[Ancient History] Pre-historic Cultures of India

Dr. Primrose: first to discover pre-historic implements (stone knives and arrow-heads) in 1842 at Lingsugur in raichur dist, Knk.

John Evans: first to publish an account of worked flints discovered on bed of river
narmada, near jabalpur in 1853.

Colonel Meadows taylor: published many executive reports of megalithic burials in Hyd (1850s).

Robert Bruce foote: discovered many pre-historic sites in south India and collected stone age artifacts.

M.C. Burkitt: published an account of collection from Krishna basin (1930).

H.de Terra and T.T. Paterson: studied glacial sequence of Kashmir and Punjab.

Sir Mortimer Wheeler: in 1940s kept India on the world map of pre-history.

Stuart Piggott: author of ‘pre-historic india’ in 1950

Earliest evidence regarding development of man in India: in Pliocene deposits (5.332 – 1.806 Million years ago) in Siwaliks (youngest E-W mountain chain of Himalayas) also called ramapithecus (is one of the non-human primate {a mammal of an order including monkeys, apes and humans} ancestords between 12-14 million years ago.

No fossils of early man found in sub-continent, but their presence is indicated by stone tools around 2,50,000 BC.

Bori (MH) – stone artifacts 1.4 Million yrs ago.

Riwat (Rawalpindi) – in 1983 1.9 Million yrs ago by paleomagnetic method.

Indian siwaliks – stone artifacts 2.5 Million yrs ago.

Man settled in India later than in Africa even though the stone tool industry largely evolved in a similar fashion.

Stone age classification: 

Basis for classification – tool making tradition
1. Palaeolithic
a. Lower Paleolithic (L.P)
b. Middle Paleolithic (M.P)
c. Upper Paleolithic (U.P)
2. Mesolithic
3. Neolithic


hand-axes, cleavers, choppers and chopping tools.

Upto 1,00,000 yrs ago.


Tools based on flake industries.

Up 40,000 yrs ago.


Burins and scapers.

Upto 10,000 yrs ago.


Reduction in size of well established tools

Transitional phase between palaeolithic and Neolithic stages.

Started between 9,000 and 8,000 BC.

Continued in certain places till 4,000 BC.


Earliest site mehrgarh 7,000 BC

Regular from 5000 BC onwards; upto 1000 BC.

Overlapped with Mesolithic.


1. crop cultivation and animal husbandary (in the last phase of Mesolithic)
2. settled life.

Neolithic people at certain point of time started making potteries: 
1. aceramic Neolithic
2. ceramic Neolithic
at certain Neolithic levels, evidence of use of metal. Such levels are termed as chalcolithic levels.

Some are contemporary to harappa civilization and pre-ivc.

Most of them are positivc.

Chalcolithic cultures used mostly stone and copper, while harappans used bronze (alloy of copper and tin) on large scale. Ivc called bronze age.

Chalcolithic age at many places continued till 700 BC.

Around 1200 BC use of iron begun in chalcolithic level itself.

800 BC a distinct iron age came into existence.

From Mesolithic culture onwards, all the cultural types co-existed and interacted with each other.

By 1000 BC: co-existence of Neolithic, chalcolithic and iron age.

Tools belongs to both M.P and U.P phases are found in deccan plateau dating between 40,000 BC and 1500 BC.

Lower paleolithic: 

Earliest stone artifacts or tools associated with hominids are pebbles of quartz known as chopping tools.



pabbi hills (fall between riwat finds and hand-axes tradition of subsequent period)

hand-axes and cleavers found in:



Las bela dist and bugti hills of baluchistan

Mountain valleys of N-W India plains

At surface sites and river gravels in Himalayan foot hill valley from the beas to brahmaputra system.

On outlying rocky hills within plains of river Indus and river ganges such as rohri hills in sindh, southern
margins of the ganges plains.

Along arid central part of rajastan and the margins of rajastan desert

Some acheulean artifacts including hand-axes (1,00,00 BC) found in: 
1. calcareous loam in old stratified sand dunes in the desert area of didwana region.
2. saurastra coast in the valleys of narmada.

Two thermoluminescent dates 95,000 and 67,000 yrs ago.

At dina and jalalpur in jhelum basin (Pakistan Punjab), many artifacts including hand-axes dated by paleao-magnetism to 5,00,000 to 7,00,000 yrs.

