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Updated CBSE UGC NET Syllabus for Archaeology

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CBSE has revised the pattern and scheme of the exam from July 2018. The pattern of the exam has been changed from 3 papers (Paper I, II & III) to 2 papers (Paper I & II). There are no changes in the pattern of paper 1, but paper 2 & paper 3 has been merged into One paper.


Hence, there will be only one question paper in CBSE UGC NET Exam in Archaeology, called Paper 2. Paper 2 (Paper II) will have 100 Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) with each question carrying two (2) marks i.e. 200 marks in total. All questions are compulsory in the papers. The objective type questions will include multiple choices, matching type, true / false and assertion-reasoning type etc.

For CBSE UGC NET aspirants, we have merged the entire Syllabi of Paper II and Paper III of the subject of Archaeology.


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Unit – I
Definition, aim and Scope of Archaeology, History and Growth of Archaeology, History of Indian Archaeology.
Relationship of Archaeology with Social and Natural Sciences.
Retrieval of Archaeological Data : Techniques of Explorations and Excavations.
Aims and Methods of Conservation and preservation of Archaeological remains.
Recording and Preparation of Reports.

Unit – II
Chronology and Dating : Relative, Stratigraphy, Typology, Absolute, Carbon 14, Potassium Argon, Fission Track, Thermoluminescence, Dendrochronology, Pollen analysis, Varve clay analysis.
Others – methods : Flourine test, nitrogen and phosphate analysis, soil analysis.
Methods of Objective Interpretations : Ethno – archaeology, Experimental archaeology, Application of new archaeological methods in India.
Geo – Chronology and Stone Age Cultures of India : Sohan Valley; Belan Valley; Son Valley and Kortlayar Valley.
Palaeolithic Cultures of India : Sohan and Acheulian traditions; Middle Palaeolithic cultures; Upper Palaeolithic cultures; Habitation tendencies of the Palaeolithic period.
Patterns of Mesolithic Cultures of India : Characteristic features of alluvial plains; horse – shoe lake; sand – dune; plateau and rock shelter sites.
Neolithic Cultures of India : Early farming communities of Baluchistan and Kashmir, Vindhya – Belan region, Kaimur Foot hills and Ganga plains, Chota Nagpur plateau and the North – East, and Pastoral communities of Deccan and South.

Unit – III
Geological Biological and Cultural Dimension of Man.
Quaternary Period : Pleistocene and Holocene, Environment and Climatic Changes.
Pleistocene Flora and Fauna, Main Stages of Human Evolution and important fossil records.
Appearance of Stone Tools and Development of Technology : Main Techniques and Tools of Stone Age, Methods of study of prehistoric remains.

Unit – IV
Hunting – Gathering Stage : Palaeolithic in Africa, Europe and South – East Asia, Mesolithic in Europe and West Asia; Palaeolithic and Mesolithic remains and important sites of India.
Beginning of Food Production : Neolithic Stage in West Asia, Major neolithic cultures and important sites of India.

Unit – V
Pre and early Harappan Village Cultures of North and North – Western India.
Harappa Culture : Origin, extent, chronology, factors of urbanization, trade, script, religion, art and craft, factors for the decline.
Devaluation of Harappa Culture : Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat.
Chalcolithic village communities of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.
Copper using cultures of Gangetic plains.
Pre – Harappan Cultures of India and Border Lands : Salient features.
Harappa Culture : Origin, Geographical Distribution and Settlement Patterns, Town Planning and Architecture, Trade – Hinterland and Overseas, Arts and Crafts, Material Equipment, Subsistence Pattern, Socio – Political Organization, Religion and Authorship; important excavated sites, concepts of Sorath and Sindhi Harappans in Gujarat

Decline and Survival of Harappa Culture : Causes of de – urbanization, Late Harappa cultures of Punjab, Haryana, Western Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat.
Other Copper using Cultures : Copper Hoards and Ochre Coloured pottery, Ahar, Kayatha, Malwa and Deccan Chalcolithic cultures, Cultures of Gangetic Plains.

