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Life of The Neolithic People

Updated on December 3, 2016

Neolithic woman tending seedling plants

Life Of The People

Archaeologists have found evidences of early farmers and herders all over the sub – continent. The most important ones are in the north -west, in present – day Kashmir, and in east and south India.

There is no direct archaeological evidence regarding the customs and practices of the Neolithic people. Anthropologists studied the lives of present -day farmers, who practice simple agriculture and also observed the lives of herders. They made inferences that these farmers and headers (of Neolithic period) lived groups called tribes. The eldest or the strongest was the leader. Every member of the tribe was assigned a task or tasks like making tools or hunting.

People exchanged their surplus with others’ surplus. This system is known as the barter system. This was earliest form of trade.

Agriculture

Neolithic Tools

Mortars and pestles were two very important Neolithic tools. They were used for grinding grains. Neolithic tools are completely different from Palaeolithic tools. Neolithic tools were well – polished with a fine cutting edge. Palaeolithic tools however, continued to be made and used. Some tools were also made using bones. Neolithic tools have been found in Burzahom in Kashmir and Maski Brahmagiri, Nasipur and Hallur in Karnataka.

Neolithic tool

Beginning Of A Settled Life

Archaeologists have found traces of huts or houses in Burzahom. Early humans built pit- houses, which were dug into the ground, with stairs or steps inside them. This might be for protection from cold weather. Archaeologists also discovered cooking hearts both outside and inside the huts. This shows that according to weather, people could cook food their inside the hut or outside it.

Houses Of The Neolithic People

Beginning Of A Settled Life

Archaeologists have found traces of huts or houses in Burzahom. Early humans built pit- houses, which were dug into the ground, with stairs or steps inside them. This might be for protection from cold weather. Archaeologists also discovered cooking hearts both outside and inside the huts. This shows that according to weather, people could cook food their inside the hut or outside it.

Level Of Archeology

The people started living on a flat land. As years passed, the surface gradually rose because people threw waste material and generally stayed and constructed houses in the same area.. a mound is formed after continuous disposition of waste material. When this mound is dug up, the objects found in the upper layers are of later times than what is found from the lower layers of the mound, and whatever is discovered in the lower layers is considered to be of older times. These upper and lower layers are known as levels.

Farming Gave Rise To Pottery – Making

Pottery

Farming gave rise to pottery – making. At first, they stored the grains in large baskets or they preserved it in pits or trenches that they dug below the ground. Storage of grains till next cultivation season created the need of pottery.

Many kinds of earthen pots were used by the Neolithic people. They were plain, different in color and had decorations on them. Earthen pots were also used for cooking food. Cloth – making also started during this age. They move clothes using different kinds of materials. Cotton began to be grown during this time.

Invention Of The Wheel

During this period, the wheel was also invented and it happened to be an important step towards the development of the early humans. Little is known about how the idea of the wheel occurred to the early humans. Perhaps, a rolling log or stone did the trick.

People could now travel easily and move heavy loads faster than before. The invention of wheel also improved pottery – making. In fact, it was during this age that the potter’s wheel came to be used.

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