The sehwal deposits in middle soan valley was dated by thermo luminescent methods to around 1,00,000 yrs ago.

The son and adjacent belan valleys (mirzapur, UP): here found a sequence of artifacts from L.P to Neolithic stages.

Hungi (S.Deccan) hand-axes and related tools

Surface site
Few sites are quite large and – people frequently lived and made tools.

Smaller sites – temporary camping sites

Caches of finished tools were also found.

Tools were made of hard limestone and dolerite.

K.Paddayya and M.D. Pelraglia – investigators

Concluded that more than one group lived here on different sources of food such as game, fruit, roots and seeds.

In sind: a stool tool factory – Milestone 101

Here use of raw materials belonging to every technological phase of paleolithic phase.

Huge material including hand-axes and cleavers found here.

Rohri hills –

Sukkur – handaxes

Ziarat pir shaban – handaxes

Chief chareristic of rohri hill sites: used in early and mature ivc.

Bhimbetka hill – in central India near hoshangabad on river narmada

Caves and rock shelters – evidence of continuous occupation and tool making.

Few caves are rich in rock art (1,00,000 BC)

Adamgarh hill – yielded lower, middle stone age artifacts

Handaxes, chopping tools, ovates and a few cleavers.

Attirampakkam, budida manu vanka and gudian cave near madras showed a sequence of L.P, U.P and M.P artifacts.

Anagawadi, bagalkot on river ghatapraba in knk.

Chirki near newasa on river pravara (MH).

Mahadeo piparia on river narmada (MP).

Pawagarh hill in central Gujarat (factory site).

Kibbanhalli in mysore.

Lalitur in UP

Kuliana in mayorbanj dist orissa

Jalore, pushkar and mogara hill (jodhpur) in rajastan.


Regional and local diversity in stone technology and tool types.

Tools: variety of blades, points, borers, scrapers made of flakes.

Type-site: nevasa (MH) in 1960.

Bhimbetka layer 5 – occupation site

Chikri, near nevasa – industry and habitation site.

Soan valley: 1,00,000 BC to 40,000 BC.
Marble rocks near jabalpur – refined artifacts
Budha pushkar lake
Luni industries by V.N.Misra 45,000 to 25,000 BC.
Resembles nevasa and central asia M.P assemblages
Hokra, baridhani, mogra, nagri

Large open air sites in soan valley and potwar plateau belongs to the habitation sites and factrory sites.

Sanghao cave – habitation site

Chancha baluch – belongs to rohri industry group.

Bhera ghat


Pandava falls





Salvadgi (mysore)

River Krishna valley

Wagaon river valley mewar

Kadamati river valley mewar

Bhandarpur near orsang valley

Buhar balang valley orissa


Bagalkot (ghatapraba basin)


Gudiyam TN

Gundla brahmeshwaram

Technology: made of crypto-crystalline silica (agate, gasper, chalcedony)

Shape: round, rectangular, pointed, tortoise type and long parallel sided blade flakes

Composite tools: break or border point and two hallow scrapers

Sanghao caves continued tools of quartz (L.P)

Burins, pointed flakes, flakes, quartz (awls)

Luni group: convex as well as concavo convex scrapers

Carinated scrapers, points, burins, side choppers, handaxes, cleavers and adze blades

Rohri industry: large nodules of chert


Coincide with last phase of pliestocene.

Innovations in stone tool making – lighter and smaller tools; new material.

Profound development in blade making technology - long parallel sided blades, burins, scrapers increased.

Increasing use of bone tools – harpoons needles etc.

Arid regions of Pakistan and w.india

Riwat site 55 – large parallel sided blades of querzite

45,000 BC by thermoluminescent method

Transition site from M.P to U.P

Sanghav caves (afgh)

Rohri hills at milestone 101

Budha pushkar (raj)

Belan valley by prof. G.R.Sharma in 1960s.

19,715+314 yrs ago by C14 method.

Chopanimando: from UP to Neolithic

Fossil animal bones in 4 layers of belan river.

In 3rd gravel – there existed bones of sheep, goat

Not indigenous to the region (from Himalayas to western border)

Son valley by prof. G.D. Sharma 10,000 yrs ago.

Renigunta in South AP; blades and burins

In valley of rallakagava river.

Betamcharla (AP) bone tools

Visadi (central Gujarat) blend of UP and Nevasan MP

In shorapur and bijapur dist of knk. There existed many UP sites.

