New Stone Age
The word “Neolithic” means “New Stone Age.” It is the last phase of Stone Age. It is marked by a number of new cultural traits. Like new ways to make stone tools, new ways to live, and new ways to move around.
All three stages of the Stone Age are marked by stone tool-making. During the Palaeolithic stage, which is the oldest, the first tools were made. They looked very primitive, but they were still very important. Development of stone technology in the Palaeolithic period came in the form of smaller tools and more efficient edges that could be used to work. As a result, in the next stage, the Mesolithic, a lot of small or pigmy tools were being made.
This category was the last step in the development of Palaeolithic technology. From using individual tools, the change was to using small tools in the form of a whole. A sickle, harpoon, and other tools could be made by putting some triangles on a base and putting them together. This long-term development suddenly changed during the Neolithic era. Large and heavy tools made out of hard stones were used. A new stage in technology came about at this point in the storey.
They are also called ‘Polished stone axes, ground stone axes, and so on’. These tools were used in the Neolithic. Two new features were put into use right away. Axe-making was one thing, and tool-grinding was the other thing that people did. A lot of the time, grinding caused the surface to be polished. Because of these things, the new tradition of making stone tools was named after it, like so.
In the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic periods, people lived by hunting and gathering things from the forests and fields. Animal and plant food that was available in its natural form was found and eaten. In the Neolithic era, man for the first time started making food with tools. Farming and the domestication of animals began at this time. Were there a lot of wild animals that were tamed? Among them were goat, sheep, and cattle. Wild varieties of barley, wheat, and paddy were also grown at the beginning. Because this was the first stage, both of these practises were in a very early or incipient form at this point. Then, these were new and important things in the history of man.
Agriculture was so important that a small group of people could make enough food for the whole community. There were so many people who called it the “Green Revolution.” He came up with the term Neolithic revolution in 1920 when he was talking about the first farming revolution. The Neolithic Revolution thought that the start of food production was a revolution because it made a lot of changes in the subsistence economy and the lives of the people who started this. Overproduction by farmers made it possible for many people in society to learn how to do things like make art, work with tools, and build things. When this happened, trade and commerce grew quickly, and people became rich.
The new food also changed the way people lived in their homes. The nomadic way of hunting and gathering changed into a “sedentary” way of living. It was no longer necessary to go from place to place in search of food. Instead, man lived in a way that was based on how cultivated fields were made and how they were used. There had to be strong buildings and villages near the fields. Domesticated animals, too, needed a place to live, and this place was part of the human dwelling complex.
Many cultural traits make sense for the Neolithic to be called “New Stone Age.” This includes all of the above new beginnings, as well as a lot more. The word “revolution” is attached to it because of the unique way food is made, especially in agriculture. It is called the “Neolithic Revolution.”
Characteristics of New Stone Age in India
The category of Ground Stone Axes is a good way to tell when people lived in the Neolithic period. Indian Neolithic sites have also yielded a lot of axes that have been polished or ground to a very high shine. There are also adzes, chisels, picks, hoes, and other tools in this tool-kit that you can use. Mace head, ring stone, and stone ball are all in their own category because they appear to be used for defence. So are the quern and pestle, which were used to process grain. This is also true. Because all of these are made on a large piece of stone and are heavy, they are also called “heavy duty tools.”
Microliths and blades are also found in Neolithic artefacts from India. They were used before the ground stone tools. Microliths are tools that help us learn about the Mesolithic period. But in many places, these are mixed in with the Neolithic deposits in small amounts. Some places, like Kashmir Valley, do not have microliths from the Neolithic.
A needle, point, arrow head, and other tools made of bone and antler were among them. Food refuge bones with a point and edge were also used as tools. At Senuwar, this trend was very noticeable.
The Neolithic people used a lot of earthen pots for cooking and other things like that. But in places like Baluchistan and Kashmir, the Aceramic Neolithic phase has been found. They did not use earthen pots and pans in these parts of the world, though. Bowls and vases were made by hand in the Neolithic period, but then they were turned on a wheel. It looks like bowls can be made by coiling. This is based on research done by people who make earthen pots with their hands, like the Sema Nagas of the Northeastern India. The surface of the pots was often decorated by pressing a cord or mat on it when it was still wet. In the Neolithic Revolution, bad firing caused the grey or dull red colour of an early Neolithic pot.
On the floors of the Neolithic era, there are traces of simple structures. For example, post holes show that shelters were built out of things like wood, bamboo, and earth, which are all things that can be destroyed. There have also been times when people lived in homes that were below ground. Archaeological records show that the huts are found in groups of three or four. These may have looked like simple and small towns.
However, in the north-western part of the Indian subcontinent, durable rectangular houses like those in West Asia were in use. Other parts of the country, on the other hand, had small villages made up of simple huts.
Neolithic artefacts and crafts are also found in the area. Among the things that people buy are beads made of semi-precious stones like carnelian and clay figurines of animals and humans that look like the mother goddess.
Neolithic people were the first people to start making food. In India, this time is well-represented by the start of farming and animal husbandry. The main places where sites from this time period are reported come from different climates. Accordingly, the cultures of these places are different in both time and content. Vindhya-Ganga is where the first Neolithic culture with rice farming came from. People who lived in northern and southern parts of the nucleus at the same time as the other parts of the nucleus. Immigrants who lived in pits in Kashmir were the people who learned how to raise animals and start farming in the first place. The Neolithic people who lived in the Deccan were farmers. The Neolithic cultures of both of these places were almost the same time as the Chalcolithic cultures in the north-western part of the subcontinent. Neolithic people lived in other areas, like the Chhotanagpur plateau, the middle Ganga plain of Bihar and Bengal and the north east, for a long time, but they may not be true Neolithic people.