Prehistoric Era Notes (Based on NCERT)
Prehistoric Period Notes: The meaning of the prehistoric period and important information useful for the prehistoric period is given here. These notes are based on NCERT.
Prehistoric Era: The prehistoric period is the period whose information is obtained from prehistoric sources. Information about the history of this time has not been received in writing. The prehistoric period is also called the 'stone age'.
Meaning of Prehistoric Period : Prehistoric period means 'the era before history'.
Time of Prehistoric Period : The time of prehistoric period is 5,00,000 BC. to 2,500 BC considered up to
The prehistoric period or prehistoric period is divided into three parts -
- Palaeolithic Age – 5,00,000 BC to 50,000 BC till the hunters and food collectors
- Mesolithic Age – 10,000 BC to 7000 BC till the
hunters and cattle ranchers
- Neolithic Age – 9,000 BC (world) and 7,000 BC. (India) to 2,500 BC to be a food producer, stable, and living in a community
The Palaeolithic period can be divided into three sub-sections –
- Low Palaeolithic:
– Lower Palaeolithic period 5,00,000 BC. to 50,000 BC considered up to
By this time man had invented fire.
Humans used to hunt by forming groups and collect food.
Major sites: Kashmir, Thar of Rajasthan, Belan valley located in Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh, Bhimbetka caves, Narmada valley (Madhya Pradesh), Sohan river valley, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh etc.
Main tools : Quartzite stone axe, hand ax or hand-axe, Khandak (Gandasa) (Chopper).
- Middle Palaeolithic:
- Middle Palaeolithic period 50,000 BC. to 40,000 BC considered up to
This period is also called Flake Culture.
Fire was used extensively.
During this period, objects were started to be made from stone balls.
Major sites: Narmada Valley of Madhya Pradesh, Didwana in Rajasthan, Nevasa in Maharashtra, Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh and Bakunda and Puraliya in West Bengal.
Main tools: The main weapons of this period were panels made of stone slabs, piercing and scraper etc. In addition to quartzite, stones like jasper and chert were being used in weapons.
- Upper Palaeolithic Age :
- Upper Palaeolithic period 40,000 BC. to 10,000 BC considered up to
In this period Homo Sapiens i.e. modern man emerged.
Humans of this period started living in rock shelters.
- Human beings had learned to paint and carve.
Evidence of painting of this period has been received from 'Bhimbetka Caves' located in Madhya Pradesh.
Major sites: Belan valley in Uttar Pradesh, Bijapur and Inamgaon in Maharashtra, Chittoor in Kerala, Jharkhand stable Chotanagpur plateau etc.
Major tools: Tools made of bones, blades, takshini and scales etc.
- Mesolithic period considered up to 10,000 BC to 7000 BC
- Humans of this period lived by fishing, hunting and gathering food.
- The earliest evidence of animal husbandry by humans has been received from humans of this period.
- Evidence of animal husbandry by humans has been received from Bagor in Rajasthan and Adamgarh in Madhya Pradesh.
- Humans of this period used to live permanently in the same place, the earliest evidence of this is found in the form of pillars from Sarai Nahar Rai (Pratapgarh, Uttar Pradesh) and Mahdaha.
- The earliest evidence of humans attacking and fighting each other of this period has also been received from Sarai Nahar Rai.
- Historians are of the opinion that 'worship of Mother Goddess' and 'system of cremation' may have started in this period.
Major sites: 'Paisara-Munger' of Bihar, Bagor of Rajasthan, Langhnaj of Gujarat, Sarai Nahar Rai (Pratapgarh) and Mahagarh in Uttar Pradesh, Adamgarh (Hoshangabad), Bhimbetka (Bhopal) and Bodhor in Madhya Pradesh etc.
- The first arrow command was invented in this period.
- The weapons of this period were also made of stone and bones but they were much smaller than the Palaeolithic period, hence they are called microliths.
- Weapons are found in the arms of wood and bones, like laughs and saws.
- The pointed core, triangle, blade and Navchandrakar etc. were the main weapons of the shape.
3. Neolithic Age
- 9,000 BC for the Neolithic world 7,000 BC to and from India to 2,500 BC considered up to
- The beginning of agricultural work, animal husbandry, making tools and weapons by grinding stones etc. were the specialty of this period.
- Stone axes were used.
- During this period, the use and variety of pottery made of earthenware is found.
- The beginning of the village community and the development of stable rural life also probably took place in this period, that is, human beings lived in one place by building houses.
- Human beings of this period lived in circular and rectangular houses which were made of mud and reeds.
- The earliest evidence of agriculture of this period has been received from Mehrgarh in Balochistan. Evidence of crops of barley, wheat, dates and cotton has been received from Mehrgarh. The people here used to live in rectangular houses made of mud bricks.
- The first grain used by humans was barley.
- 6,000 BC from Koldihwa (Allahabad) in Uttar Pradesh . The earliest evidence of rice production has been found.
- Gartavaas (pit house), bone tools etc. have been found from Burzahom of Kashmir . Along with the bodies of the owner, his pet dogs have also been buried in the graves.
- Dogs were first domesticated during this period.
- Tools made of bone and mainly made of deer horns have been found from Chirand (Saran) of Bihar .
- Kumbhakari is first found in this period, polished black pottery, gray pottery and mat-impression pottery are prominent in utensils.
- Heaps of ashes and habitation have been found from Piklihal in Karnataka . The people here used to raise cattle.
Major Destinations: Sarutru and Markadola (Assam), Utanur (Andhra Pradesh), Chirand, Senuar (Bihar), Burzahom, Gufkral (Kashmir), Koldihwa, Mahagad (Uttar Pradesh), Payyampalli (Tamil Nadu), Brahmagiri, Kodakkal, Piklihal, Hallur , Muski, Sangenkallu (Karnataka), Mehrgarh (Pakistan)