Mesolithic culture: 

End of Pleistocene – 8000 BC

Change in climate – warmer and more humid

Change in tool technology – microliths

Transitional phase between paleo and neo.

Tools: microliths 1-8 cm

Backed blade






Continuation of scraper, burin, choppers.


Pachpadra basin , sojat area of raj.

Tilwara – imp habitation site

Budha pushkar

Potteries show affinity with chalcolithic sites of ahar and bagor

Copper fish hook at a site.

Bagor on river kothari rajastan; largest site

Most completely and best documented site in sub-continent.

Excavated by V.N.Misra; 3 cultural phases.

Charred bones of both wild and domestic animals in 3 phases.

Burials associated with 3 phases.

Phase I: 5000-2000 BC based on C-14 method

Evidence of huts wih paved floors

Industry based on blades.

Stone objects including ring stone.

Tapti, narmada, mahi and sabarmati river basin in Gujarat.

Imp sites: akhaj, valasana, hirpur and langhnaj

Langnaj by H.D.Sankalia

First site in arid zone

3 cultural phases.

Phase I: microliths (blades, triangles, crescents, scrapers, burins), burials and animal bones.

Hill region of central India: there were camping sites

Large factory sites for external trade


Barkacha – butt of a ground stone axe


People had contacts with ganga plains

Sarai-nahar-rai: Allahabad – pratapgarh area

By G.R.Sharma

Small settlement or semi-permanent camping place

Small hearths, one large communal hearth or hut floors, several burials

Mahadaha: bone artifacts (arrow heads and bone ornaments)

Stone querns and mullers

Remains of bos, buffalo, elephant, rhino, stag, pig, turtle and birds.
Number of burials including double burials

Birbanpur: on river damodar; west Bengal.

Post-holes noticed

Combined factory and living site.

Adamgarh group of rock shelters in hoshangabad dist MP.

Yielded 25,000 microliths.

Broken mace heads, ring stones, bones of dog, cattle, buffalo, goat, sheep, pig, sambar, barasingha, spotted deer, hare, porcupine, monitor lizards etc.

Shells belongs to 5500 BC (by C-14 method)

Stone industry based on parallel sided blades.

Morhana pahar (UP)

Rock shelters and paintings

Painting of two chariots, one drawn by 4 horses and another by 2 horses.

Associtation of bows, arrows, spears with microliths.

Two Mesolithic age rock-shelters near pachmnari
1. Jambudip
2. Dorothy deep

Aceramic phase followed by ceramic.

Lekhania in mirzapur (UP): group of rock shelters

Bhimbhetka – 3 layers

Layer 3: microlithic industry without pottery

Layer 2 and layer 1: microlithic industry with painting

Chopanimando: in Allahabad

Continued sequence from late UP to late Mesolithic

Crude handmade pottery, round hut floors

One hut floor paved with stone

Lumps of burnt clay with reed and bamboo impressions

Wattle and clay walls

Hammer stones, anvil stones, stone sling ball, ring stone

Group of sites around Mumbai in 1950 by K.R.V. Todd

People used boats, staple diet – fish

Coastal konkan:





MH: dhulia and Poona dists

Peninsular India: industry based on milky quartz (mircolith)

Jalalahalli (Bangalore): ‘D’ shaped, transverse arrow head







Berapedi cave



Teri group of coastal sites – quartz and light brown chert

Flake tradition strong

Main tools – small discoidal cores and flakes, lunates, transverse arrow heads and points

Small portion of blades and blade cores

Scrapers and burins

Dunes provided sheltered camping place

Lagoons and esturies sutiable for fishing and fowling

Bhimbetka, adamgarh, pratapgarh and mirzapur are famous for rich art and paintings

B.Allchin and R.Allchin prefer to call these painting as crayoning.

Shown as herds or in hunting scenes (rhino hunt from adamgarh)

Drawings of deer on walls of morhanapahar.

Frequent animals – deer or antelope

Rare animals – tigers and monkeys

People shown with bows, arrows, spears.

Animal headed human figure also.

Colours: purple, crimson, vermilion, light orange and brown.

Paintings of: 

Sexual union

Rearing of child

Burial ceremony (beginning of belief in life after death)

Neolithic culture: 

Crop cultivation, animal husbandary, settled life

In world context: 9000 BC.

