Stone Age – Short Notes

  • Robert Bruce Foote is called the “father of Indian pre-history” for his work with the Geological Survey and research on the ancient Stone Age.
  • Christian Jurgensen Thomsen, a Danish archaeologist, created the classic system of three main ages (stone, bronze, and iron) in the early 1800s. He then organized artifacts for a museum in 1836.
  • Animals were first tamed in the Mesolithic period. The oldest proof of this taming of animals in India were discovered at Adamgarh (Hoshangabad, M.P.) and Bagor (Bhilwara, Rajasthan).
  • Research has shown that animals were first domesticated during the Mesolithic period. The earliest signs of domesticated animals in India were found at Adamgarh (Hoshangabad, M.P.) and Bagor (Bhilwara, Rajasthan).
  • Many tools and artifacts made of bones and horns were discovered from the Mesolithic sites of Mahadaha, Damdama and Sarai Nahar Rai (in the Pratapgarh district of U.P.) as mentioned in Dr. Jai Narayan Pandey’s book, ‘Puratattva Vimarsh’.
  • In Damdama, located in Pratapgarh district of Uttar Pradesh, 41 human graves were found, with 5 of them being double burials and one triple burial. Additionally, a grave with four human skeletons was discovered at Sarai Nahar Rai.
  • Grains were first grown during the Neolithic Age, when people started farming. Evidence of rice and wheat was discovered in two Neolithic villages: Koldihwa and Mehrgarh.
  • In 1982, scientists in India found the earliest evidence of human activity (India) in the western Narmada region of Madhya Pradesh.
  • Humans consume 8 types of grains, such as barley, wheat, maize, millet, sorghum, mustard, oat and rice.
    1. Barley was the first grain to be cultivated around 8000 B.C. in the Middle East.
    2. Wheat was also grown there around 8000 B.C.
    3. Rice was grown in China near the Yangtze River in approx. 7000 B.C.
    4. Maize in Central and South America in 6000 B.C.
    5. Millet in 5500 B.C. in China
    6. Sorghum in 5000 B.C. in East Africa
    7. Mustard in 5000 B.C. in South-East Asia
    8. Oat in 2300 B.C. in Europe.
  • Recent studies have revealed that the earliest evidence of agriculture in India was discovered at the site of Lahuradeva in the Sant Kabir Nagar district of Uttar Pradesh. This evidence of human activity and the start of rice cultivation here dates back to around 7000-9000 B.C.
    • Previously, more ancient evidence of wheat was found in Mehrgarh (located in Balochistan, Pakistan) from around 7000 B.C., and the earliest proof of rice is believed to have come from the Belan river in Allahabad district, where rice bran was discovered from 6500 B.C.
    • Therefore, if Lahuradeva is an option, it is the correct answer, and if not, then Mehrgarh is the right answer.
  • The Copper Age is sometimes called the Chalcolithic Age. It is the time period when people used copper tools in addition to stone tools.
  • Artifacts from the Stone Age to the Harappan Civilization have been found in Mehrgarh, which is located in Balochistan, Pakistan.
  • Navdatoli, near Indore in Madhya Pradesh, has revealed evidence of both round and rectangular houses dated to be between 1600 B.C. and 1300 B.C.
  • Mandi is a place in western Uttar Pradesh, close to the Yamuna River, which is considered peripheral to the main distribution area of the Harappan Civilization. D.V. Sharma discovered jewelry here.
  • The Ahar civilization was part of the Chalcolithic period and was located in the Mewar region of Rajasthan. They used copper tools and evidence of copper smelting has been found. Rice was known to them. Black and red ware (BRW) and white geometric designs have been found.
  • Megaliths are large stones used as gravestones or memorials in cemeteries. Examples of megaliths are chamber tombs, dolmens, stone arrangements, stone circles, and pit circles.
  • Remains of Ash mound from the Neolithic period have been discovered in Sangana Kallu (Vellari district near Mysore, Karnataka), Piklihal and Utnur. These ash mounds are believed to have belonged to a herdsman community.
  • The Bhimbetka rock shelters, located in the Raisen district of Madhya Pradesh, is the best example of prehistoric paintings. Discovered by V.S. Wakankar in 1957. They have been included in UNESCO’s World Heritage List. There are a total of 133 paintings spread across 700 different shelters.

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The paintings of Ajanta and Bagh date back to after the Mauryan period, while Amravati, known for its cairn architecture, is thought to have been built during the Shunga or Satavahana period.

  • In 1951, B.B. Lal discovered and named Ochre-Coloured Pottery (OCP) at Hastinapur. OCP is recognizable by its ochre color, porous texture, and edges that appear to be worn out.
  • The Jorwe people built rectangular homes. They believed in an afterlife, so the dead were buried beneath the floor of their houses.
    • Children were put in two urns that were joined together
    • Adults were laid in a position with their heads pointed north (North-South direction).
    • These burial sites were located in places like Daimabad, Inamgaon, Chandauli, and Nevasa.
  • The Burzahom settlement is a Neolithic site located in the village of the same name in Kashmir Valley, known for pit dwellings and the Neolithic tool industry.
    • People and animal skeletons were discovered here with drill hole marks.
    • Mostly pet animals dogs and deer were buried with humans at Burzahom.
    • The first exploration of the Burzahom site was done by Helmut de Terra and Dr Thomas Paterson in 1935.
    • The human skeletons were found in the pits in a seated position.

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  • The Chandraketugarh site is located in the Ganga Delta in West Bengal and in early times, was connected to the Ganga by the Vidyadhari River and was a political center. It was known for its terracotta craft, coins, pottery, seals, sealings and figurines made of ivory, wood and bronze.
  • The Ganeshwar-Jodhpura culture was in the northeast of Rajasthan, and many copper objects have been found there.
  • J.N. Pandey’s book ‘Puratatva Vimarsh’ stated that 17 human skeletons were taken from a rock shelter called Lekhahiya in the Vindhya region.
  • People living in the Stone Age in the Vindhyas moved to the Ganga Valley at the end of the Pleistocene period due to changing weather conditions, as the Vindhyan Valley had become dry.
  • The Archaeological Survey of India is a government organization that protects and studies the cultural heritage of India. Archaeological Survey was founded in 1871 with Alexander Cunningham as its first Director-General. In 1901, it was centralised and given its current name by Lord Curzon and John Marshall was made the first Director General.
  • The Indira Gandhi National Human Museum, formerly known as the National Human Museum, is located in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. It is run independently under the Department of Culture.