Paleolithic, Mesolithic and the Neolithic Age in India
There are evicence of Paleolithic, Mesolithic and the Neolithic Age in India . Traces of the existence of mankind in the form of stone tools are used to have been found in all parts of Asia including India.
It seems a curious confidence that all the Pre-historic stone tools in the world are remarkably alike. During the long ages before the use of metals was discovered men everywhere performed similar tasks in a more or less similar way. Hence a universal Stone Age culture existed—so called from the material of the tools in use.
Stone Age men have left plenty traces in India. The oldest Indian stone tools are made of a volcanic rock much harder than flint. In this period the implements of stone were blunt, rough, and haphazard. Such implements have been found in the reign of the Sabarmati River in Western India, in the riverbed of Shoham in the Punjab Scholars, however, prefer to place this Paleolithic age in the period which does not go back more than about five lakhs of years before the birth of Christ down to 8000 B.C. The people were simply food gathering people.
However, there followed some evolution in the use of stone implement and before the advent of Neolithic culture there had been Mesolithic Age.
The word Meso means in between or middle. Hence Mesolithic Age was simply middle Stone Age. Men’s intelligence and skill were just growing and the stone implements they started using were much better than Paleolithic tools. In this period men began to hunt and fish with the aid or implements of bone and flint. Evidence of Mesolithic Age in India is found in M.P. in the regions of Chotanagpur and in the southern parts of the river Krishna. Recent excavations have unearthed traces of these civilizations at Hirapur in north Gujrat and Uchali in the Punjab.
The relics of Neolithic Age of the New Stone Age are found in great abundance and varieties in India. By this time animals began to be tamed and land cultivated. The people started polishing their stone implements. They were of different shapes and sizes and they preferred to add handle to their stone axe. Traces of Neolithic Settlements are to be found in Central India, in Bengal, along the Indus and Purzahome (near Srinagar) in Kashmir to Godavari in the south. The Neolithic Age may be placed between the years 8000. B.C. and 3000 B.C.