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The Mesolithic Age

The Mesolithic Age, also known as Middle Stone Age, was the second part of the Stone Age. In India, it spanned from 9,000 B.C. to 4,000 B.C. This age is characterized by the appearance of Microliths (small bladed stone tools). The Mesolithic Age was a transitional phase between the Paleolithic Age and the Neolithic Age. The people of this age lived on hunting, fishing, and food gathering; later on they also domesticated animals.
Nov 15, 2018 18:27 IST
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The Mesolithic Age
The Mesolithic Age

Mesolithic is the period between the Upper Paleolithic and the Neolithic. The terms "Paleolithic" and "Neolithic" were introduced by John Lubbock in his work Pre-historic Times in 1865. The additional "Mesolithic" category was added as an intermediate category by Hodder Westropp in 1866. The Mesolithic Age, which means Middle Stone Age, was the second part of the Stone Age. This age is characterized by the use of Microliths (small bladed stone tools).

Important Facts related to the Mesolithic Age

1. In India, it spanned around 9,000 B.C. to 4,000 B.C. This age was a transitional phase between the Paleolithic Age and the Neolithic Age.

2. The people of this age lived on hunting, fishing, and food gathering initially but later on they also domesticated animals.

3. The characteristic tools of this age were Microliths.

4. The people of this age practised painting. The paintings depicted birds, animals, and human beings. A considerable number of painted rock shelters have been found in Bhimbetka, Madhya Pradesh.

5. Mesolithic sites have been found in Rajasthan, south of the river Krishna, central and eastern parts of India, and also in southern Uttar Pradesh

6. Bagor in Rajasthan and Adamgarh in Madhya Pradesh are examples of Mesolithic sites in India.

Chronology of Mesolithic Age

1. In North/Western Europe, the Mesolithic lasted from 10,000 to 4,000 BC.

2. In Central Europe, it lasted from 10,000 to 5,500 BC.

3. In East Asia, it lasted from 10,000 to 6,000 BC.

4. In Southeast Europe, it lasted from 10,000 to 7,000 BC.

5. In the Middle East and elsewhere, it lasted from 10,000 to 8,000 BC.

6. In India, it spanned around 9000 B.C to 4000 B.C.

Era’s in the Indian History & Time Line of Ancient Indian History

Characteristics of Mesolithic Age

The Mesolithic Age was a transitional phase between the Paleolithic Age and the Neolithic Age. It has the characteristics of both the Paleolithic Age and the Neolithic Age. The people of this age lived on hunting, fishing, and food gathering while at a later stage they also domesticated animals.

Tools: The people of this age used microliths. Microliths are very small in size and their lengths range from 1 to 8 cm. Backed blade, core, point, triangle, lunate and trapeze are the main Mesolithic tools. However, some tools used earlier, like scraper, burin and choppers, continue.

Art: The people of this age practiced painting. Their paintings depicted birds, animals, and human beings.

List of Indian Mesolithic sites, their locations, and characteristics

Name of Mesolithic Sites

Location

Characteristics

Bagor

Rajasthan

It had a microlithic industry and its people lived on hunting and pastoralism.

Adamgarh

Madhya Pradesh

It shows the earliest evidence for the domestication of animals.

Bhimbetka

Madhya Pradesh

It has more than 500 painted rock shelters.

Langhnaj

Gujarat

Provides the earliest evidence of burial of the dead.

Mohrana Pahara

Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh

Provides the earliest evidence of burial.

After about 10,000 BC the climate gradually became warmer again. Many of the big animals went with the cold weather to the North. Some animals, like the mammoth, elk, woolly rhino and bison became extinct. Gradually, the Netherlands were covered with forests, which were rich in animals and plants. These changes were the beginning of a new age: the Middle Stone Age. It is with this period that the prehistory in Archeon begins.

The Chalcolithic Culture | The Neolithic Age