Posted in Art and Culture, Geography

Neolithic Age (8,000 B.C. – 4,000 B.C.)

updated on March 12th, 2019

The New Stone Age – Neolithic Age (8,000 B.C. – 4,000 B.C.)

In the beginning, human beings were mere hunters and food gatherers. It took them hundreds of thousands of years before they could become food producers. This was the beginning of the Neolithic Age. Humans could grow their own food and they no longer depended on the uncertainty of hunting or searching and gathering more food. How do you think this happened? It is quite possible like the discovery of fire this could also have been an accident. May be some seeds fell on the ground and plants came out. These plants soon became a regular supply of food. They started sowing these seeds and harvesting them. Now, they had to look after the plants they had sown. This was because there was a gap of at least six months between sowing and harvesting the grains. This was the beginning of agriculture. It led to a settled life for humans for now they had a regular source of abundant food. They also had a better chance of survival as they no longer had to go hunting for food. Agriculture brought many advantages and changes in the lives of the human beings. They built huts for themselves which were probably protected by a wall. Their fields lay outside the walls. Now they had a regular place to live which soon took the form of a village. This village consisted of many families which provided protection to each other.

Around the same time the early humans realized that they could keep some animals with them. This was possible because of agriculture. Now they kept grain for themselves and the husk was kept for animals. They had learnt to domesticate animals. Do you know that the dog was the first animal to be domesticated? Later, early humans started keeping goats, cattle and sheep for various uses especially for meat and milk. They used wool and skin from animals for clothing. This was the beginning of mixed farming. Agriculture provided plant – food while domesticated animals gave meat, milk and also wool.
The early humans had seen plants coming out of seeds and giving food like the mother who feeds and sustains the life of her children. They started worshipping Earth as a symbol of mother. The Neolithic Age human beings continued to remain in awe of the forces of nature like the Paleolithic Age people.

Gradually as the knowledge of their environment increased, a desire for a comfortable life also developed. The early humans realized that it was important to have better tools and implements. So they made them sharper. The axe was used for cutting and felling trees. It was made of hard stone, chipped and ground to an edge, after which it was nailed to a wooden stick. Similarly, a sickle was used for harvesting the grain. These tools were also polished to make them last longer. These polished tools helped them to clear the land for agriculture and for cutting and gathering crops. Do you know that such tools are used for gardening and farming by small farmers even today?
Another important discovery of this period was the wheel. Nobody could have believed the innumerable ways it could affect and change human life. The wheel was used for drawing water from the well in the form of the pulley; for spinning of thread and making clothes in the form of spinning wheel or the charkha; to make pottery in the form of the potter’s wheel. The invention of the potter’s wheel helped them to make cooked food. The pots were made with twig baskets, which were plastered with clay. These pots were of different sizes and had beautiful patterns on the outside. The greatest use of the wheel was in the cart for transportation. This enabled human beings to carry themselves and their goods from one place to another. Even today, the wheel is used for many important activities.

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The Middle Stone Age – Mesolithic Age (10,000 B.C. – 8,000 B.C.)

updated on April 20th, 2019

Fire – Mesolithic Age (10,000 B.C. – 8,000 B.C.)

Image result for mesolithic age fire

Let us see how the humans during the Mesolithic age discovered the use of fire. It is quite possible that when two pieces of flint stone were struck together they produced a spark. This spark may have fallen on some dry leaves and caused a fire. This could have frightened or surprised the early humans. The intelligent humans learnt to use this discovery to their advantage. They found that fire frightened the animals and so could provide them safety if kept burning near the caves. It also provided light during the night. Even the food became softer and tastier when cooked on fire. It also warmed up the cold caves by providing heat. Even today, people warm themselves sitting near a fire on a cold winter night. This must have been really a great event in the life of early humans. Can you imagine how the progress of early humans from living on the treetops to the discovery of fire took place? It could not have happened overnight. Obviously, it took several thousand years. No wonder that fire became an object of wonder as well as worship.

Just like fire the use of tools was another important discovery for the early humans. The tools found in this period were called ‘Microliths’. They were sharper and more effective. Bones of animals were also used to make tools and weapons like borers, scrapers, arrows, hooks, arrowheads and hammers. They made hammers, choppers and hand axes with which they cut down small trees. They used it to kill animals for food or build small huts for themselves. They clipped smaller stones to make them as sharp as a knife. By attaching them to bows and spears, they made these tools more effective. Now they were able to hunt animals from a safer distance. Some of these stone implements have been found in Punjab, Kashmir Valley in the foothills of the Himalayas and in the Narmada Valley among other places. If you can visit the library and refer to some books or search the internet, you will be able to locate some other sites where these tools can be found across the world.

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The Old Stone Age – Paleolithic Age (500,000 B.C. -10,000 B.C.)

updated on July 29th, 2019

(i) The Old Stone Age – Paleolithic Age (500,000 B.C. -10,000 B.C.)
During the old stone ages, (Paleolithic Age) human beings lived in the foothills of the mountains preferably near a river. Rivers provided them with drinking water as well as food in the form of animals that came there to quench their thirst. They could find caves for shelter on the foothills. So, their basic needs of food, water and shelter were satisfied easily at such spots. Do you know that early humans had to push out wild animals, specially the giant bears, from the caves in order to make a home for themselves? Just imagine how difficult and dangerous life the primitive people lived.


To cover and protect their bodies from heat and cold, these primitive humans wore bark from the trees and the skin of animals, which they dried under the sun. You must appreciate the role environment plays in sustaining the human beings even today. There are some places in India like the Andaman and Nicobar Island where certain tribals live like the early humans even today.

Early humans lived in caves and made paintings depicting hunting scenes on the walls of these caves. Paintings of animal-chase, especially big animals like bison and reindeer can still be seen in the Bhimbetka caves in Madhya Pradesh. It is quite possible that this practice of drawing on the walls was some kind of a ritual that ensured that they would be successful in their hunting expeditions. It is also possible that it was a creative expression to make their surroundings beautiful by making an artistic expression of their hunts.

Do you know:

Bhimbetka is an archaeological World Heritage site located in Raisen District in Madhya Pradesh. The Bhimbetka shelters exhibit the earliest traces of human life in India which is of prehistoric times. A number of analyses suggest that at least some of these shelters were inhabited by man for in excess of 100,000 years. Some of the Stone Age rock paintings found among the Bhimbetka rock shelters are approximately 30,000 years old.

The Paleolithic humans also developed certain practices which we think must be their religious beliefs. They worshipped their ancestors after their death and buried them with tools and eatables for a comfortable journey to the next world. They were afraid of natural phenomena like lightning and thunder. They could not understand facts like the rising and setting of the sun. But they knew that when the sun rose in the east, it gave heat during the day time, whereas the moon gave peace and coolness at night. To them it was something supernatural, because they could not understand the cause. So they worshipped the Sun, the Moon, Thunder and Lightning. Moreover, they were wise enough not to destroy nature and its balance. They took from nature only as much as they needed and preferred to live in harmony with it. Don’t you think that the world would be a nice place to live in if people followed what the early humans did? The Old Stone Age was followed by the Middle Stone Age or the Mesolithic age. The Mesolithic age was regarded as the transitional age between the Paleolithic age and the Neolithic age.

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