TNPSC has released its Annual Planner 2022. Notifications of various group exams can be expected soon. It’s a wonderful opportunity for aspiring candidates. The history section carries a significant weightage in various Tamil Nadu Exams. To help you in your preparation, we have come up with a study blog on the topic of the Prehistoric Tamilagam to help you in your preparation.
Table of Contents
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Prehistoric Tamilagam E-book
- Pre-historic period belongs to the time before the emergence of writing. So, no written record is available.
- In India, the pre-historic period is divided into the Paleolithic (Old Stone Age), Mesolithic (Middle Stone Age), Neolithic (New Stone Age) and the Metal Age. Out of them, Paleolithic is the longest.
- Proto-history refers to a period between pre-history and history. It is a period in which there was knowledge of writing but we are unable to read it.
- For example, in India the period between 3000 BC to 600 BC is termed as Proto-History period. It covers cultures like Bronze age and Chalcolithic culture starting from Harappan Civilization. it extends till 600 BC.
- 600 BC is the start of period of Buddha and Mahavira.
Paleolithic Age spanned from 500,000 years ago till 10,000 BC (tool-making started).
It is divided into three periods viz. lower Paleolithic, Middle Paleolithic, and upper Paleolithic ages (this classification is based on the type and size of tools).
Lower Paleolithic Period
- Important sites of Lower Paleolithic period was Belan Valley in Uttar Pradesh,Narmada, caves and rock shelters of Bhimbetka near Bhopal etc.
- They are mostly found in the hill slopes and river valleys.
- Tools were mainly hand axes and cleavers with some flakes as well.
- Paleolithic tool assemblages were found near Tapti, Godavari, Bhīma and Krishna rivers.
- The raw material used for making tools was mainly quartzite and chert but quartz and basalt was also used.
Middle Paleolithic Period
The Lower Paleolithic cultures slowly transformed into the middle Paleolithic (by shedding some tool types).
- In comparison to the lower Palaeolithic era, the tools in the middle Palaeolithic became smaller, thinner, and lighter.
- Due to this, the middle Palaeolithic period is also known as Flake took industry.
- There was also a significant change in the choice of raw materials for making tools. (siliceous rock like jasper was also used for making tools).
- The locations of this period mostly coincide with that of the lower paleolithic period and are found in river valleys like Narmada, south of Tungabhadra valley.
Upper Palaeolithic Period
The tools of the upper paleolithic era show a refinement over the tools of the lower and middle paleolithic period (standardization of finished tools and technique).
- This period coincides with the last phase of the Ice age; it marks the appearance of new flint industries and men of modern type (Homo Sapiens).
- The upper Palaeolithic settlements also show a distinct trend of being associated with permanent sources of water.
- Cave and rock shelters used by Humans have been found at Bhimbetka caves near Bhopal.
- The characteristic feature of all Paleolithic periods is that they are mostly located in the hill slopes and river valleys. They are mostly absent in the alluvial plains of Indus and the Ganga.
- The Paleolithic people lived on hunting, fishing, and food gathering. Domestication of animals and cultivation of agriculture started in the later periods.
The transition from the Paleolithic period to the Mesolithic period is marked by climatic changes.
- The climate became warmer and humid and there was the expmansion of flora and fauna contributed by increased rainfall. This resulted in more resources at the disposal of a human being.
- In this period apart from hunting, fishing, and food gathering people were also engaged in the domestication of animals which started later in this period.
- The important sites of this period were found in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and also in the south of river Krishna.
- Mesolithic tools: The Mesolithic tools were smaller in size and better in finishing (microliths 1 to 5 cm).
- Some of the microliths were used as components of spearheads, arrowheads, knives, sickles, etc.
- They were fitted into grooves in bone, wood by natural adhesives like gum and resin.
- The use of bows and arrows for hunting has been documented by Mesolithic man in the rock art of that period.
Changes in Life in the Mesolithic Era
Domestication of Plants and Animals:
- Mesolithic people relied on hunting, fishing, and food gathering. Domestication of animals started in the later phase of the period.
- Initially, dogs, cattle, sheep, and goats were domesticated.
- Sites such as Adamgarh in Madhya Pradesh and Bagor in Rajasthan provide the earliest evidence for the domestication of animals.
- Domestication of plants started during this period, but it was not fully developed.
- They started cultivating wheat and barley and with the passage of time, they started producing rice (favorable climate).
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