- The Neolithic (also known as the “New Stone Age”), the final division of the Stone Age, began about 12,000 years ago when the first developments of farming appeared in the Epipalaeolithic Near East, and later in other parts of the world.
- The Neolithic division lasted until the transitional period of the Chalcolithic from about 6,500 years ago (4500 BC), marked by the development of metallurgy, leading up to the Bronze Age and Iron Age.
- The Neolithic comprises a progression of behavioral and cultural characteristics and changes, including the use of wild and domestic crops and of domesticated animals.
India and the Neolithic Era
- The Neolithic-agriculture based regions (in Indian), can be categorized into four groups
- Indus system and its western borderland;
- Ganga valley;
- Western India and the northern Deccan; and
- Southern Deccan.
- Settled life, encompassing the transition from foraging to farming and pastoralism, began in South Asia in the region of Balochistan, Pakistan, around 7,000 BCE. At the site of Mehrgarh, Balochistan, presence can be documented of the domestication of wheat and barley, rapidly followed by that of goats, sheep, and cattle.
- The people used microlithic blades in addition to tools made of polished stones as well as bones. They used axes, adzes, chisels, and celts.
- Pottery first appeared in this age and included grey ware, black burnished ware, and mat-impressed ware
- The Neolithic settlements have been found in North-Western part (Such as Kashmir), Southern part (Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh), North Eastern frontier (Meghalaya), and Eastern part (Bihar and Odisha) of India.
- Some of the important Neolithic settlements are Mehrgarh (located in Baluchistan, Pakistan), Burzahom (Kashmir), Gufkral (Kashmir), Chirand (Bihar), and Utnur (Andhra Pradesh).
- In South India, the Neolithic began by 6500 BC and lasted until around 1400 BC when the Megalithic transition period began. South Indian Neolithic is characterized by Ash mounds from 2500 BC in Karnataka region, expanded later to Tamil Nadu
Why in News?
- German researchers are piecing together the life of a prehistoric woman who died more than 5,000 years ago in the Neolithic period.
About the discovery
- The skeletal remains have been named as The “Lady of Bietikow,” and was found near a village of the same name in northeastern Germany’s Uckermark region.
- The skeleton had been buried in a settlement in a squatting position, one of the oldest known forms of burial
- Investigations have shown that she was between 30 and 45 years old and died more than 5,000 years ago.
- That means that she lived during the same period as Oetzi the Iceman, the stunningly preserved corpse found by tourists in the Alps in the 1990s.
- It was during the Neolithic period that humans first introduced grains into their diet, since they could be stored more easily than meat and could also be used as a means of payment