In Indian context: 7000 BC.

Mehrgarh (baluchistan) – only site belongs to 7000 BC.

New concepts:

life after death.

Resurrection after death

Transmigration of soul

Cycle of rebirth

With permanent settlement: manufacture of pottery started

There existed regional, cultural and chronological variations



Fairservice discovered 4 phases of occupation.

Period 1: 4400-4100 BC by C14 method.

Domestification of sheep, goats and oxen.

Initially nomadic; later settled – mud brick houses or hard packed clay

Blades of chert, jasper, rubbing or grinding stone, awls or points of bone.

Belongs to pre-ceramic phase.

Period 2: crude handmade and basket marked pottery

Period 3: crude handmade and basket marked pottery

Copper, wheel thrown and handmade pottery.


Series of living surfaces and hearths of nomadic people.

Plain handmade pottery, bone points and a stone blade industry

Bones of sheep, goat, ass, cattle.

4 teeth of hemione or semi-ass.


A chert blade industry, bone awls, spatulae and a small bead.

Wheel thrown pottery with motifs

House walls of river boulders


South-East Afgh.

J.M. Casal found sequence of settlements

Semi-nomadic people

Obling cells with walls of pressed earth

Larger houses with several square or oblong rooms made of sun dried bricks.

Domestic hearths from beginning.

Oven-first outside house later to courtyard.

Terracotta figure of humped bull.

Bone awls, alabaster, vases, beads in steatite, lapis lazuli and frit, copper objects, club wheat and jujube are found.

4000-3500 BC (by C-14 method)


6 miles of N-E srinagar

Popuarly known as kashmiri Neolithic.

Before 2920 BC.

Pit-dwellings with post holes around perimeter indicating conical roofs.

Steps were cut in deeper pits; ladders used.

Ash found inside pit and at entrance.

Storage pits yielded animal bones.

Pits on lake side.

Pottery – handmade, ill fired

Remains: bone points, awls, needles, harpoons, stone axes, ring stones, pierced rectangular chopper (unique to India), grindstone.

Complete absence of microliths.

Hunting and fishing was occupation though they know agriculture.

Phase II: continued till 1700 BC
Traces of houses of mud brick

A single copper arrowhead.

Number of burials with out grave goods.

Dogs and wolves with owners in burials.

A stray painted pot showing typical early ivc buffalo diety.

‘cave of the potter’

41 km S-E of Kashmir.

Yielded 3 stages of early occupation.

Earliest stage – pit dwellings with out pottery

Later stages – coarse grey pottery was used and large number of bone tools occur.

Animal remains of early period – sheep, goats, cattle.

Wheat, barley, lentils from beginning.


Kacchi plains

Regared as ‘bread basket’ of baluchistan.

Emerged from locally established Mesolithic substratum.

There exists 7 periods, first three regarded as Neolithic.

Earliest one – camp of nomadic pastoralists

Between 6000-5000 BC : subsistence based on wheat, barley, sheep, goats and cattle.

Affinity and contemporary iran, Mesopotamia and asia minor cultures.

Major features of Neolithic:

Cigar shaped hand made mud brick structures with fire places.

Stone blade industry using flint.

Composite sickle.

Various grinding stones, bone tools, pottery in levels 1B, C and 1.

One hand modelled human figure.

Numerous burials wih grave goods.

In level III: 

First direct evidence of copper smelting.

Long distance trade in the form of conch shells (Arabia sea), turquoise, lead pendant, lapis lazuli (badakshan).

Stones of date palm and jujube.


N-W of dera ismail khan on right bank of Indus.

There exists 6 periods.

First belongs to Neolithic, hearths, community ovens, animal bones, coarse pottery and microliths.
Saraikhola: near taxila on potwar plateau

There exists 4 occupational periods.

Only period I belongs to Neolithic.

Ground stone axes, stone blade industry, bone points, ground pottery with basketry impressed base.

Jalilpur: S-W Punjab (multan)

Left bank of river ravi.

Stone blade industry, bone points, mud bricks, terracotta net sinkers, remains of sheep, goat, cattle and gazelle, handmade pottery of bright red clay, gold, coral and semi precious beads, plastered floors and chert blades in association with hakra ware.

Gurdip singh’s palynological studies in eastern rajastan indicated that around 7000 BC there was increase in grains of cereal type.

