- The history of human settlements in India goes back to pre-historic times.
- The archaeological remains are found in different parts of India to reconstruct the history of this period.
- In india, the pre-historic period is divided into the Palaeolithic (Old Stone Age), Mesolithic ( MIddle Stone Age), Neolithic (New Stone Age) and the Metal Age.
Palaeolithic or Old Stone Age
- The Old Stone Age sites are widely found in various parts of the Indian subcontinents. These sites are generally located near water sources.
- Man invented fire by rubbing two pieces of flint. Man used leaves, barks of tress and skins of animals to cover his body.
- A few Old Stone Age paintings have also been found on rocks at Bhimbetka and Other Places.
Mesolithic or Middle Stone Age
- The next stage of human life is called Mesolithic Stone Age, which falls roughly from 1000 B.C. to 6000 B.C.
- The hunting-gathering pattern of life continued during this period.
- The use of bow and arrow also began during this period. Also, there began a tendency to settle for longer periods in an area. Therefore, domestication of animals, horticulture and primitive cultivation started.
Neolithic Age or New Stone Age
- During this period, the wheel was invented, It was a turning point in the life of man.
- The chief characteristic feature of the Neolithic culture are the practice of agriculture, domestication of animals, polishing of stone tools and the burial of the dead.
- Large urns were used as coffins for the burial of the dead.
- The people of Neolithic Age used clothes made of cotton and wool.
- The Neolithic period is followed by Chalcolithic (Copper Stone) Period when copper and bronze came to be used.
- The Chalcolithic age is followed by Iron Age.
- In the Iron Age, Ploughs and daggers were made of iron. It led to yhe overall development of mankind.