain, thunder, and fire, and imbued nature with divinity manifested in primarily masculine human forms. Indra was a powerful deity who was regularly summoned to help defeat foes. Agni was the god of fire, second only to Indra in importance. Varuna was the embodiment of water and the protector of the universe's natural order. Yama, the god of death, played a significant role in Early Vedic religious beliefs.

Q5. Discuss the factors responsible for the rise of the new religious ideas in the sixth century B.C.E. 10

Ans) The new religious ideas during this period emerged out of the prevailing social, economic, and religious conditions. Some factors responsible for the rise of new religious ideas are:

  1. Vedic religious activities had become inconvenient, and society at the time was filled of pointless rituals. Sacrifices and rites got more intricate and costly as time went on. Participation in these traditions became constrained when groups disintegrated, making them meaningless to large areas of society.

  2. The prominence of sacrifices and ceremonies grew, cementing the Brahmanas' dominance in society. They served as both priests and teachers, and they claimed the greatest position in society, which was now split into four varnas, due to their monopoly on performing sacred religious rites.

  3. On the other hand, recent economic and political developments aided the formation of new social groups with significant economic power.

The Vaishyas were attracted to Buddhism and Jainism because they did not place a high value on birth for social rank. Similarly, the ruling class, the Kshatriyas, were dissatisfied with Brahmanical dominance. In a nutshell, it was the discontent caused by the dominant position of Brahmanas in society that aided the societal acceptance of new religious concepts. They all represented the Buddha, Mahavira, and the new society that was forming in the 6th century BCE. This provided the backdrop for the formation and founding of new religious orders in the sixth century BCE. Buddhism and Jainism were the most popular and well-organized of these.

Q6. Account for the rise of sixteen Mahajanopada with special reference to Magadha. 10

Ans) When the Buddha is described in Buddhist writings, the Mahajanapadas and their great settlements are frequently mentioned. Thousands of villages and a few cities were represented in these Mahajanapadas. Magadha is one of them.


Magadha was a region in south Bihar that included the territories around Patna and Gaya. It was bordered on the north and west by the rivers Son and Ganga. It reached up to the Chhota Nagpur plateau in the south. In the 5th century BCE, the capital was relocated to Pataliputra. They offer witness to the early Magadhan monarchs' authority. The Magadhans were deemed persons of mixed descent and inferior type in Brahmanical scriptures. This was most likely due to the fact that people in this area did not follow the varna system or Brahmanical rites in ancient times. The Buddhist tradition, on the other hand, places a high value on this subject. Bimbisara and Ajatshatru, the Magadhan monarchs, were his companions and pupils of Buddha. Magadha became the most important kingdom in following history due to its lush agricultural tracts suited to wet rice farming, control over the iron ores of south Bihar, and relatively open social order. Bimbisara, the Magadhan king, is claimed to have convened an assembly of 80, 000 Gamini villages. Although the number is imaginary, it implies that his administration was based on the village as an organisational unit. With the expansion of its dominance over the Vajjis of Vaisali, Magadha as a kingdom continued to develop. In the 4th century BCE, this culminated in the Mauryan Empire.

Part –III

Answer the following questions in about 100 words each.

Q7. Black and red ware culture 06

Ans) Because of historical causes, the name Black and Red Ware (BRW) has nearly taken on a general connotation in Indian archaeology. As a result, the average person takes this term to refer to a single cultural heritage. In actuality, this pottery kind can be found in a variety of places, each with its own cultural and historical context. Black and Red Ware is a type of pottery with two unique surface colours: black on the inside and outside rims, and red on the outside.

The black and red ware civilization (BRW) is a northern Indian subcontinent early Iron Age archaeological civilisation. It belongs to the post-Rigvedic Vedic culture and is dated between the 12th and 9th centuries BCE. BRW pottery has been linked to Late Harappan pottery at some sites. Painted Grey Ware and Northern Black Polished Ware cultures may have been inspired directly by BRW. West of the Indus Valley, BRW pottery is unknown.

Q8. Post vedic society 06

Ans) The Vedic society, which is associated with the Kuru-Pancala region but was not the only Indo-Aryan people in northern India, transitioned from semi-nomadic life to settled agriculture in north-western India after the Rigveda took its final form in the 12th century BCE, as the Rigveda had taken its final form. During this time, the caste system became more rigorous, with birth as the primary criterion. Women were constrained to submissive and docile roles, limiting their participation in society. The need for strong leadership became apparent as society became more urbanised during this time period. In nature, society became more settled. It grew increasingly centred on agriculture in general. Although the barter system was still in use, it had been substantially superseded by gold and silver coin trade.

Q9. Teaching of Mahaveera 06

Ans) The two primary existing elements, according to Mahavira, are the soul (jiva) and matter (ajiva). According to him, the soul is enslaved by desire collected over the course of previous lives. The soul can be freed from its enslavement via continual efforts. This is the soul's ultimate emancipation (moksha). The liberated soul is thus referred to as "the pure soul." Man is the creator of his own destiny, according to Jainism, and he can achieve moksha by living a life of purity, morality, and renunciation.

The following three principles (ratnatraya) can help you achieve moksha (nirvana):

  1. Right belief,

  2. Right knowledge, and

  3. Right action.

Q10. Concept of Tinai 06

Ans) Thiai is a form of poetical method or theme in Tamil poetry. A thinai is made up of a whole poetical landscape - a specific time, place, and season in which the poem takes place - as well as background components unique to that environment, such as flora and wildlife, residents, deities, and social organisation. These provide images for extended poetic metaphors that establish the poem's tone.

Classical authors distinguished two types of thinais. Akam thinais were styles linked with specific features of a relationship or stages in the development of a relationship in love poetry. Puram thinais were a set of modes that were similar to akam modes but were utilised in heroic, philosophical, and moral poetry to express the stages of a war or specific thought patterns.

Q11. Sangam literature 06

Ans) The Sangam literature refers to the Tamil heroic poems that were collected and classed by the Sangam, which was a scholarly academy. The poetry was not created by the Sangam on their own. They existed much before the Sangam. Legends abound in the Sangam's history. According to legend, there were initially three sangams, but only the works of the last one has survived. Previously, the Sangams were thought to be academies of court poets. However, it is now widely accepted that they were created by literary experts. Because of the temporal gap between the Sangam and the epic poetry, the term "Sangam literature" is a misnomer.

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