Similar results from koldhiwa and mahagara

Many strata of circular huts, stone tools, bone tools, crude handmade pottery, remains of sheep, goat, birds etc small cattle pen.

Evidence of rice-charred rice and neo pottery containing rice husks.

5440-4530 BC (C-14 method).

Oldest evidence of rice cultivation in the world.

At this site, wild rice belongs to Mesolithic as at chopani mando.

Chopani mando – earliest evidence of use of pottery.

Lower Gangetic Valley: 

2300-1600 BC

Main sites: chirand, chechar, swnuwar, maner and taradih.

Chirand: saran dist.; bihar; on the left bank of river ganga.

Small village with huts of bamboo and mud-plaster

Pottery, microliths, ground celts, bone tools, beads of semi-precious stones, terra cotta human figure

Wheat, barley, rice and lentil.


Rice, wheat, barley, field pea, lentil, some millets and grass pea.

Later, cultivated gram and moong in addition.

Chechar – Kutubpur:

On river ganges near biddupur

Opposite site of patna

3 sub-periods

Circular wattle, daub huts with mud floors and hearths, storage pits, bone industry, antler tools, beads of steatite and chalcedony etc.

this phase is replaced by copper using people.

Taradih or Bodh Gaya:

Celts, microliths, bone tools, bones of cattle, goat, pig, buffalo, sheep, deer, birds, fish, snail, shell and remains of rice, wheat, barley.

Wattle and daub houses with hearths.

Kuchai and baidipur in mayurbhanj in orissa.

Golbai sasan: on left bank of river mandakini

These belongs to neo-chalco rather than pure Neolithic

Pynthorlangtein (meghalaya) handmade cord red pottery

Napchik (Manipur)

Sarutaru (border of assam and meghalaya)

Daojali Hading – north kachhar hills, assam

Stone and fossil wood axes, adzes, hoes, chisels, grinding slabs, querns, mullers, grey to red celts, round buffed axes.


Handmade tripod vessels, stone choppers, scrapers, flakes, edged ground knife, celts.



Baidipur – reference of rice


West Bengal:

Pandu Rajar Dhibi – handmade grey ware with rice husk impression

Painted red pottery, ground stone tools, bone tools.

Bharatpur – in damodar valley

Mahisadal – kapai valley

South India Neolithic:

Contemporary with early Indus cultures of N-W region from 3000 BC.

Ash mound type of Neolithic.






Ashmounds: places where cattle were herded

Time to time accumulated dung burnt as part of a ritual.

Oldest ashmounds in forests – temporary sites

Heavily dependent on nomadic cattle husbandary

Ground stone axes, stone blades, coarse pottery

Phase 1: ended around 2000 BC

Phase 2: 2100 – 1700 BC

Phase 3: upto 1000 BC

No breaks in material used in 3 phases.

Phases 2 and 3 at: 








Phase 2: 

On top of granite hills or on leveled terraces.

Mud floors and circular huts of wattle and daub on a wooden frame.

Copper, gold, bronze objects found.

Gold was discovered at tekkalakota.

Contacts with north.

New feature: lapidary art




Tekkalakota I

Hallur I

Hallur II A


Phase 3: 

Tekkalakota II

Hallur – copper fish hook



Sanganakallu 1&2

Increase in number of copper and bronze tools

Grey and buff ware become common

Circular huts with hearths, grinding stones, large pots buried upto necks, stone axes from tekkalakota, sanganakallu, hallur

Economy dependent on cattle

Horse gram and finger millet (ragi) from tekkalakota I and hallur II.

Green gram, horse gram from piyampalli

Wood of date palm – from tekkalakota, utnur

Bones of humped cattle were common followed by goats and sheep.

Animals: buffalo, fowl, deer, tortoise, unique bone an Indian elephant.

Terracing of hill slopes.

Pre-historic art: kuppgal, maski, piklihal

Frequently cattle; rarely deer, tiger, elephants, human

Horse bones from hallur belongs to final phase.

Rock bruisings, showing especially bulls

Most prevalent burial: extended inhumation

Grave goods: 

Stone axes, blades – male grave

Spouted pots, deep milking vessel – female grave.

Pottery urns for infants

Burials among houses.

Patpad ware: type site of pattupadu (kurnool dist of AP)

Distinct painted redware.

Special feature – channel spouted bowl.

