India is known by many names; like Aryavarta, Jambudweep, Bharatvarsh, Bharat, Hindustan, India, etc. Out of them, India, Hindustan and Bharat are more frequently used.
India: The people from Iran and Greece came to the north west of India. Thus, they became familiar with the river Indus. They called it Indos or Hindos. The land to the east of this river came to be known as India.
Bharat: People who lived in the northwest were known as Bharatha. They are mentioned in the Rigveda. The name Bharat came because of the term ‘Bharatha’.
Some of the sources which tell us about history are as follows:
Manuscripts: A handwritten book is called manuscript. Before the discovery of printing; books were handwritten. The early manuscripts were written on palm leaves and on bark of birch trees. The ancient manuscript give a lot of information about religious beliefs and practices, life of kings, medicines, science, poems, plays, epics, etc.
Inscriptions: The text written on stone slabs is called inscription. An inscription on stone could survive longer than a manuscript. Most of the inscriptions contain some order or announcement by a king. Such announcements were written in inscriptions so that a large number of people could read them. Some inscriptions contain good deeds by people; especially by kings and merchants. The inscriptions and manuscripts from ancient period were usually written in Sanskrit or Prakrit or Tamil.
Coins: A coin gives information about the king of that period because coins usually contained the image of the king. Coins also tell us about the level of skill among artisans during that period. Coins were first developed in ancient Greece during 600 BC.
Archaeological Sites: Sites from where historical remains are obtained are called archaeological sites. Buildings and monuments also come under archaeological sites. Archaeological sites also include old buildings and monuments. Artifacts and other items excavated from different archaeological sites give rich information about a period.
Archaeologists: People who specialize in studying the archaeological remains are known as archaeologists.
Dates are very important while studying history because dates help us in arranging the events in some sequence. While discussing history, two distinct terms (BC and AD) are used for dates. The term BC stands for before Christ. On the other hand, AD stands for ‘Anno Domini’ which means ‘In the year of the Lord’. Sometimes, CE is used instead of AD and it means Common Era. Similarly, BCE is used instead of BC and it means before the Common Era.
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