- During this period man did not keep any written description of the events.
- Whatever information is available about the subject during this period is obtained from stone tools, pottery, toys etc.
That period of human development for which written description is available is called history. The story of man begins about one million years ago, but the ‘wise man’ Homo sapiens entered this earth only about thirty or forty thousand years ago.
• This period is considered to be the initial period of human civilization. This period can be divided into three parts. ,
1. Paleolithic Age
2. Mesolithic Age and
3. Neolithic Age or Late Stone Age
- In Greek language, Palaios was used to mean ancient and Lithos was used to mean stone. On the basis of these words the word Paleolithic Age was formed.
- This period is also known as the hunter and food-gathering period. Till now, remains of Paleolithic man have not been found anywhere in India, whatever remains have been found are the stone tools used at that time.
- On the basis of the tools found, it is estimated that these are around 2,50,000 BC.
- Recently, from the remains excavated at a place called ‘Bori’ in Maharashtra, it is being estimated that the presence of ‘human beings’ on this earth is about 14 lakh years old. Stone tools made of round stones are mainly found in the Sohan river valley.
Tools made by simple stone core and flax system have been found mainly in Madras, present day Chennai. Stone tools made from both these systems have been found in Singroli Valley, Mirzapur and Belan Valley, Allahabad.
The mountain caves and rock shelters found in Bhim Betka near Bhopal city of Madhya Pradesh are also important. The life of humans of this time was completely dependent on hunting.
They were ignorant of the use of fire. Probably the people of this time belonged to the Negreto caste. The Paleolithic Age in India can be divided into three stages on the basis of tools and technology. These stages are-
- Lower Paleolithic period
- Middle Paleolithic period
- Upper Paleothic period
- Hand-axe and Cleaver Industry.
- Tools made of Flax
- Tools made on scales and Blades
Middle Stone Age | Mesolithic Age
- The tools used in this period were very small in size, which were called microliths. In place of quartzite, the raw material used in the Paleolithic period, materials like jasper, agate, chert and chalcedony were used in the Mesolithic period.
- Stone tools of this time have been found in Rajasthan, Malwa, Gujarat, West Bengal, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Mysore. Recently, some remains have also been found from Singrauli, Banda and Vindhya areas of Mirzapur.
Some remains of Mesolithic human bone fragments have been found from a place called Sarai Nahar Rai and Mahdaha in Pratapgarh, Uttar Pradesh.
Mesolithic life was also more dependent on hunting. By this time people had started hunting cows, bulls, sheep, horses and buffaloes among animals.
The earliest evidence of humans in India is from Kerala, which is likely to be seventy thousand years old, based on evidence from unchanged biological chromosomes of living individuals. The chromosomes of this person completely match the biological chromosomes (genes) of ancient humans in Africa.
This is the period when primitive humans from Africa started settling in many parts of the world, which is believed to be fifty to seventy thousand years ago. The first evidence related to agriculture is of sowing of plants in ‘Sambhar’ Rajasthan which is seven thousand years old before Christ.
An advanced civilization existed in the Indus Valley between 3000 BC and 1500 BC, the remains of which have been found in Mohenjo-daro and Harappa. It is believed that the Aryans entered India later. In the Vedas we get a glimpse of the civilization of that period.
Based on some evidence, in the last phase of the Mesolithic period, it seems that people were getting attracted towards agriculture and animal husbandry. It is clear from the tombs found at this time that people were familiar with funeral rituals.
Along with human skeletons, dog skeletons have also been found at some places, which shows that these people were companions of humans since ancient times.
Neolithic or North Stone Age
- Generally the limit of this period is 3500 BC. to 1000 BC Is considered between. Greek word Neo. The word is used in the sense of new. Therefore this period is also called ‘Neolithic period’.
The civilization of this period was spread over the vast area of India. First of all, in 1860 AD, ‘Le Mesurier’ Le Mesurier obtained the first stone tool of this period from the Tons River valley of Uttar Pradesh.
After this, in 1872 AD, ‘Niblian Fraser’ declared the ‘Bellary’ region of Karnataka as the main site of the post-Stone Age civilization of South India.
Apart from this, the main focal points of this civilization are – Kashmir, Sindh Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Assam etc.
- The period in which man used stone and copper tools together is called Chalcolithic period. The first metal to be used in tools was ‘copper’.
- It is believed that copper was first used around 5000 BC. Was done in.
- The main areas of Chalcolithic stage in India are in south-eastern Rajasthan, western part of Madhya Pradesh, western Maharashtra and south-eastern India.
- Places named ‘Ahara’ and ‘Gilund’ were excavated in the dry areas of ‘Banas Valley’ located in south-eastern Rajasthan. Excavation work was also completed at Malwa, and Eran places which are situated in western Madhya Pradesh.
- The ‘pottery’ obtained from excavations in Malwa is considered to be the best among other earthen pots obtained from excavations of the Chalcolithic period.
Extensive excavation areas in Western Maharashtra include Jove, Nevasa and Daimabad in Ahmednagar, Songaon, Inamgaon etc. in Pune district. All these areas come under ‘Jorve culture’.
The period of this culture was 1,400-700 BC. Is considered close to. Although this civilization was rural, the process of urbanization had started in some parts like ‘Daimabad’ and ‘Inamgaon’.
Flat axes, bangles and many types of sheets have been found in ‘Ahad’ located in ‘Banasghati’. All these were instruments made of copper. People of ‘Ahad’ or ‘Tambavali’ already had knowledge about metals.
The Ahad culture dates back to 2,100 to 1,500 BC. Is considered between. ‘Gilundu’, where remains of a stone slab industry have been found, is considered to be the center point of the Ahar culture.
During this period people used to cultivate wheat, paddy and pulses. Among animals, they reared cows, buffaloes, sheep, goats, pigs and camels. Remains of a five-room house have been found under ‘Jorve culture’. Life was generally rural.
Red and black colored ‘pottery’ made of chalk has been found. Some utensils, like ‘simple saucers’ and ‘simple bowls’, ‘cotton and silk threads’ in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh and ‘bead necklaces’ found in ‘Kayatha’, suggest that people in the ‘Chalcolithic Age’ used spinning. -Was familiar with weaving and goldsmithing business.
At this time, dead bodies were cremated inside the house. The heads of the dead bodies found in South India were towards the east and the legs were towards the west and the heads of the dead bodies found in Maharashtra were towards the north and the legs were towards the south.
People of this period were ignorant of the art of writing. The clay idol of Vrishabha found in Rajasthan and Malwa and the idol of Matridevi found in ‘Inam village’ indicate that people used to worship Vrishabha and Matridevi.
According to the chronological order, there are many branches of Chalcolithic settlements in India. Some are ‘Pre-Harappan’, some are contemporary with the Harappan culture, and some are from the post-Harappan period.
Under ‘Pre-Harappan culture’, ‘Kalibanga’ of Rajasthan and ‘Banwali’ of Haryana clearly belong to the Chalcolithic stage. 1,200 BC ‘Chalcolithic culture’ disappeared around 1500 BC. Only the Jorve culture dates back to 700 BC. Could survive till.
The remains of painted utensils are first found in the ‘Chalcolithic period’ only. People of this period first established big villages in the Indian peninsula.