Watgal: raichur doab; 4 phases

Budihal: shorapur doab; 4 distinct habitation sites

Chalcolithic culture: 

After ceramic Neolithic

Copper was first metal to use; stone continued.

Chalcolithic/neo-chalcolithic/stone copper phase.

V.G.Childe – author of ‘what happened in history?’

Generally pre-harappan;

Many cultures after ivc with regional variations

Used also low grade bronze

Largely isolated from ivc.

Uniform peasant agriculture settlements.

Banas culture:

River banas; south rajastan.

Type site: ahar culture

3 imp sites: 

1. ahar

2. gilund


Ahar: near udaipur

3 phases: 

phase A – 2580 BC

phase B – 2080 BC

phase C – 1500 BC

special feature – complete absence of stone tools; abundance of copper axes, other objects.

Heaps of cu slag – copper smelting centre.

Copper from aravalli hills

Black and red ware with white painted decoration

Dish-on-stand present through out.

Rubbing stones, saddle querns à grain production

Humped cattle – important for economy.

Animals: domestic fowl, ass, buffalo, sheep, goat, pig.

Rice, sorghum, bajra, bulrush millet

Walls of stone and mud, mud brick, wattle and daub.


N-E of Ahar

Mud brick walls – similar to ivc

A stone blade industry

Balathal: 2600 – 2000 BC

Stone blocks for housing material

Multi-roomed houses with kitchen and storage place.

2 potters kilns

Abundant copper objects.

Wheat, barley, panicum millet, Italian millet, black and green gram peas, linseed and jujube.

Terracotta bull figures, terra-cotta and semi-precious stone beads, terracotta ball, stone querns, grinders and hammer stone.

Malwa region:

Drained by chambal, kali sindh, narmada, sipra, betwa and other rivers.

Full reports for


Kayatha – near ujjain on river choti kali sindh, excavated twice.




3 phases

Phase 1: 2400 – 2120 BC 

Kayatha ware is fine, sturdy, wheel made

Linear painted designs in violet on a deep brown slip 85% pottery – handmade

This ware is associated with: red painted buff ware and red combed ware

Extensive microlith blade industry of chalcedony

2 mould caste copper axes

27 copper bangles in 2 pots

Weights for digging sticks

A pot with 40,000 micro beads of steatite

Domesticated cattle and horse figure.

Mud and reed houses with mud plastered floors.

More than 40 sites.

A2 M.K. Dhavalikar – kayathaware has affinity with ivc and identical with harappan specimens.

Bull cult

Phase 2: 2100-1800 BC

Changes in pottery

Phase 3: 1800-1500 BC

Wheat is recorded

Navdatoli: south bank of river narmada

4 phases (2020-1660 BC)

Stone blade industry

Copper tools

Cattle, sheep, goat, pig domesticated

2 types of wheat

Chief feature: malwaware

Painted black and red ware

Red slip pottery with black painted deoration

Phase 2: evidence of rice cultivation

Phase 3: new traits from west including population migration

Jorwe ware: fine, wheel thrown, red pottery with black painted decoration

Copper fish hooks, rice, several pulses (lentils, black gram, green gram, grass peas, linseed, jujube and myrobalan)

 Copper flat axes, wire-rings, bangles, nail parers, chisels, think pins, a broken mid ribbed sword, saddles, hammer stones, rubbers, mace heads or weigts for digging sticks, beads of agate, amazonite, carnelian, chalcedony, faience, glass, jasper, lapis lazuli, steatite shell, terra cotta animal figure, spindle whorls.

Saivite belief – terracotta phallus

Malwa chalco culture – malwa culture richest among chalco-ceramics.

Eran: on river betwa 1700-1170 BC; Massive mud walls.

Tripuri: near jabalpur on river narmada

Nagda: massive mud walls.

Western MH:

Most extensively excavated regions





Daimabad – entire sequence of chalcolithic




Savalda culture: (2500 BC)

Savalda ware – brown, blackish and chocolate coloured made on slow wheel with painted designs of tools, weapons and geometric motifs.

