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Neolithic Age (New Stone Age)(6,000-1,000 BC)



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Neolithic Age The word 'neolithic' was first coined by Sir John Lubbock in 1865. Miles Burkit enumerated four characteristics of neolithic culture

  1. Animal domestication
  2. Agricultural practice
  3. Grined and Polished stone tools and
  4. Pottery manufacture

The discovery of the tools and implements of the neolithic age was made by Le Mesurier in Uttar Pradesh in 1860. Later on, Frasher discovered such objects in Bellary in South India. The people of this age used tools and implements of polished stone.

Neolithic People : The civilisation and culture of the Neolithic age shows distinct traces of progress. The Neolithic men had a settled life. They practised agriculture and grew fruits and corn. Animals, such as the cow, dog, ox, goat etc. were domesticated. The art of producing fire by the friction of bamboos or pieces of stones was known to them. Instead of eating the uncooked flesh of various animals, they now started roasting it. Besides this, bows and arrows were invented and were used for the purpose of hunting. They also learnt pottery, at first by hand and then with the potter's wheel. They painted and decorated their pots. They lived in caves, the walls of which were polished and painted with the scenes of hunting and dancing. The also learnt the art of spinning and weaving clothes. They used to bury their dead and construct tombs over them which were known as Dolmens, Menhirs etc.s

Neolithic Tools : The stone tools of the Neolithic age bear unmistakeable signs of polish either all over the tools or at the buttend and working-end, or only at the working end. They fashioned their tools out of fine-grained dark-green trap, though there are examples of the use of diorite, basalt, slate, chlorite, schist, indurated shale, gneiss, sand stone and quartzite.

Occupation : Neolithic settlers were cattle-herders and agriculturists. They produced ragi, wheat, barley, rice, masoor, moong, kulthi etc. Hand-made pottery is also found in the early stage. Elephant, rhino, buffalo, ox, stag remains are also found in plenty. But there is no specification of these domesticated. The pottery were well made but were coarse in nature, not that much polished.

Red, Grey, Black and Red Ware, Black Burnished Ware and Mat-impressed Wars are associated with this culture.

Tools making was another important occupation which included a variety of picks, scrapers, eyed needles, bodkins and pierced batons.

Facts to Remember
  • Sir John Lubbock coined the term Neolithic in his book Prehistoric Teme , first published in 1865. The term refers to an age in which stone implements were more skillfully made and more varied in form.
  • It was V. Gardon Childe who defined the Neolothic-Chalcolithic culture as a self sufficient food economy
  • Miles Burkit put forward the following four characteristics a culture should fulfil to be called a Neolithic Culture
    1. Agriculture practice
    2. Domestication of animal
    3. polished and grined stone tools
    4. pottery manufacture

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