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Prehistoric India

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Posted on : 15 Jun 2010 06:55 pm
Prehistoric India

The prehistoric years in India is speculated to have begun from 200000 B.C to about 3500-2500 B.C. Prehistory refers to the time when life first appeared on earth. It also refers to the period of time when the first civilization took shape. Ever since men set their foot on earth, they began to wander from one corner to another. The primitive men lived on food hunting and food gathering. This was their primary occupation and they shoveled in groups of small families.

The Prehistoric Age can be broadly divided into:

Stone Age: As the name signifies, it was an age when stone was used as a primary tool for utilitarian purpose. The Stone Age has been further classified into the Paleolithic Age or the Old Stone Age, Mesolithic Age or the Middle Stone Age and Neolithic Age or the New Stone Age.

Paleolithic Age: Men of this age were food gatherers and they live in close association with nature. The Paleolithic Age is the earliest period of the Stone Age. The stone was used as an effective tool and various kinds of hunting weapons were curved out of them. These weapons were used to kill small animals and for tearing their flesh. Man also learnt to produce fire and extensively made use of them for various purpose. The Paleolithic age lasted till 8000 B.C.

Mesolithic Age: Small communities were formed in this age. Human beings were slowly learning to lead a life of subsistence. The stone tools were modernized and farming began to take place at an alarming rate. Men made weapons like hand axes, spears, borers and burins. There were small settlements in some parts and the age witnessed a radical change in the food and clothing habits. Man adopted the art of drawing and painting and the famous Bhimbetka Cave near Bhopal stands as an indication of the artiste in them. The Mesolithic Age lasted from 8000B.C 4000B.C. It was an age, which saw an upsurge in the development of human technology.

Neolithic Age: The Neolithic Age is the last stage of the Stone Age Era. Weapons were improvised all the more in this age, as men adopted new techniques. The age saw the wide domestication of cattle, horses and other animals. They were used to produce meat and milk products. It was in the Neolithic Age that the great utility of the wheel came to the awareness of the human beings. At a later stage of this age, bronze and copper were used to make weapons and tools were specialized all the more. In short, it was a period of technological and social development.

Bronze Age: Tools and weapons were given a new look. The Bronze period commenced immediately after the Neolithic Age. Although, the exact date of its origin is not known, it is said to have begun around 3300B.C. Men began to adopt the most advanced means of livelihood.

Iron Age: As the name itself connotes, it is an age when iron became the primary material for making tools and weapons.
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