Microlithic blade industry:
2 copper bangles
4 beads (conch shell, carnellean, steatite, terracotta)
Ring stones
Saddle querns
Agate phallus
Bone tools
Green gram

Many houses including priest’s house

Above these phase there existed second shallow deposit produced a red ware have harappan affinity; sherd with three letters in Indus script

Period 2: 2000-1600 BC

Contemporary with late ivc

Wheel made sturdy red ware

2 button shaped seals with Indus signs

4 inscribed pot sherds

Mud bricks in Indus ratio 4:2:1

Copper smelting

Gold beads

Terracotta measuring scale

A semi circular red ware showing the figure of a tiger jumping on back of a buffalo

Famous of hoard of 4 heavy solid cast copper objects a2 chakrabarthi.

// a2 allchins – belongs to third period

Period 3: daimabad culture

Pottery – black on buff/cream ware

Hyacinth bean introduced

Worked piece of elephant

Small part of copper smelting furnace

Period 4: Malwa culture with extensive structural evidene with fire alters.

Period 5: At daimabad is jorwe culture

Most visible chaloclithc phase of MH > 200 sites

Black painted redware with a carinated bowl and a jar with tubular spout

Butcher’s hut, lime makers home, potters house, bead makers house, merchants house etc

Apsidal temple

Terracotta cylinder seal showing horse driven cart male sage with his consorts

Some skeletons show dental caries and a form of infantile scuryvy.


Most detailed picture of jorwe cultural phase

in late jorwe phase – clusters of circular horse with a common courtyard

In early jorwe phase – irrigation channel with a mud embankment

//at walki – bone ploughshare and seed drills used in agriculture

At inamgaon:

Pottery kilns.

Golden ornaments

Bullock cart representation

Copper slab and crucibles

Lime kilns

Terracotta figures with different relative connotations (clay box with female figures)

Terracotta lamps

Two tier settlement hierachy showing ‘chiefdom level’ of political stage

Ganeshwar type copper head.

A single spiralled copper pin

Consumption of dog meat, wheat, barley, sorghum, field peas, lentils, horse gram

Jorwe culture: type-site – jorwe (1500-700 BC)

Found at: nevasa, chandoli, sonegaon, inamgaon.

Basically rural culture but some sites such as daimabad, inamgaon – almost reached urban stage.

Copper chisels at chandoli

A copper sphearhead with faint midrib and antennae hilt and a copper fishhook at chandoli

Stone axe factory at nevsa

Beads strung upon a thread of silk with a copper net from a burial at nevasa

Similar thread with a flax from chandoli

Spinning of cotton from navdotali

Terracotta mother goddess from nevasa

Vindhya region around Allahabad dist: 










West Bengal:

Pandu rajar dhibi



Consolidation of village forming communities

Base of modern rural India

A2 D.K.Chakrabhorti 1997 AD.

Miscelleneous cultural sites:

Nul culture:

In khozdar area

Excavated in 1925

Structures using boulders of local rivers, large quarried stone from neighbouring hills

Shape of nul pottery is distinct
Narrow mouthed, ovoid form with a disc base
Narrow mouthed carinated form with a disc base
Almost straight walled jars with a disc base
Disc based open bowls
A carinated form with an inward turning upper body.
Flat bottomed canister with a round and straight edged mouth.

Naturalistic representation of fish and ibex as motifs

Infants grave with 16 beads, crystal pendant

Copper edge, saw, chisel, knife, seal, silver foil, carbonite of lead, lead slag, limestone weights, grinding stones, cattle figures, beads of crystal, agate, carnelian, lapis lazuli etc.

A2 fairservice – nul settlements used an effective system of harnessing water

Kulli culture: 




Niai bhthi

Edith shahr


multi roomed stone structures,

two massive stone querns

beads of black stone, lapis lazuli, agate, and carnelian bangle,

copper, gold and glass

pottery is decorated

alongated animal forms with large and round eyes.


Cremation and subsequent..

Burial of ashes and bones


a central, stepped structural complex

Kulli pottery

Terracotta mother goddess figures

Painted buff figures

Two Indus seals

Edith Shahr:

Series of stepped platforms with kulli pottery

Mother goddess figure

Sothi: Ghaggar-Hakra belt of rajastan

Excavated in 1952

A.Ghosh spoke of “sothi substratum’ of ivc’s.

Pottery similar to pottery at kotdiji

Immediately preceded ivc known as kotdiji phase.


Gandhara grave culture; 



Birkot ghundai


Lal batai





Zarif karuna
All situated in northern mountains in Peshawar-chitral area

Copper hoards found in upper ganga valley, chhotanagpur plateau, balagat area.

