Pre Historic Age in India

Pre Historic Age

The Prehistoric period in india can be classified as:

Palaeolithic Age———- Old Stone Age ————(BC 10000 years ago)

Mesolithic Age———- middle Stone Age ————(BC 9000 – B.C 4000)

Neolithic Age————–New Stone Age ———–(BC 7000 – BC 1000) 

Chalcolithic Age———–Copper Stone Age ——–(BC 3000 – BC 700)

Paleolithic age – Old stone age

  • The first site of paleolithic age in India was discovered by Robert Bruce Foote at Pallavaram near Chennai.
  • Stone tools of paleolithic age were found in Soan valley (Punjab), Narmada valley (Madhya Pradesh), belan valley (Uttar Pradesh), Kurnool caves in Andhra Pradesh.
  • Paleolithic man has several tools with a typical stone called quartzite.
  • Fossils of ramapithecus were discovered in the Shivalik region and of the Neanderthal in the Narmada region.
  • During this age, humans lived as hunter-gatherers.

Mesolithic age – middle stone age

  • Construction of shelters was started in this period.
  • Many such shelters were found at Sarai Nahar Rai in Uttar Pradesh.
  • Pottery began to be made at this age. Pottery wheel came into existence from the Neolithic age.
  • Earliest human made pottery was discovered at chopani Mando in Uttar Pradesh.
  • Domestication of animals has started. ( Cows, dogs, sheep, goats. )
  • Tools were made with quartzite and chert. As the tools of the Mesolithic age were smaller in size, they are called microliths.
  • Burial ground system was started.

Neolithic age – New stone age

  • The greatest of all the developments of this period is the beginning of agriculture.

Important Neolithic sites

  • Mehrgarh was the oldest Neolithic site in indian subcontinent.
  • Wheat, barley, cotton were cultivated.
  • They built mud houses with thatched roofs and began to live in groups in small villages.
  • The Neolithic people of mehrgarh were the first to cultivate cotton in the world.
  • Wheat, barley were first cultivated in Egypt.
  • The earliest evidence of Potter’s wheel was found here.
  • Koldihwa in Uttar Pradesh. The remains of rice found at this site provides the earliest evidence of rice cultivation in the world known so far.
  • Burzahom in Srinagar, Kashmir. The earliest Neolithic homes at burzahom were pits dug below ground level.
  • A grave in which a dog was buried with a human was found.
  • The inhabitants of burzahom had trade relations with the people of Indus valley civilization.

Important Neolithic sites in south India.

  •  Karnataka———————-sanganakallu, piklihal, Brahmagupta, tekkalakota.
  •  Andhra Pradesh————– Kurnool caves, Renigunta. 
  •  Tamilnadu———————-Athirambakkam, Kanchipuram, Thiruvallur, paiyampalli.
  • Telangana———————–utnoor.
  • The Neolithic people of south India were contemporary to Indus valley civilization.
  • The Neolithic sites of North East India were found in the garo hills of Meghalaya and Assam. Daojali hading and meherland are important among them.

. . . . . . . . . . .

Chalcolithic age – Copper age

  • Copper is the first metal used by the humans.

Important chalcolithic sites in India.

  • Ahar – Rajasthan. The inhabitants of ahar used copper brought from khetri mines of Rajasthan.
  • Gliund is an important settlement of ahar where the houses were built of burnt bricks and stones.
  • The chalcolithic people of Ganga Yamuna doab, guneria(Madhya Pradesh), Hastinapur (Uttar Pradesh)  used a special type of pottery known as ocp (ochre coloured pottery). 
  • Malwa (Madhya Pradesh), Kayatha, navdatoli, Eran are important sites of Malwa.
  • Jorwe (Maharashtra) : Nearly 200 sites were found here. Inamgaon, chandoli, and diamabad (first human body was found here) are the important sites of jorwe. 

. . . . . . . . . . .

Prehistoric rock paintings 


  • The rock shelters and caves of Bhimbetka in Madhya Pradesh have a large number of paintings that portray animals, animal hunting, communal dances, birds, mothers and children etc. UNESCO declared this site as a world heritage centre in 2003.

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