MESOLITHIC PERIOD (Syllabus: GS Paper 1 – History)

News-CRUX-10     3rd February 2024        

Context: Mesolithic era rock paintings have been recently discovered at Sitamma Loddi, Gattusingaram, in Peddapalli district, Telangana.

Mesolithic Period

  • About: The Mesolithic, known as the Middle Stone Age, bridges the gap between the Paleolithic and Neolithic periods, marking an ancient cultural stage.
  • Timeframe: This era is generally recognized to have spanned approximately 12,000-10,000 years ago.
  • Transition in Tool Usage: People shifted from large chipped stone tools to smaller chipped stone tools, known as microliths.

oMicroliths were likely affixed to bone or wood handles, creating tools like saws and sickles.

oConcurrently, older tool varieties persisted in usage.

  • Shift in Lifestyle: The Mesolithic Age witnessed a transition from group hunting of large herds to a more hunter-gatherer lifestyle.
  • Introduction of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry: Towards the era's conclusion, agricultural practices and animal husbandry emerged.

oDomestication of dogs occurred during the Mesolithic Age.

  • Variety in Settlements: Permanent Mesolithic settlements ranged from villages with huts to walled cities.
  • Development of Artistic Expressions: Humans in the Mesolithic period created cave paintings, engravings, and ceramics, providing insights into their daily lives.

oCertain regions produced a diverse range of pottery during this era.

Mesolithic Sites in India

  • Noteworthy Mesolithic sites in India include Bagor in Rajasthan, Sarai Nahar Rai in Allahabad, and Jharkhand's Chhota Nagpur plateau.
  • In Orissa, major Mesolithic sites include Mayarbbhanj, Keonjhar, and Sundugarh.
  • South India, particularly Godavari bases, is rich in microliths during the Mesolithic Age.