The iron age: 

In world context – 1300 BC

In Indian context – A2
Gordon – 250 BC
Wheeler – 500 BC
Banerjee – 1000 / 800 BC.


Iron at pirak belongs to 1000 BC

At mundigak and in graves of gandhara 1000 BC

An iron cheek piece from timargarha

In south India 1000 BC Dharwar dist, knk

Reference from Punjab, n.raj, G-Y doab

Later vedic period
Archeological and literary evidences

Iron age associated with PGW (first isolated as deluxe ware at Ahichhatra later at hastinapur)

Extant of PGW: from dry bed of Ghaggar in Bahawalpur and N.Raj, eastward across watershed of ganga and the Indus to the G-Y doab.




Indraprasta (purana Qila)






A2 allchins: should not use PGW period or people as they were not entirely different from late harappans.

PGW comes after OCP (1100 – 900 BC) followed by black and red burnished ware.

After this period 1100-900 BC, PGW became common 900-500 BC.

Noh: Raj


Atrnajikera UP Earliest date 1150 BC

Lal Qila UP

Jakera UP

Jakera: wheat, barley, rice, cattle, pig and horse

Large number of iron implemnts

Most common – arrow heads (both barbed and leaf shaped)


axes with shaft hole from noh and atranjikera

iron tongs from atrnjikera

hastinapur: copper objects, glass beads and bangles and bone disc

Atranjikera: iron tools – arrow, spearheads, chisels, axes and knives

Copper (less common) – antimony rods, nail parors, pins, bangles, fish hooks and dishes.

Bone arrowhead, points – common

Reference of bangles of glass, terracotta and faience.

There was 725 PGW sites




Atranjikera - impressions of cloth







Noh – impressions of cloth



//long gap between chalcolithic and iron age ; Eg. 800 yrs gap at Prabhas, phatan (somnath).

In central India malwa region and S-E raj beginning of iron age not clear

Ahar period I: 1500 BC donzen iron objects along with iron slag by M.D.N.Sahi

Nagda: period II iron objects with black and red ware

A2 chakraborthi – 1100 BC

N.R.Benerjee – 800 BC

Ujjain: period I sherd of PGW, iron arrowheads, spearheads, bone arrowheads.


Three C-14 dates: 1400 BC, 1270 BC, 1239 BC

Mahisadal: around 800 BC


After later jorwe chalcolithic phase (900-800 BC)

No gap between late jorwe chalcolithic and iron age in sites




Prakash – in tapi valley; iron at the beginning of NBP phase and iron tools including flat cell like axes and shaft holes.

Bahal along with related burial sites at Tekwada.


Iron introdced at the end of neo-chalco period





Hallur - 1150-1030 BC by C-14


// earliest phase at piklihal and hallur

Burial complex of south India iron age, megalithic complex

Pandukal complex: exists where granite and gneises are predominant rocks

Denser in penunsular; even outside region



Shah Billawal

Leh valley



Deosa (Raj)

Khera UP

Kotia (Allahabad)



Kakoria (varanasi)

Sarai khola (singbhum)





Cereals: common pea, black gram, wheat, lentil, indina jujube and barley

Paiyampally – charred grains of gram, green gram and ragi

Adichannallur: paddy husk/rice and millet seeds


fraserpet – paddy husk

Koppa – paddy husk

Principal cereal crop in
south India: rice
Vidarbha and northern decccan: wheat and barley

Megalithic people lead pastoral life A2 B.K.Thaper.

Ceramic (black and red ware)

Plentiful use of iron

4 other associated ceramics are: 

1. all black ware
2. red ware
3. micaceous red ware
4. russet coated painted ware

On some potteries graffiti similar to harappan graffiti.

Range of iron objects: 

Swords, daggers, barbed and plane arrow heads, lances, flanged spears, flat iron axes with cross bonds, chisels, frying pans, saucers, ladles. Lamps, tridents, nails, sickeles, hoes .etc

Equipment for horses: 

Bridle pits, snaffle bits, barbed bits with looped ends

Head ornament of horse made of copper sheets with iron riverted knobs stiched over leather from mohanjodaro.

Head ornament of horse for mounting on a leather base from khapa

People lived in circular houses had gold ornaments, bangles, beads of glass and constructed megalithic funerary

This culture measures into sangam period

Key factor in diffusion ; introduction of iron weapons and horse

Dravidian speakers of different language.

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