the exception of the Belan valley and the
production/plant utilisation were components of this primarily hunting-
gathering stage of the economy. Bagor in east Rajasthan, for instance, shows
a mesolithic level dating from the fifth millennium BC.
Beginning of Contacts with Harappans The agricultural settlers in the
greater Indus valley, especially in the Hakra stretch, could not have looked
only towards the western hills beyond Sind or the Indus valley for their
resources; they were likely to have explored the east too and come into
contact with the hunter-gatherers of that region. The fact that they were
interacting with the hunter-gatherers is clear from the cultural situation of
Ganeshwar, the origin of which antedates the mature Harappan phase. The
Ganeshwar sequence makes clear that it was the local hunting-gathering
‘mesolithic’ group, which took to mining and smelting copper to meet the
needs of the pre-/early Harappans.
Their Transformation into Settled Agriculturists The mature Harappans
were not only interacting with the Aravalli line in northeast Rajasthan, i.e.,
with the Ganeshwar area, but they were also present in the Indo–Gangetic
divide upto Haryana on the one hand and in Gujarat on the other. These very
locations open up possibilities of close interaction with inner India, and it is
intriguing that etched carnelian beads, that are a characteristic mature
Harappan bead-type, have been found both at Ahar and Atranjikhera. This
process of interaction became certainly more obvious in the late Harappan
phase when there were many late Harappan settlements in the upper doab and
north Maharashtra and certainly some of these settlements were also present
in Malwa. The late Harappans, in fact, merged into the main flow of cultural
development in inner India.
Significance of these Contacts
Catalytic Role of Harappans It can, therefore, be argued that the Neolithic-
Chalcolithic cultures of inner India were the results of interaction between the
pre-/early Harappan, mature Harappan and late Harappan distribution zones
on the one hand and the advanced hunter-gatherers to the east of the Delhi-
Aravalli-Cambay line on the other. The full-fledged transition to agriculture
among these hunter-gatherers was due to the impetus provided by the late
Harappans on the move from