Stone Age
Stone Age

Stone Age:- The Age of Transition

History covers an important part in many examinations such as WBCS, IBPS, RRB and mostly all the government exams. We need to cover Ancient Indian History in detail so that all the questions can be solved easily. The Ancient History covers many parts and all of them are given here:-

  • Stone Age
  • Harappan Civilization
  • Advent of Aryans and Age of Rig Veda
  • Later Vedic Age
  • Jainism and Buddhism advent
  • Magadh Empire
  • Mauryan Empire
  • Central Asian Contacts and their results
  • Age of Satavahanas
  • Sangam Age
  • Gupta Age
  • Harsha

We will be covering the series of this Ancient History one by one. The first most important topic for discussion would be the “Stone Age”

Stone Age

The primary source of knowledge for the stone age is archaeological investigations because it belongs to the prehistoric era, or the time before the invention of writing. The Pallavaram handaxe was uncovered by archaeologist Robert Bruce Foote. It was the first palaeolithic tool ever found in India.

Indian stone age is largely divided into three groups based on geological age, the type and technology of stone tools, and subsistence level:

  • Old Stone Age, or Palaeolithic Period: 500,000 to 10,000 BCE
  • Age of the Mesolithic (Late Stone Age): 10,000–6000 BCE
  • Age of Neolithic (New Stone Age): 6000–1000 BCE.

Paleolithic Period (Old Stone Age)

The word “Palaeolithic” is a combination of the Greek words “palaeo” for old and “lithic” for stone. Consequently, the phrase “Paleolithic age” refers to the prehistoric stone period. The Pleistocene period, also known as the Ice Age, is a geological era during which the earth was covered in ice and the climate was so cold that neither human life nor plant life could survive. During this time, India’s old stone age or palaeolithic culture emerged. The earliest species of men, however, could have lived in a tropical area where ice had melted.

The Palaeolithic age’s primary characteristics are:

  • India, where quartzite, a hard rock, was used to make the stone tools.
  • The Indian people are believed to have belonged to the ‘Negrito’ race, and lived in the open air, river valleys, caves and rock shelters.
  • They were food gatherers, ate wild fruits and vegetables, and lived on hunting.
  • There was no knowledge of houses, pottery, agriculture. It was only in later stages they discovered fire.
  • In the upper palaeolithic age, there is evidence of art in the form of paintings.
  • Humans used unpolished, rough stones like hand axes, choppers, blades, burins and scrapers.

According to the kind of stone tools people used and the pattern of climate change, the old stone age, also known as the palaeolithic age, in India is divided into three phases.

Up to 100,000 BC is the Lower Palaeolithic Age.

  • Age of the Middle Palaeolithic: 100,000 to 40,000 BC
  • Age of the Upper Palaeolithic: 40,000 to 10,000 BC

Earlier Paleolithic Period (Early Palaeolithic Age)

  • It mostly encompasses the Ice Age.
  • The use of hand axes, choppers, and cleavers by hunters and food gatherers. Tools were hefty and abrasive.
  • Bori in Maharashtra is one of the earliest lower Palaeolithic sites.
  • Tools were also crafted from limestone.

Important Lower Palaeolithic sites in the Soan Valley (in present Pakistan)

Kashmiri sites in the Thar Desert.

Age of the Middle Palaeolithic

  • Flakes, blades, pointers, scrapers, and borers were the tools employed.
  • Smaller, lighter, and thinner tools were used.
  • In comparison to other instruments, the use of hand axes decreased.

Important sites from the middle Palaeolithic period

  • UP’s Belan Valley
  • Valley of Luni (Rajasthan)
  • Rivers Son and Narmada
  • Tungabhadra river valleys in Bhimbetka
  • Plateau Potwar (between Indus & Jhelum)
  • Cave of Sanghao (near Peshawar, Pakistan)

Lower Palaeolithic period

  • The last stage of the ice age, when the temperature began to become noticeably warmer and less humid, fell within the upper palaeolithic age.
  • Homo sapiens first appeared.
  • The era is characterised by technological and tool innovation. a large number of bone implements, including burins, harpoons, parallel-sided blades, and needles.

Major Upper Palaeolithic sites can be found at 

  • Bhimbetka (south of Bhopal), including hand axes, cleavers, blades, scrapers, and a few bruins.
  • Belan Son Chota, the Eastern Ghats of Andhra Pradesh, the Maharashtra plateau of Nagpur (Bihar), and
  • Only the cave sites of Kurnool and Muchchatla Chintamani Gavi in Andhra Pradesh have yielded bone implements.

Mesolithic Age (Middle Stone Age)

Greek terms for “meso” and “lithic,” respectively, are the source of the phrase “mesolithic.” Meso means in the centre and lithic meaning stone in Greek. The Mesolithic period of prehistory is thus also referred to as the “Middle Stone Age.”

The Mesolithic and Neolithic periods are both considered to be Holocene in age. A rise in temperature and a warming of the environment during this time period caused the ice to melt and brought about changes in the flora and fauna.

Mesolithic era defining characteristics

  • Initially, the people of this era subsisted on hunting, fishing, and foraging for food; however, as time went on, they also domesticated animals and cultivated plants, laying the foundation for agriculture.
  • The wild progenitor of the dog was the first animal to be domesticated.

Neolithic Age (New Stone Age)

Neolithic is a name that comes from the Greek words “neo” for new and “lithic” for stone. As a result, the phrase “Neolithic Age” designates the “New Stone Age.” Since it brought about numerous significant changes in man’s social and economic existence, it is also known as the “Neolithic revolution.” In the Neolithic period, man transitioned from being a food gatherer to a food producer.

Neolithic Age Identifying Characteristics

  • Tools and Weapons – In addition to polished stone tools, the inhabitants also used microlithic blades. The usage of celts was crucial for hand axes that were polished and ground. They also employed bone-based implements and weaponry, including as arrowheads, scrapers, needles, and borers. It is simpler for people to hunt and cultivate
  • Agriculture – During the Neolithic era, people farmed fruits, grains, and grains like ragi and horse gramme (kulati). They raised sheep, goats, and cattle as well.
  • Pottery –As agriculture developed, humans had to store their food grains and prepare it for cooking and consumption. Because of this, it is thought that large-scale pottery production began during this time. This time period’s pottery was divided into three categories: greyware, black-burnished ware, and mat imprinted ware. Pottery was manufactured by hand in the early Neolithic period, but later pots were made using foot wheels.

Age of Chalcolithic (Stone Copper Age)

Stone and metal tools began to be used together for the first time during the Chalcolithic Age. Copper was the first metal utilised. The Chalcolithic period was generally considered to be the pre-Harappan period, but it actually began in many areas of the country after the bronze Harappan culture.

Chalcolithic Age characteristics

  • Agriculture and cattle raising: During the stone- and copper-age, mankind domesticated animals and grew food. They hunted deer and domesticated animals including cows, sheep, goats, pigs, and buffaloes.
  •  Whether or not they were familiar with the horse is unclear. People consumed meat, but not a significant amount of pig. The Chalcolithic people farmed bajra in addition to producing wheat and rice.

The stone age has been covered by Edureify in detail. Keep following the Ancient history series to know more about Indian History and the journey till the present era. 


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