Introduction to Prehistory

What is the difference between Prehistoric and Historic periods?

Prehistoric period belongs to the time before the emergence of writing, while historic period is the period after this. Prehistory refers to the period for which no written records exist.

When does historic period start?

Modern humans are living on this planet for at least 150,000 years but learnt writing around 8000-8500 years ago. Also, in the beginning, only few symbols were used and this was called Proto-history (transition period between prehistory and history). So, historic period appears to be around 8500 years old or roughly 6500-6600 BC.

What is the earliest record of human writing?

There is no particular record which can be credited to be the earliest record of human writing. There are several records, for example, Jiahu symbols (China, around 6500 BC), early Indus script (India, around 3500 BC) etc.  The Dispilio Tablet, found in Greece is also one of the oldest evidence of human writing. It dates 6th millennium BC.

What are three main phases of prehistoric period of human history?

The prehistoric period is divided into three ages viz. stone, bronze and iron ages as per the main material used as per available resources and technology.

What are three main phases of Stone Age?

The three main periods in which Stone Age is divided are Palaeolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic periods. Palaeolithic began with the first tools around 3.3-2.7 million years ago and lasted till 10000-15000 BC in Mesolithic period. Neolithic phase is less than 15000 BC in age and signifies use of bronze and Iron metals and advanced technology of food production.

What does each phase of lithic period signify?

The suffix lithic indicates that technology in these periods was primarily based on stone. Economically the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic periods represent the hunting-gathering stage while the Neolithic represents the stage of food production, i.e. plant cultivation and animal husbandry.

Who is known as Father of Indian Prehistory?

Robert Bruce Foot is known as father of Indian Prehistory. His one of the main contribution is finding the Madrasian Culture in Chennai.  He was a geologist of the Geological Survey of India, brought out publications on the Paleolithic tools found in the Laterite formations near Madras, which was later has Madrasian Culture.

Who is known as father of Indian Archeology?

Alexander Cunningham is the first Director-General of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). He is often called as the father of Indian archaeology.

Which is the first stone age site discovered in India?

The first evidence of the Stone Age culture in India surfaced in Karnataka as early as in 1842 when Dr. Primrose discovered some polished stone  tools belonging to Neolithic age at Lingsugur in Raichur district of Karnataka.


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