The Age of Pre-historic Culture:-
At very ancient period based on scripts history divided into 2 types. They are
1. prehistoric and 2. historic.
Prehistoric means people have no script and history cannot be studied.
Historic means people have script and history can study.
Prehistoric culture consists of 4 cultures.
They are- paleolithic culture, Mesolithic culture, Neolithic culture, Chalcolithic culture
1. Paleolithic culture:-
From earliest to 10,000BC. Maximum people lived in this culture. There is no development of the brain for people. Paleo means old and lithic means stone.
Hand axes, blades, cleavers, burin, flakes, choppers, scrapers were the tools used. Quartzite is a typical rock or stone used to make these tools hence these men were called Quartzite men.
First paleolithic site discovered in India was found at Pallavaram near Chennai by British archeologist named Robert Bruce Foote in 1863.
Paleolithic sites were found everywhere in India expect alluvial parts of Gangs and Indus.
Food hunting is done by men and gathering done by women.
People lived in bands and nomadic life because of economic strength. The Paleolithic period comes or falls in Pleistocene age or ice age.
Man during this period used tools of unpolished, undressed rough stories & lived in a cave & rock shelters. Paleolithic Age in India has been divided into 3 phases during to the nature of stone tools used by the people & also according to the nature of change in the climate.
1. The Early Age:-
The Early Age Covers the greater part of the ice age. Its characteristic tools are hand axes, Cleavers, Choppers. Such tools have been found in soon & Sohan river valley (now in Pakistan) & in the Belan Valley in the Mirzapur district of U.P. Climate become less humid.
2. Middle Paleolithic Phase:-
Middle Paleolithic Phase is characterized by the use of stone tools made of flakes mainly Scrapers, borers & blade-like tools. Sites are found in the valleys of soon Narmada & Tungabhadra rivers. During this phase, Pithecanthropus/Homoerectus evolved.
3. Upper Paleolithic Phase:-
Upper Paleolithic Phase climate become warm & less humid. This stage is marked by burins & Scrapers. Such tools have been found in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Bhopal & Chhota Nagpur Plateau.
- The old stone Age sites are widely found in various parts of the Indian Subcontinent & are generally located near water Sources.
- Food was obtained by hunting animals & gathering edible plants & tubers, Therefore, these people are called as the hunter-gatherers.
- Hunting of large animals would have required the combined effort of a group of people with large stone axes. Their way to life became modified with the passage of time Since they made attempts to domesticate animal make crude pots & grow some plants.
- A few old stone Age paintings have also been found on rocks at Bhimbetka in MP & grow some plants.
- Some famous sites of old stone Age in India are:-
a) Soon Valley & Potwar Plateau on Northwest India. b) Siwalik hills on north India. c) Bhimbetka in MP. d) Adamgarh hill in Narmada valley. e) Kurnool in AP. f) Attirampakkam near Chennai.
- At Chopani- Mando in the Belan Valley of the Vindhyas & the middle part of the Narmada Valley a Sequence of occupation from all the 3 stages of the Paleolithic to the Neolithic stage have been found in Sequence. Chopani Mando is an imp site where fossil animal bones have been found.
- The son & the adjacent Belan Valley (Mirzapur, UP) provide a Sequence of artifacts from lower Paleolithic to Neolithic.
2. Mesolithic culture:-
10,000BC to 4000BC
Around 10000BC means at the end of the paleolithic age, there were two developments.
1.The emergence of Homosapiens.
2.End of a Pleistocene age.
Developments of Mesolithic culture.
1.Domestication of animals.
2.The invention of pottery.
Chopani Mando in UP is a Mesolithic site where first pottery made in India.
3.Housing building activity.
Sarai Nahar Rai in UP is the first houses built in India
4.used small tools know as Microliths leads to safe hunting. Size is not more than 5cm.
Microliths- pointed, crescentic blades, scrapers tools were used.
Meso means middle and lithic means stone
- Various Mesolithic sites are found in the Chhota Nagpur region, Central India & also South of the Krishna River.
- Mesolithic remains are found in Sanghani in Gujarat, Azamgarh in MP, Some places of Rajasthan, UP & Bihar.
- Painting & engravings found at the rock shelters give an idea about the Social life & economic activities of Mesolithic people. The hunting-gathering pattern of life continued during this period.
- However, there seems to have been a shift from big animal hunting to Small animal hunting & fishing. The use of bow & arrow also began.
- Also, there began a tendency to Settle for longer periods in an area. Therefore domestication of animals, horticulture & primitive cultivation started.
- The last phase of this age saw the beginning of plain cultivation. Animal bones are found in these sites & these include the dog, deer, boar & ostrich.
- Occasionally, burials of the dead along with Same microliths & shells seem to have been practiced.
3. Neolithic culture:-
7000BC to 1000BC
Agriculture is the predominant feature.
Polishing of stone tools.
Food hunting to food prediction.
Neo means new and lithic means stone
1. North West site:-
Mehrgarh situated in Baluchistan, a province of Pakistan.
Earliest in India dated back to 7000BC.
Wheat, barley, cotton, were cultivated by Mehrgarh’s people. Earliest Neolithic people in India cultivate cotton in the world. First pottery’s wheel found in Mehrgarh. They painted and decorated also.
2. In Gangs basin:-
Began at 5000BC.
Koldihwa in UP is Neolithic site dated back to 5000BC. Earliest people in the world to cultivate rice
Agriculture began at 2500BC. Gufkral in Jammu and Burzahom in Kashmir were Neolithic sites.
Houses built by people are different called pit-dwellings.
Chirand in Bihar, Belan valley in UP, several places of Deccan.
Agriculture began at 2000BC.ragi and horse gram was cultivated.
Nagarjuna konda in Andhra Pradesh,Utnur in Telangana,Maski,Tekkelakota,Piklihal,Brahmagiri, Hallur in Karnataka,Piyanpalli in Tamilnadu were Neolithic sites.
5.North Eastern states:-
Agriculture began at 1000BC due to thick forest.
Garo hills in Assam and Meghalaya were the Neolithic sites.
Neolithic people used clothes made of cotton and wool.
- Chirand & Senuwar in Bihar -> Know for remarkable bone tools.
- Amri, Kotdiji.
- Cultivation of plants & domestication of animals led to the emergence of village communities based on Sedentary life.
- Great improvement in the technology of making tools & other equipment.
- Mud brick houses were built instead of grass huts.
- Knew about the fire.
- Large urns were used as coffins for the burial of the dead.
Chalco means copper and lithic means stone. A time period of this culture is 3000 to 700BC. Important sites of this culture are khetri mines in Rajasthan. Ahar, Timbavati, Gulind in Rajasthan.Malwa, Kayata, Eran, Navolatoli in western Madhya Pradesh.Jorwe, Chandoli, Inamgoan, Daimabad in Maharashtra. Nearly 2000 sites are in Maharashtra.