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IGNOU BHIC 131 FREE Solved Assignment 2022-23 PDF

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IGNOU BHIC 131 FREE Solved Assignment 2022-23 PDF

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Submission Date :

  • 31st March 2033 (if enrolled in the July 2033 Session)
  • 30th Sept, 2033 (if enrolled in the January 2033 session).

Answer the following in about 500 words each in Section A. Each question carry 20 marks.

Answer the following questions in about 250 words each in Section B. Each question carry 10 marks.

Answer the following questions in about 100 words each in Section C. Each question carry 6 marks.


1. What is a literary source? Evaluate the relevance of Puanas and Sangam literature in the reconstruction of ancient Indian history.

  • Literary and Archaeological records are the two main categories that give evidences of Ancient Indian History.

  • The literary source includes literature of Vedic, Sanskrit, Pali, Prakrit, and other literature along with other foreign accounts.
  • The archaeological source includes epigraphic, numismatic, and other architectural remains.
  • The archaeological explorations and excavations have opened the great landscapes of new information.

Indian Literary Sources

  • The ancient Indian literature is mostly religious in nature.
  • The Puranic and Epic literature are considered as history by Indians, but it contains no definite dates for events and kingdoms.
  • The effort of history writing was shown by a large number of inscriptions, coins, and local chronicles. The principles of history are preserved in the Puranas and Epics.
  • The Puranas and epics narrate the genealogies of kings and their achievements. But they are not arranged in a chronological order.
  • The Vedic literature contains mainly the four Vedas i.e. Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samaveda, and Atharvanaveda.
  • The Vedic literature is in a different language called as the Vedic language. Its vocabulary contains a wide range of meaning and is different in grammatical usages. It has a definite mode of pronunciation in which emphasis changes the meaning entirely.

  • The Vedas give reliable information about the culture and civilization of the Vedic period, but do not reveal the political history.
  • Six Vedangas are the important limbs of Vedas. They were evolved for the proper understanding of the Vedas. The Vedangas are −
    • Siksha (Phonetics)
    • Kalpa (Rituals)
    • Vyakarna (Grammar)
    • Nirukta (Etymology)
    • Chhanda (Metrics) and
    • Jyotisha (Astronomy).
  • Vedanga has been written in the precepts (sutra) form. This is a very precise and exact form of expression in prose, which was developed by the scholars of ancient India.
  • Ashtadhyayi (eight chapters), written by Panini, is a book on grammar that gives excellent information on the art of writing in sutra (precepts).
  • The later Vedic literature includes the Brahmanas, the Aranyakas, and the Upanishads.
  • Brahmanas gives a description of Vedic rituals.
  • Aranyakas and Upanishads give speeches on different spiritual and philosophical problems.
  • Puranas, which are 18 in numbers give mainly historical accounts.
  • The Ramayana and the Mahabharata are epics of great historical importance.
  • The Jain and the Buddhist literature had been written in Prakrit and Pali languages.
  • Early Jain literature is mostly written in Prakrit language.
  • Prakrit language was a form of Sanskrit language.
  • Pali language was a form of Prakrit language which was used in Magadha.
  • Most of the early Buddhist literature is written in Pali language.
  • Pali language reached to Sri Lanka through some of the Buddhist monks where it is a living language.
  • Ashokan edicts had been written in Pali language.
  • Mahavira and Buddha are considered as the historical personalities (equivalent to the God). They have created Jain and Buddhist religious ideology respectively.

Ancient Books

  • The Buddhist books are called as Jataka stories. They have been given some historical importance because they are related with the previous births of the Buddha. There are more than 550 such stories.
  • The historic information mentioned in Jaina literature also help us in reconstructing the history of different regions of India.
  • The Dharmasutras and the Smritis were the rules and regulations for the general public and the rulers. It can be equated with the constitution and the law books of the modern concept of polity and society. For example, Manusmriti.
  • Dharmashastras were compiled between 600 and 200 B.C.
  • Arthashastra is a book on statecraft written by Kautilya during the Maurya period. The book is divided into 15 parts dealing with different subject matters related to polity, economy, and society.
  • The final version of Arthashastra was written in the 4th century B.C.
  • Kautilya acknowledges his debt to his predecessors in his book, which shows that there was a tradition of writing on and teaching of statecrafts.
  • Mudrarakshasha is a play written by Visakha datta. It describes the society and culture of that period.
  • Malavikagnimitram written by Kalidasa gives information of the reign of Pusyamitra Sunga dynasty.
  • Bhasa and Sudraka are other poets who have written plays based on historical events.
  • Harshacharita, written by Banabhatta, throws light on many historical facts about which we could not have known otherwise.
  • Vakpati wrote Gaudavaho, based on the exploits of Yasovarman of Kanauj.
  • Vikramankadevacharita, written by Bilhana, describes the victories of the later Chalukya king Vikramaditya.
  • Some of the prominent biographical works, which are based on the lives of the kings are −
    • Kumarapalacharita of Jayasimha,
    • Kumarapalacharita or Dvayashraya Mahakavya of Hemachandra,
    • Hammirakavya of Nayachandra
    • Navasahasankacharita of Padmagupta
    • Bhojaprabandha of Billal
    • Priihvirajacharit of Chandbardai
  • Rajatarangini, written by Kalhana, is the best form of history writing valued by modern historians. His critical method of historical research and impartial treatment of the historical facts have earned him a great respect among the modern historians.
  • The Sangam literature is in the form of short and long poems consisting 30,000 lines of poetry, which arranged in two main groups i.e. Patinenkilkanakku and the Pattupattu. It describes many kings and dynasties of South India.
  • The Sangam was the poetic compilation by a group of poets of different times mainly supported by chiefs and kings.
  • The Sangam literature was composed by a large number of poets in praise of their kings. Some kings and events mentioned are also supported by the inscriptions.
  • The Sangam literature generally describes events up to the 4th century A.D

