Ancient History Notes – Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic, Chalcolithic

Ancient History Notes – Welcome to! In today’s class we will discuss about ancient history different age periods i.e. Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic and Chalcolithic. Here we will discuss about the people during that period, their lifestyle, food habits, work life and how they made impact in the later evolution process of real homo sapiens. Here we have given everything in detail.

Human culture and their stages (Ancient history notes)

The human culture can be divided into 3 stages-

  • Paleolithic age or Old stone age (30000 BC to 10000 BC)
  • Mesolithic age or Middle stone age (10000 BC to 8000 BC)
  • Neolithic age or New stone age (8000 BC to 3000 BC)

Paleolithic age or Old stone age-

# It is the oldest and first pre-historic culture.

# In the year 1865, John Lubbock first coined the term Paleolithic age.

# People were not aware of agriculture and their main source of livelihood was hunting.

# The Paleolithic age is considered as the longest age of human history therefore it is divided into 3 different stages on the nature of tools-

  • Early or Lower Paleolithic age
  • Middle Paleolithic age
  • Upper Paleolithic age

Early or Lower Paleolithic age-

# During this period Hand axes and Cleavers were used as primary tools. Quartzite and Chert were used as raw materials to make these tools.

# The sites of this period were found in Soan valley (Punjab, Pak), Belan valley (Mirzapur, UP) and in Bhimbetka caves (Bhopal, MP).

Middle Paleolithic age-

# The tools became better than the early or lower Paleolithic age. The tools became thinner, lighter and smaller.

# Flake tools industry started during this period.

# The man during this period were called as Quartzite Man because they used quartzite tools.

Upper Paleolithic age-

# Climate changes and socio-economic changes were observed during this period.

# During this period large scale deserts were formed in the north-western India (now Rajasthan).

# Vegetation cover declined in maximum area of the country.

# Flint industry and modern type men (Homo sapiens) came into existence.

Important Paleolithic sites-

* Pakistan – Sanghao caves, Sohan valley
* Kashmir – Pahalgam
* Rajasthan – Didwana
* Madhya Pradesh – Hathnora, Bhimbetka, Adamgarh
* Gujarat – Orsang valley
* Bihar – Sodhiwa
* Uttar Pradesh – Belan seoti valley
* Odisha – Sambalpur
* Jharkhand – Chaibasa, Isco caves
* West Bengal – Susunia hills
* Karnataka – Bagalkot, Hungsi
* Maharashtra – Chirka nevasa
* Tamil Nadu – Pallavaram
* Andhra Pradesh – Kurnool caves

Mesolithic age – Middle stone age (Ancient history gk)

# People during this period were called as Homitic man.

# Microliths (tiny stone tools) were used during this period. Hence, the culture during this period was also known as Microlithic culture.

# Food production and semi cultivation were found during this period. Wheat and Barley were cultivated.

# Dog was the first pet animal during this period.

# Rock paintings of human activities like fishing, rhino hunting, dancing; were found.

# Bhimbetka rock shelters (MP) were found during this period. It is the most extensive paleolithic site in India having paintings and rock carvings.

Important Mesolithic sites-

* Rajasthan – Tilwara, Bagor
* Madhya Pradesh – Pachmarhi, Adamgarh
* Gujarat – Langhnaj
* Uttar Pradesh – Morhana pahar, Lekhania, Sarai nahar rai
* Odisha – Kuchaiburi, Mayurbhanj
* West Bengal – Birbhanpur
* Karnataka – Jalahalli, Sanganakallu
* Meghalaya – Garo hills
* Andhra Pradesh – Kurnool caves, Nagarjunakonda
* Tamil Nadu – Tirunelveli, Tiruchi

Neolithic age – New stone age (Ancient history GK notes)

# In the year 1865, the Neolithic term was coined by Sir John Lubbock.

# The main features of this period was cultivation, pastoralism, stone tools, pottery making.

# V. Gordon Childe defined this culture as Neolithic revolution.

# First tool of this period was excavated at Lingsugur (Karnataka).

# Mehrgarh (Bolan valley) was the first known farming community in south Asia.

# Largest Neolithic site of this period – Burzahom (Kashmir valley).

# Trephination (a kind of medical knowledge) was found during this period.

# People produced cotton, ragi, wheat, barley, rice.

# People lived in houses made up of bricks and mud.

# People were also good in spinning and weaving clothes.

# People were aware of fire from old stone age, but it came into use from new stone age.

# दो पत्थरों को आपस में घिसने से आग निकलती है इसके बारे में मनुष्य middle stone age में जान चूका था, लेकिन इसी आग का प्रयोग cooking में new stone age से प्रारम्भ हुआ|

# Neolithic rock paintings of hunting animals were found in Kupgallu (Telangana).

# Neolithic rock paintings of playing, dancing, chariot riding were found in Morhana pahar (UP).

# During this period in Kashmir, people bury dogs with their masters.

# Bones weapons were found in new stone age at Bihar.

# First metal used in weapons was Copper.

# Wheel was introduced during this period. First wheel was made up of stone.

# Agriculture was introduced in the New stone age.

# The clues of agriculture was first found in Mehrgarh (now Balochistan, Pakistan).

# People used highly polished stone tools like blades, axe-hammers.

# Occupation during this period – cultivation, hunting, tool making, domestication of animals (cattle, goats, sheep).

Important Neolithic sites-

* Baluchistan, Pakistan – Mehrgarh
* Kashmir – Burzahom
* Kashmir – Gufkral
* Bihar – Chirand
* Karnataka – Hallur, Maski, Brahmagiri, Pikilihal, Kodekal, T.Narsipur
* Tamil Nadu – Paiyampalli
* Andhra Pradesh – Utnur

Chalcolithic age (Ancient history GK notes)

This period is also belongs to the proto-historic period which shifted to some rural settlements. Use of copper and bronze reported in this period. Let’s read some more characteristics of this period!

# Hand made and wheel made pottery were found. Painted pottery was first introduced during this period in black and red colour.

# Important cultures belonged to this period – Rangapur culture, Malwa culture, Jorwe culture, Narhana culture.

# Stone blade tool industry developed during this period.

# Crops cultivated during this period – pulses, cereals, millets, cotton, jowar, rice. Barley was the main crop.

# Fishing was an important activity for livelihood.

# Industry or manufacturing centers flourished during this period – Beads making, copper making, pottery making, textile making.

# During this period the dead were buried under the floor of houses generally in north-south directions.

# People worshipped – linga, bull, headless female terracotta figures.

Bronze age civilization-

# The metallurgy industry developed and metals were used to make weapons and tools.

# This period is coincided with the beginning of Indus valley civilization (IVC).

# The people during this period (i.e. IVC) produced tin, copper, bronze.

Copper phase civilization-

# Hoards have been found during this period consisting of swords, rings, harpoons, human like figures, spearheads, celts, hatches, weapons, copper tools, etc.

  • Hoards = किसी वस्‍तु को बड़ी मात्रा में (गुप्‍त तरीके से) संचित कर जमा करना

# Largest hoard was found in Gungeria, Madhya Pradesh.

# Two types of pottery were found-

  • Ochre colour pottery (yellow to deep orange or red or brown colour)
  • Black and red pottery

Iron age civilization-

# The use of iron came in southern India like in Karnataka, deccan area.

# Many monuments were discovered in areas like Mysore, Hyderabad, Coimbatore, Malabar, Tirunelveli; which shows varied stages of development.