Unit – VI
Early occurrence of iron : Chrono – Cultural Features.
Main Characteristics of the Cultures : Painted grey ware, Black slipped ware and Megalithic cultures.
Northern Black polished ware culture : Extent, chronology, characteristics traits.
Important city sites : Raj ghat, Ujjain, Vaisali, Taxila, Mathura, Sravasti, Kaushambi and Sishupalgarh.
Important sites of historical period : Sringverapur, Khairadih, Satanikota, Chandraketugarh, Nasik, Arikamedu and Adam.

Unit – VII
Architecture of Structural Stupas : North and South India.
Rock – cut Architecture : Monastries and Shrines.
Main styles of temples : Origin and development of temples, Main features and examples of Nagar, Vesara and Dravid styles.
Main Styles of Sculptural Art : Mauryan, Sunga, Kushana, Gupta, Satvahana, Chalukya, Pallava and Chola periods.

Unit – VIII
Origin and antiquity of writing in India : Origin of Brahmi and Kharasthi scripts, Study of some select inscriptions – Ashokan edicts, Besnagar Garuda pillar inscription; Hathigumpha inscription of Kharvela, Junagarh inscription of Rudradaman, Allahabad pillar inscription of Samudragupta, Aihole pillar inscription of Pulakesin II and Gwalior inscription of Mihira Bhoja.

Unit – IX
Proposed area of research; aims and objectives; proposed methodology; primary and secondary sources; review of previous researches in the proposed area, and likely contribution of the proposal. 

Unit – X
Historical Urbanization : Northern Black polished Ware Culture, Extent, Chronology, Cultural traits.
Important City Sites : Rajghat, Ujjain, Vaishali, Taxila, Mathura, Sravasti, Kaushambi, Sishupalgarh, Satanikota.
Growth of urban settlements during Kushan Period : Plan and Expansion of Settlements and growth of trade centres; Main features of material culture.
Excavated remains of Gupta and Early Medieval Periods : Nature of settlements and main features of material culture.

Unit – XI
Architecture :
Structural features of ancient fortified settlements.
Origin and evolution of Stupa architecture: Sanchi, Bharhut, Amaravati and Nagarjuna Konda.
Development of Rock – cut Architecture : Chaityas and Viharas.
Origin and evolution of temples; Gupta temples; Chalukyan temples; Pallava rathas and temples; Khajuraho temples; temples of Orissa and Chola temples.
Sculpture :
Mauryan Capital figures; Early Yaksha Statue; Sunga Sculptures; Kaushana sculptures : Mathura and Gandhara schools; Gupta Sculptures: Sarnath School; Sculptures of Chalukyas; Pallavas; Palas; Chola and Chandellas.
Paintings :
Rock – cut Cave Paintings of Ajanta and Bagh.

Unit – XII
Epigraphy as a source of history, Origin of Indian Scripts : Different theories Study of select Epigraphs : Asokan Edicts; Rock Edicts X, XII, XIII; Lumbini inscriptions of Asoka; Minar Rock Edict of Bairat, Besnagar Garud Pillar inscription; Hathigumpha inscription of Kharvela; Junagarh inscription of Rudradaman; Swat Relic casket inscription; Sarnath Buddha image inscription of the time of Kanishka I.
Lucknow Museum Jain image inscription of the time of Huvishka ( 126 AD ); Allahabad pillar inscription of Samudragupta; Aihole pillar inscription of Pulakesin II; Gwalior inscriptions of Mihira Bhoja; Tanjavaur inscription of Rajendra Chola and Sangli Copper plate of Govinda IV ( Swarn Varsha ).
Origin and antiquity of coinage in ancient India. Metal and techniques used for coins.
Main Coin Types :
Punch – marked Coins; inscribed and Uninscribed caste coins; Principal types of Indo – Greek Coinage; Coins of Saka, Kushan and Satvahana; Principal types of Gupta Gold coins; Roman coins; and brief account of pre – Islamic Medieval Indian coinage.

Updated CBSE UGC NET Syllabus for Archaeology in PDF


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