CHAPTER-8 : The Neolithic Age: First Food Producers and Animal Keepers

Ancient History of India
Short Notes or Revision Notes 


Mehrgarh: Pioneering Indus Valley Civilization (7000 BC)

  • Location: Baluchistan, Pakistan (Indus plains edge)
  • Significance: Earliest known Neolithic settlement in South Asia

Domesticated Plants and Animals:

  • Wheat & barley cultivation
  • Cattle, sheep, and goat domestication

Tools and Technology:

  • Polished stone implements
  • Stone axe variations:
    • North-western: rectangular with curved edge
    • North-eastern: rectangular with butt, shouldered hoes
    • Southern: oval sides, pointed butt


Neolithic Settlements and Tools


  • Burzahom (16 km NW of Srinagar):
    • Pit dwellings
    • Wide range of ceramics
    • Stone & bone tools (no microliths)
    • Possible hunting, fishing, and agriculture
    • Coarse grey pottery
    • Dog burial with masters (unique practice)
    • Earliest date: 2700 BCE
  • Gufkral (41 km SW of Srinagar):
    • Agriculture and animal husbandry
    • Polished stone tools
    • Numerous bone tools and weapons

Eastern India

  • Chirand (40 km W of Patna):
    • Bone implements made from antlers (deer horns)
    • Late Neolithic settlement (high rainfall area)
    • Possible date: 2000 BCE (or later)

Other Neolithic Sites

  • Garo Hills (Meghalaya)
  • Vindhyas and Kaimur Hills (UP)
    • Koldihwa and Mahagra (Allahabad): Rice cultivation (5th millennium BCE)


  • Burzahom (Kashmir): Pit dwellings with steps (underground)


  • Polished stone tools (cutting implements)
  • Mortars & pestles (grinding grains)

Important Sites

  • Mehrgarh (Baluchistan):
    • Early farming & animal domestication (wheat, barley, sheep, goats)
    • Rectangular houses with storage areas
    • Burials with sacrificed animals
  • Daojali Hading (Northeast India):
    • Stone tools (mortars & pestles) for grinding crops
    • Possible trade with China (jadeite found)
  • Senuwar (Kaimur Hills): Important site
  • Taradih (Bihar): Near Bodh Gaya


South Indian Neolithic Settlements

  • Location: South of the Godavari River (Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu)
  • Settlement Features:
    • Hilltops or plateaus near rivers
    • Over 850 settlements identified


  • Tools: Stone axes, blades
  • Domesticated animals: Cattle, sheep, goats
  • Agriculture: Grinding tools suggest grain cultivation

Important Sites

  • Karnataka: Maski, Brahmagiri, Hallur, Kodekal, Sanganakallu, Piklihal, Takkalakota
  • Tamil Nadu: Paiyampalli
  • Andhra Pradesh: Utnur (cattle herding)


Neolithic Technology and Farming

  • Mehrgarh (Baluchistan):Advanced settlement with wheat, barley cultivation and mud-brick houses.
  • Pottery:Introduced in Neolithic era (black burnished, grey, mat impressed ware).
  • Tools:Polished stone tools, microliths (Mehrgarh), celts, axes, adzes, chisels (Orissa, Chhotanagpur).


                                        Grains Bones Sites


Wheat, barley, sheep, goat, Cattle Mehrgarh (in present day-Pakistan)


Rice, fragmentary, Animal bones Koldihwa (in present-day Uttar Pradesh)


Rice, cattle (hoof marks on clay surface)


Mahagara (in present-day Uttar Pradesh)


Wheat and lentil Gufkral (in present-day Kashmir)


Wheat and lentil, dog, cattle,  sheep, goat, buffalo


Burzahom (in present-day Kashmir)


Wheat, green gram, barley, buffalo, ox


Chirand (in present-day Bihar)


Millet, cattle, sheep, goat, pig Hallur (in present-day Andhra Pradesh)


Black gram, millet, cattle, sheep, pig


Paiyampalli (in present-day Andhra



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