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Pre-Historic Period

Pre-Historic Period : Most Important points

Most important points about pre-historic period/stone age in India

Pre-historic Period - Most Important Points for Prelims

What is the Prehistoric period ?
  • Stone AgePrehistoric period refers to the time before the emergence of writing
  • Divided into:
    • Paleolithic (Old Stone Age)
    • Mesolithic (Middle Stone Age)
    • Neolithic (New Stone Age)
    • Metal Age.
Paleolithic or Old Stone Age
  • Pre-Historic PeriodTimeline - From 2 million years ago to about 12,000 years ago.
  • Further divided into the Lower Paleolithic, Middle Paleolithic and Upper Paleolithic ages.
  • People were hunter-gatherers.
  • Stone implements were made of Quartzite.
  • Important Paleolithic sites in India are Lingsugur in Karnataka, Bhimbetka in Madhya Pradesh, Adamgarh hill in Narmada valley, Kurnool in Andhra Pradesh, Attirampakkam near Chennai etc.
Mesolithic or Middle Stone Age
  • Microliths of mesolithic periodTimeline - Falls roughly from 12000 B.C. to 6000 B.C.
  • Favorable changes happened in the climate.  Climate became warmer and humid which was favorable for growth of vegetation.
  • Primitive cultivation started.
  • Domestication of animals started. Earliest evidence is found from Adamgarh in Madhya Pradesh and Bagor of Rajasthan
  • Stone tools were smaller in size called Microliths.
  • Paintings and engravings found at the rock shelters. Best example - Bhimbetka.
Neolithic Age or New Stone age
  • MegalithsTimeline - Began around 6000 B.C .
  • Beginning of agriculture. Oldest evidence of Agriculture is found in Mehrgarh in Baluchistan.
  • Invention of the Potter’s Wheel - Manufacture of pottery.
  • First evidence of Cotton cultivation - Mehrgarh, Pakistan.
  • Settled life started.
  • Brick houses and Pit-houses (Burzahom , Kashmir) were in use.
  • Megaliths ( A large pre-historic stone structures) were erected.
Chalcolithic/Metal age
  • Dancing Girl of Harappa CivilizationNeolithic period was followed by the Chalcolithic/Metal age.
  • Humans began using metals along with stones.
  • Also called the ‘Copper-Stone’ age.
  • Grown along the river valleys.
  • Harappan culture is also considered as a part of Chalcolithic culture.

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