2. What do you understand by archaeological excavation? What is the difference between archaeological exploration and excavation? 

Excavation, in archaeology, the exposure, recording, and recovery of buried material remains.

In a sense, excavation is the surgical aspect of archaeology: it is surgery of the buried landscape and is carried out with all the skilled craftsmanship that has been built up in the era since archaeological pioneers Heinrich Schliemann, often considered to be the modern discoverer of prehistoric Greece, and Flinders Petrie, who invented a sequence dating method that made possible the reconstruction of history from the remains of ancient cultures. Excavations can be classified, from the point of view of their purpose, as planned, rescue, or accidental. Most important excavations are the result of a prepared plan—that is to say, their purpose is to locate buried evidence about an archaeological site. Many are project oriented, as, for example, when a scholar studying the life of the pre-Roman, Celtic-speaking Gauls of France may deliberately select a group of hill forts and excavate them, as Sir Mortimer Wheeler did in northwestern France in the years before the outbreak of World War II. But many excavations, particularly in the heavily populated areas of central and northern Europe, are done not from choice but from necessity. Gravel digging, clearing the ground for airports, quarrying, road widening and building, the construction of houses, factories, and public buildings frequently threaten the destruction of sites known to contain archaeological remains. Emergency excavations then have to be mounted to rescue whatever knowledge of the past can be obtained before these remains are obliterated forever. Partial destruction of cities in western Europe by bombing during World War II allowed rescue excavations to take place before rebuilding. A temple of Mithras in the City of London, Viking settlements in Dublin and at Århus, Denmark, and the original 6th-century-BCE Greek settlement of Massalia (Marseille) were discovered in this way. An extension of the runways at London Airport led to the discovery of a pre-Roman Celtic temple there.

The role of chance in the discovery of archaeological sites and portable finds is considerable. Farmers have often unearthed archaeological finds while plowing their fields, and accidental discovery by construction crews is common. The famous painted and engraved Upper Paleolithic cave of Lascaux in southern France was discovered by chance in 1940 when four French schoolboys decided to investigate a hole left by an uprooted tree. They widened a smaller shaft at the base of the hole and jumped through to find themselves in the middle of this remarkable pagan sanctuary. Similarly, the first cache of the Dead Sea Scrolls was discovered in 1947 by a Bedouin looking for a stray animal. These accidental finds often lead to important excavations. At Barnénès, in north Brittany, a contractor building a road got his stone from a neighbouring prehistoric cairn (burial mound) and, in so doing, discovered and partially destroyed a number of prehistoric burial chambers. The French archaeologist P.-R. Giot was able to halt these depredations and carry out scientific excavations that revealed Barnénès to be one of the most remarkable and interesting prehistoric burial mounds in western Europe.

All forms of archaeological excavation, from design to execution, require great skill and careful preparation. Years of training in the field, first as an ordinary digger, then as a site supervisor, with spells of work as recorder, surveyor, and photographer, are required before anyone can organize and direct an excavation. Most museums, universities, and government archaeological departments organize training excavations. The very words dig and digging may give the impression to many that excavation is merely a matter of shifting away the soil and subsoil with a spade or shovel; the titles of such admirable and widely read books as Leonard Woolley’s Spadework (1953) and Digging Up the Past (1930) and Geoffrey Bibby’s Testimony of the Spade (1956) might appear to give credence to that view. Actually, much of the work of excavation is careful work with trowel, penknife, and brush. The digging consists of the removal of surplus dirt and the painstaking examination, through observation, sifting, and other means, of remaining soil, artifacts, and context. It is often the recovery of features that are almost indistinguishable from nonarchaeological aspects of the buried landscape: one example of this is the recovery of mud-brick walls in Mesopotamia; another is the tracing of collapsed walls of dry stone slabs in a cairn in stony country in the southwest Midlands of England. Sometimes it is the recovery of features of which only ghost traces remain, like the burnt-out bodies from the buried city of Pompeii, or the strings of a harp that were found among the furnishings of Mesopotamian tombs at Ur.

