IAS Prelims : GS Ancient History : Mesolithic Age
This article provides a glimpse of Paleolithic Age of Indian Prehistory for IAS Prelims Exam as well as State PCS Exams.
An intermediate stage began in Stone Age culture around 9000 BC known as Mesolithic Age. Mesolithic Age was an intermediary stage when people started to change from hunter-gatherers to food producers. It gave way to a more advanced and technologically improved phase of culture known as Neolithic Age or the New Stone Age.
The climate in this phase had become warm and dry. Change in climate brought about changes in tool traditions, food habits and living style.
People lived on hunting, fishing and food gathering. They also domesticated animals in later stage of this phase.
The principal tools used by Mesolithic people are microliths. Microlithic tools include blades, points, triangles and trapezes, harpoons, arrowheads, spearheads, etc. These tools were small and were often used as composite tools by hafting in woods and bones. These small tools were better suited to hunt smaller animals, birds and fishes. Smaller animals, birds and fishes were more abundant in the changed environment.
Important Archaeological Sites
Important Mesolithic sites in India are Bagor in Rajasthan, Adamgarh in Madhya Pradesh, Langhnaj in Gujarat, Sarai Nahar Rai in Uttar Pradesh, Mayurbhanj in Orissa, Godavari Basin, etc.
Paleolithic and Mesolithic people are also known for their art. They practiced rock paintings. A number of caves and rock shelters have been discovered having paintings of birds, animals, human beings, hunting scenes. Most of these are associated with Mesolithic Age. Bhimbetka in Madhya Pradesh, an important Mesolithic site, has more than 500 painted rock shelters.