Mesolithic Age (10,000 – 4,000 BC) : A Fact Sheet

It was the transitional phase between the Palaeolithic Age and the Neolithic Age. There was rise in temperature and the climate became warm and dry. The climatic changes affected human life and brought about changes in fauna and flora. The technology of producing tools also underwent change and the small stone tools were used. Man was predominantly in hunting/gathering stage but there was shift in the in partern of hunting from big game to small game hunting and to fishing and fowling. These material and ecological changes are also reflezted in rock paintings.
Mesolithic Tools:
  1. Tools of mesolithic age are microliths all made of stone.
  2. The microliths were first discovered by Carlyle in 1867 from Vindhyan Rock Shelters.
  3. This age is also known by various names like Late Stone Age or Microlithic Age. The Mesolithic people lived on hunting, fishing and food-gathering. Earliest domestication of animals has alo been witnessed from Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
  4. Tools are characterised by parallel-sided blades taken out from prepared cores of fine-materials as chert, crystal, chalcedony, jasper, carnelian, agate etc. and were generally one to five centimeters long.

Mesolithic Paintings:

  1. At various sites in Bhimbetka, Adamgarh, etc. rock and cave paintings have been discovered.
  2. In these paintings, various subjects including animals and human scenes have been found.
  3. Animals are the most frequently depicted subjects either alone or in large and small groups and shown in various poses.
  4. Depiction of human figures in rock paintings is quite common.
  5. Dancing, running, hunting, playing games and quarrelling were commonly depicted scenes.
  6. Colours like deep red, gree, white and yellow were used in making these paintings.

List of Mesolithic Sites :
Rajasthan :
The Pachpadra basin and the Sojat area (Rajasthan) are rich in mimliths. The significant habitation site discovered is Tilwara. Tilwara has two cultural phases, Phase-I is Mesolithic and is characterized by the presence of microliths. In Phase-II wheel made pottery and pieces of iron are found together with microliths.
Bagor (Rajasthan) on the river Kothari is the largest Mesolithic site in India and has been horizontally excavated. Bagor has three cultural phases. On the basis; of radiocarbon dating phase I or the earliest phase of culture has been placed between 5000-2000 B.C.

Akhaj, Valasana, Hirpur on the Sabarmati bank. Langhnaj is the most researched mesolithic site.
Uttar Pradesh:
Allahabad pratapgarh area (Nahar Rai) , Morhana pahar and Lekhania.
Madhya Pradesh:
Bhimbethka and Adamgarh (Hosangabad)
Chhotanagpur Plateu
Orissa :
Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar and Sundergarh
Sehalgiri 2 in garo Hills
South India :
Krishna 7 Bhima rivers, Renigunta in Andhra Pradesh

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