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Pre Historic Period



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Pre Historic Period of India Earth is very old and so is the antiquity of man. The earliest human fossils have been found in Africa dating about 4.2 million years. The primitive man was shorter in height and had a smaller brain. Homo sapiens evolved over a period of these years about 50,000 years ago. Humans have been using stone tools and their life story is, therefore, divided into Paleolithic,Mesolithic and Neolithic age.

Evolution of Man
  • First Fossile -- Male -Ramapithecus
                        Female - Shivapithecus            
                        (10-14 million years ago)
  • These fossils were found in Shivalik and Salt range
  • Homoerectus: Found in Hathnora (Lower Palaeolithic) 10 lakh B.C.
  • Homo sapiens : Found in Upper Palaeolithic Regions

The designation of the cultural past of man was done by P.F. Suhm in as early as 1776. C.J.Thomsen, in 1836, followed the same to arrange the exhibits in Danish museums. Lubbock in France divided the stone age further into Paleolithic and Neolithic. In 1930, Gabriel de Mortillet, a French investigator, started the practice of naming cultural divisions in the manner of compartments or stages. Yet, it is generally classified as follows:-

Pre History
Palaeolithic Age or Mesolithic Age or Neolithic Age or
Old stone age Late Stone Age New Stone age
(500,000-10,000 BC) (10,000-4,000 BC) (6,000-1,000 BC)

Palaeolithic Age cab be further divided into following:-
Palaeolithic Age
Lower Palaeolithic Culture Middle Palaeolithic Culture Upper Palaeolithic Culture
(5,00,000 - 100,00 BC) (100,000 - 40,000 BC) (40,000 - 10,000 BC)

Pre Historic Phases
Stone Age Primary Culture Major Site Importance
Lower Palaeolithic Flakes,Chopper Chopping Culture Kashmir, Punjab, Whole India except Sind and Kerala. Main :- Sohan(Punjab), Singrauli basin (U.P.), Chhotanagpur (Jharkhand), Assam, Narmada, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka. - Head axe and pebble tools, Fossil of Homo Erectus from Hathnaura (Narmada basin)
- Represented by Sohan Culture (now in Pakistan.)
Middle Palaeolithic Scraper/Booer Culture Navasa (Maharashtra), Didwana (Rajasthan), Bhimbetka (MP), Bankura and Purulia (West Bengal), Narmada Valley etc. - Varieties of Blades, Points, Borer and Scraper made of Flakes.
- 200 rock shelters and caves are located on Bhimbetka hills having thousands of paintings.
Upper Palaeolithic Blade and Burin Culture A.P. (Kurnool, Chittor) Karnataka, Central MP, Jharkhan Plateau, U.P., Rajasthan, Gujrat - The age of Neanderthal Man
- Earlier "Homo Sapiens"
- Harpoon, blade tools from Renugunta (A.P.)
- Bone tools from Kurnool.
Meslithic Age Microliths Culture or Fluting & Gometrical tools Karnataka, Rajasthan (Bagor, Tilwara), Gujrat (Langhanj), M.P., Tamil Nadu,West Benal (Birbhanpur), U.P. (Sarai Nahar Rai) - Microlith (a great technological development, introduction of compound tools)
- Man still a savage but pottery maing (Tilwara) and permanent habitation found, still a hunder, fisher.
Neolithic Ate Polished tool culture Kashmir (Burzahom, Gufkral), Assam (Daojili Hading), Garohill Meghalaya, Bihar (Chirand), Peninsular India, Amri, Kotdiji, Mehargarh etc - Earlies Farming community
- Kinship became the basis of social organisation
- Pit dwelling houses
- Food begain to be cooked by fire
-Evidence of dogs, circular huts made of bamboo, bone-tools, hand made pottery etc
- Also called "Neolithic Revolution"
-Boat making, spinning cotton and wool.

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