Palaeolithic Period is also known as stone age and it lasted from 1 million to 10000 years ago. Palaeolithic Culture developed in the Pleistocene period.
What is Pleistocene period? The Pleistocene period (about 2 million years ago) is the geological period referring to the last or the Great Ice Age. It was the period when ice covered the earth’s surface.
In India, there has been considerable discussion among archaeologists regarding the terms denoting stone tools of the palaeolithic phase :
One group of scholars wanted to introduce the term ‘Upper Palaeolithic’ for denoting the phase characterized by tools like blade and burin;
The other group of scholars considered the term ‘Upper Palaeolithic’ specific to European Palaeolithic culture. Now the term Upper Palaeolithic has been widely accepted in the Indian context
It was hunting and food gathering era.
Divided into 3 Phases
Early palaeolithic Era 50000-100000 BC: during Ice Age
Middle Palaeolithic Era: 100000-40000 BC : Blades and flakes were found
Upper palaeolithic Era: 40000 – 10000 BC : bone tools, needles, fishing tools, harpoons etc.
Robert bruce foot was the first person to discover a paleolithic site in India in 1863.
The Palaeolithic research in India got a boost only with the coming of Yale Cambridge Expedition in 1935 led by Deterra and Patterson.
The tools were usually made of hard rock ‘quartzite’ and therefore Palaeolithic man in India is also called “Quartzite Man”
Rock paintings and carvings have been numerously founded in Bhimbetka from different periods. The animals depicted in these paintings were mostly bison’s, elephants, tigers, rhinoceros, boars etc. and were based on their hunting lives. The upper Palaeolithic art is characterised by red and green colors.
First Fossile –
Female – Shivapithecus
These fossils were found in Shivalik and Salt range
Homoerectus: Found in Hathnora (Lower Palaeolithic) 10 lakh B.C.
Homo sapiens : Found in Upper Palaeolithic Regions
Palaeolithic Culture has been divided into three phases on the basis of the nature of.stone tools made by human beings as well as due to the changes in the climate and environment. The tools of the lower Palaeolithic phase include mainly handaxes, cleavers, choppers and chopping tools.The middle Palaeolithic industries are based upon flakes, and the Upper Palaeolithic is characterised by burins and scrapers