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Palaeolithic Age (50,000 - 1,00,000 BC)



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Palaeolithic Age It was basically a hunting and food gathering culture 'Palaeo' means 'old' and 'lithic' means 'stone'. Palaeolithic age in India is divided into three phases:

  1. Early or Lower Palaeothic (50,000 - 100,000 BC) : It covers the greater part of the Ice Age and its characteristic feature is the use of hand-axe, cleaners and choppen
  2. Middle Palaeothic (100,000 - 40,000 BC): The Middle Palaeothic culture is characterised by flakes. The principal tools are variety of blades, points and scrappers made of flakes.
  3. Upper Palaeolithic (40,000 - 10,000 BC) : It marks the appearance of Homo Sapiens and new flint industries; widespread appearance of a figurines and other artifacts reflecting art and rituals; the appearance of wide range of bone tools, including needles, fishing tools, harpoons, blades and burin tools.

Palaeolithic Age People :

Earliest Palaeolithic man lived on hunting and food gathering. The hunting and gathering pattern was dependent upon the season. The nature of stone tools also varied according to the climate. Not knowing how to grow his food, he ate fruits, birds, raw animal flesh etc. The people were wanderers and moved from places to place. They took refuge under the rocks in caves and hollow tree trunks.

Facts to Remember
  • The Palaeolithic culture of India developed in Pleistocene period.
  • Robert Bruce Foot was the first to discover a Palaeolithic stone in India in 1863.
  • The Palaeolithic research in India got a boost only with the coming of Yale Cambridge Expedition in 1935 led by Deterra and Patterson.
  • The tools were usually made of hard rock 'quartzite' and therefore Palaeolithic man in India is also called "Quartzite Man"

Rock paintings and carvings have been numerously founded in Bhimbetka from different periods. The animals depicted in these paintings were mostly bisons, elephants, tigers, rhinocerous, boars etc. and were based on their hunting lives. The upper Palaeolithic art is characterised by red and green colours.

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