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Neolithic Period


Prelims: Ancient History (Neolithic Age), Neolithic Period, Neolithic Sites

Mains: General Studies-I Indian Culture – Salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

Why in the News ?

Researchers recently unearthed an ancient burial site of a child with a pot beside it likely dating back to the neolithic period, at Chettimedu Pathur near Chennai.

 Source: NIE

Key Facts 🗝️

Important Neolithic sites in India: Burzahom in Kashmir, Chiron in Bihar and Uttar in Andhra Pradesh, and Edakkal caves in Kerala.

Ancient Archaeological sites
Ancient Archaeological sites


Burial at Chengalpattu

  • Ancient burial site of a child with a pot beside it likely dating back to the neolithic period, at Chettimedu Pathur in Chengalpattu has been unearthed.
  • The age of the child could be between 9 and 11. The pot beside the skeleton is typical of neolithic period. 
  • Many shreds of burnished red ware, burnished grey ware and red ware having elongated neck and wide mouth belonging to the same period were also found.

Neolithic Period

  • About

    • The Neolithic Period, also called the New Stone Age, is the final stage of cultural evolution or technological development among prehistoric humans.
    • The term Neolithic is most frequently used in connection with agriculture, which is the time when cereal cultivation and animal domestication were introduced.
    • It is characterized by the beginning of a settled human lifestyle. 
    • The Neolithic stage of development was attained during the Holocene Epoch (the last 11,700 years of Earth’s history).
    • The starting point of the Neolithic is generally thought to have occurred sometime around 10,000 BCE.
    • The Neolithic followed the Paleolithic Period, or the age of chipped-stone tools, and preceded the Bronze Age, or the early period of metal tools.
    • The Neolithic Revolution started in the Fertile Crescent, a region of the Middle East, where humans first took up farming. 
  • Features of the Neolithic Age:

    • Characteristics:

      • Stone tools shaped by polishing or grinding,
      • Dependence on domesticated plants or animals, 
      • Settlement in permanent villages,
      • Appearance of such crafts as pottery and weaving. 
    • The houses were built of mud and reed in rectangular or circular shapes
    • Alcohol was first produced during this period, and architecture, as well as its interior and exterior decoration, first appeared.
    • Status objects like elaborate pottery and carved jades were placed in tombs during the Neolithic period. 
    • This practice suggests two things: Neolithic people’s belief in the afterlife and the emergence of social classes. Only important and wealthy individuals had the privilege of being buried with these precious objects
  • End of the Neolithic Age:

    • Towards the end of the Neolithic era, copper metallurgy is introduced, which marks a transition period to the Bronze Age, sometimes referred to as the Chalcolithic or Eneolithic Era.
    • In time, bronze became the primary material for tools and weapons, and a good part of the stone technology became obsolete, signalling the end of the Neolithic and thus of the Stone Age.

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