Friday, December 21, 2012

Stone Age Communities in India

From before 30,000 B.C.E. and up to  10,000 B.C.E. Stone Age communities of hunters and gatherers lived on the Indian subcontinent. The earliest of these human communities are known primarily from surface finds of stone tools. 

Paleolithic peoples lived by hunting and gathering in the Soan River Valley, the Potwar plateau regions, and the Sanghao caves of northern Pakistan and in the open or in caves and rock shelters in Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh. The artifacts found at the sites include stone pebble tools, hand axes, a skull in the Narmada River Valley and several older rock paintings  at Bhimbetka in Madhya Pradesh.


Later Mesolithic  communities were more extensive with sites in  Indian states of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Bihar. Small parallel-sided blades and stone microliths were the tools of many of these Mesolithic communities. These communities lived by hunting and gathering and fishing, with signs  of the beginnings of herding and small-scale agriculture.

The beginnings of pastoral and agricultural communities are found in Neolithic  sites at various periods and in many different parts of the subcontinent important being in the Swat Valley , Baluchistan in Pakistan, in regions of the Indian states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Kashmir Valley and in northern Karnataka. 

The most famous and best known of Neolithic sites is the village of Mehrgarh, in northeastern Baluchistan at the foot of the Bolan Pass. Excavations at Mehrgarh demonstrate that both agriculture and the domestication of animals  developed during 6500 B.C.E. 

Contemporary archaeologists have suggested these developments were indigenous, at least in the regions of the Baluchistan mountains and the Indo-Iranian borderlands .  

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