3. Briefly discuss the character of Early Harappan Civilization? Describe the major sites of the early Harappan period.

Indus civilization, also called Indus valley civilization or Harappan civilization, the earliest known urban culture of the Indian subcontinent. The nuclear dates of the civilization appear to be about 2500–1700 BCE, though the southern sites may have lasted later into the 2nd millennium BCE. Among the world’s three earliest civilizations—the other two are those of Mesopotamia and Egypt—the Indus civilization was the most extensive.

The civilization was first identified in 1921 at Harappa in the Punjab region and then in 1922 at Mohenjo-daro (Mohenjodaro), near the Indus River in the Sindh (Sind) region. Both sites are in present-day Pakistan, in Punjab and Sindh provinces, respectively. The ruins of Mohenjo-daro were designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1980.

Subsequently, vestiges of the civilization were found as far apart as Sutkagen Dor in southwestern Balochistan province, Pakistan, near the shore of the Arabian Sea, about 300 miles (480 km) west of Karachi; and at Ropar (or Rupar), in eastern Punjab state, northwestern India, at the foot of the Shimla Hills some 1,000 miles (1,600 km) northeast of Sutkagen Dor. Later exploration established its existence southward down the west coast of India as far as the Gulf of Khambhat (Cambay), 500 miles (800 km) southeast of Karachi, and as far east as the Yamuna (Jumna) River basin, 30 miles (50 km) north of Delhi. It is thus decidedly the most extensive of the world’s three earliest civilizations, even though Mesopotamian and Egyptian civilizations both began somewhat before it.

The Indus civilization is known to have consisted of two large cities, Harappa and Mohenjo-daro, and more than 100 towns and villages, often of relatively small size. The two cities were each perhaps originally about 1 mile (1.6 km) square in overall dimensions, and their outstanding magnitude suggests political centralization, either in two large states or in a single great empire with alternative capitals, a practice having analogies in Indian history. It is also possible that Harappa succeeded Mohenjo-daro, which is known to have been devastated more than once by exceptional floods. The population was estimated to be 23,500–35,000 in Harappa and 35,000–41,250 in Mohenjo-daro. The southern region of the civilization, on the Kathiawar Peninsula and beyond, appears to be of later origin than the major Indus sites.

The Indus civilization apparently evolved from the villages of neighbours or predecessors, using the Mesopotamian model of irrigated agriculture with sufficient skill to reap the advantages of the spacious and fertile Indus River valley while controlling the formidable annual flood that simultaneously fertilizes and destroys. Having obtained a secure foothold on the plain and mastered its more immediate problems, the new civilization, doubtless with a well-nourished and increasing population, would find expansion along the flanks of the great waterways an inevitable sequel. The civilization subsisted primarily by farming, supplemented by an appreciable but often elusive commerce. Wheat and six-row barley were grown; field peas, mustard, sesame, and a few date stones have also been found, as well as some of the earliest known traces of cotton. Domesticated animals included dogs and cats, humped and shorthorn cattle, domestic fowl, and possibly pigs, camels, and buffalo. The Asian elephant probably was also domesticated, and its ivory tusks were freely used.

Despite a growing body of archaeological evidence, the social and political structures of the Indus “state” remain objects of conjecture. The apparent craft specialization and localized craft groupings at Mohenjo-daro, along with the great divergence in house types and size, point toward some degree of social stratification. Trade was extensive and apparently well-regulated, providing imported raw materials for use at internal production centres, distributing finished goods throughout the region, and arguably culminating in the establishment of Harappan “colonies” in both Mesopotamia and Badakhshan. The remarkable uniformity of weights and measures throughout the Indus lands, as well as the development of such presumably civic works as the great granaries, implies a strong degree of political and administrative control over a wide area. Further, the widespread occurrence of inscriptions in the Harappan script almost certainly indicates the use of a single lingua franca. Nevertheless, in the absence of inscriptions that can be read and interpreted, it is inevitable that far less is known of these aspects of the Indus civilization than those of contemporaneous Mesopotamia.


4. Describe the Chola administration in detail.
5. Write a note on the post-Gupta economy.
6. Explain the various theories of the Rise of Rajputs.


7. Pallava art and temple architecture
8. Chalukyas of Badami
9. Property Rights of women
10. Bhakti Movement
11. Sculpture

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