Indian History in Pre-Historic Age


The Mesolithic Age (9000-4000 BC)

It was a transitional phase between the Paleolithic and the Neolithic age and has also been referred to as the Late Stone age. The Mesolithic people lived on hunting, fishing, and food gathering. At a later stage, they also domesticated animals as witnessed from Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
 The Mesolithic Age reflects a more specialized and efficient food collection as well, leading to the beginning of plant cultivation. This phase is technologically characterized by microliths  or small pointed and sharp tools. Such tools were extremely small, about 3 cm in length.
The Mesolithic tools were characterized by blades produced or taken out from already prepared cores of fine materials like Chert, Crystals, Jasper, Carnelian, Agate etc.  Such Sharp tools were used for killing fast moving animals. Saws and sickles were made using the sharp tools by stucking them on wooden or bone handles. The Paleolithic and Mesolithic men practiced painting.
Though pre-historic art appears at several places, Bhimbetka appears to be striking area in this respect having more than 500 painted rock shelters. Adamgarh, Pratapgarh, and Mirzpur, are also known for their cave paintings, Bagor in Rajasthan, is the largest Mesolithic site in India and also the most well documented site in the whole sub-continent.
Other Mesolithic sites are Langhraj in Gujarat and Mohrana Pahara in Mirzapur, both providing the earliest evidence of burials, along with of the good placed with the dead.

The Neolithic Age (4000-1800 BC)

The Neolithic Age marked the initiation of food production. The age also witnessed the domestication of animals and cultivation of plants. While the dog, goat and sheep were the first domesticated animals, wheat and barley were the earliest cereals grown. The inhabitants knew of the art of producing fire by the process of friction.
The developments in the spheres so mentioned above led to increased settlements in selected areas, leading further to the growth of villages and farming communities. The tools so produced also underwent a significant change. The ground was digged with a heavy digging-stick, sickles for harvesting, axes for cutting trees, for grinding querns and mortars, grain etc. Their tools included stone celts, adzes, Chisels, hammer d stones, mortars, discs, sling stones etc.
The need for pottery emerged much now, so to store super-plus grains and to hold liquids. Ochre-Coloured Pottery (OCP) was used by the Neolithic people. The wheel was an important discovery. The people are said to be  inhabiting in polished and painted caves, with the depiction of the scenes of hunting and dancing. Mehrgarh in Balochistan (Pakistan) is the oldest Neolithic site in Indian sub-continent (7000 BC).
•    Kashmir only Site where Microliths are completely absent. Chirand and Kashmir only sites which have yielded considerable bone implements.
•    Burzahom Domestic dogs used to be buried with their masters in their graves. Allahabad district cultivation of rice in the 6th millennium BC.

Important Areas of Neolithic Settlements

Based on the types of axes used by the Neolithic Settlers, one can distinguish three important areas of Neolithic settlement. The first group take among them is found in the north –west in the valley of Kashmir at a place named Burzahom (which means place of birth). here, the people lived on the take side in pits. They seem to have been acquainted with agriculture.
They also used coarse grey pottery. In Bruzahom, we have the evidence of dog burials along with the human graves, cultural features of the Asian Neolithic Cultures. The People of Gufkral, (which means the cave of the potter) ,  a Neolithic site 41 km South-West of Srinagar, Practiced agriculture as well as domestication of animals. The Second group of Neolithic people inhabited in south India, south of the Godavari  river at sites such as Nagarjunakonda, Brahmagiri, Maski, piveenal, Hallur and Sananakallu. They usually settled on the top of granite hills or on plateaus near the river banks.
They used Stone axes and also some kind of stone blades. Fire backed Earthen figurines suggest that they kept a huge number of cattle. They possessed cattle, Sheep and goats. They used rubbing stone querns, which shows that they were acquainted with the art producing cereals.
The third group located in the hills of Assam. Neolithic tools are found in the Garo hills in Meghalaya on the North Eastern frontier of India.
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Indian History in Pre-Historic Age
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