Pre-History

Pre- History of the Ancient inhabitants of the Indian sub – continent (BHARAT)

Pre-historic human civilization all over the world,is recorded from around 40,000 BCE, though in India it was even older. Human civilization reached a height of nomadic or semi-settled way of life in a relatively very short time, but thereafter remained rather static for long ages. It was only in the Indian sub-continent that  better climatic conditions, easier and consistent availability of food that allowed humans there time for thinking and developing  Philosophy and Technology and also an understanding of our place in the Universe by observing the stars over long periods of time and drawing rational conclusions

Background:

The following is an understanding of the history of our ancients in the Indian sub-continent, as gained by a reasonably well –read person across multiple disciplines, seeking, with an open mind, to put together a coherent history of those times. Some of the evidences for such a history are proven, however much is based on speculative evidences, yet to be conclusively proven, but which can be considered as having a reasonable basis as of today.

The reader is requested to kindly keep in mind that many so-called myths and legends must have had some kernels of truth in them, as otherwise why would they have lasted in our collective memory for such long ages.

Jared Diamond in his book- ‘Guns, Germs and Steel’ and Sanjeev Sanyal in his books-’ The Incredible History of India’s Geography ‘and the ‘Ocean of Churn’, have both demonstrated how greatly geography affects history.

Ancient History:

The Ice ages, that dominated the landscapes of the Northern Hemisphere, most of it being a land mass, did not much affect the land area of the Indian sub- continent, protected as it was by the Himalayas and the Southern ocean. Further south,Sundaland, the extension of South-east Asia, was also protected by the Southern Ocean.

Hence when Neanderthals, Denisovans and other hominid species were huddled in caves struggling for survival, as hunter – gatherers, at the edges of the massive glaciers and ice deposits covering most of Europe, the early human species in South Africa, North- east Asia, South- east Asia and the Indian sub continent were relatively flourishing, developing a civilization and expanding over the region, especially in India.

The  modern Human species ( Homo Sapien Sapiens )  are  said to  have evolved about 200 to  2,50, 000 years ago and  were mostly restricted to South Africa. The few that may have later forayed into Southern Europe or the Middle East, did not long survive the weather, nor the conflict with the Neanderthals and others there.

1,25,000  years ago, before the  last  Ice age, the sea levels were 4 to 6  meters higher than they are today ,making walking out of Africa into Asia, a far more difficult , dangerous and an unlikely possibility . The humans seemed to have been content to live in South Africa, hunting for food in the swamplands and chasing game over the savannah or, mostly gathering the more easily available and protein rich food from the tidal basins along the sea-coast, that allowed for better brain development and smaller dentition. Such prolonged life-times of aquatic exposure, even though in shallow waters, may have also resulted in evolving features that led to the much disputed Aquatic / Waterside ape theory.

The greatest volcano eruption even going back into prehistoric times was the eruption of Mount Toba in Indonesia around 74,000 BCE. This was over a 100 times larger than the largest eruption of historic times, Mount Tambura, again in Indonesia, in 1815. The Mount Toba eruption deposited an ash layer of 5 to 6 metres across most of the Indian sub continent and 15 cms to a few metres thick ash layer even across large parts of South and East Africa.