than 4000 BC. Man began to domesticate animals and cultivate plants, settling
down in villages to form farming communities. The wheel was an important
Towards the end of the Neolithic period metals like copper and bronze
began to be used. This was the Chalcolithic phase (1800 bc–1000 bc).
Chalcolithic cultures extended from the Chotanagpur plateau to the upper
Paleolithic Age To begin with the Paleolithic Age, also called the Old Stone
Age, covered the long period from the time the first ancestors of modem
human beings started living in the Indian subcontinent, i.e., from roughly 3
lakh BC, to 8000 or eighth millennium BC. Archeologists divide it into three
phases—the Lower or Early, the Middle and the Upper Paleolithic Ages—
according to the nature of the stone tools used by the people.
Mesolithic Age Then came the Mesolithic Age, also known as the Late Stone
Age, which broadly covered the period from the eighth to fourth millennium
BC. It is the intermediate or transitional stage between the Paleolithic and
Neolithic Ages. The tools of this age are called microliths (very small tools).
Neolithic Age Third in the sequence is the Neolithic Age or the New Stone
Age that covered the period roughly from 4000 to 1800 BC and was marked
by the use of polished stone tools.
Chalcolithic Age Next is the Chalcolithic Age or Stone – Copper Age, which
generally covered the period from 1800 to 1000 or 800 BC. This period was
marked by the use of copper (the first metal to be used in India) as well as
Srinagar Valley in Kashmir to Karnataka and Andhra in the south.
In these regional cultures lay the roots of the future formation of Indian
village communities because their total cultural assemblage was certainly
extremely significant in the context of the early historical settlements of the
Food-gathering Communities: Early Man of the Stone Ages