Important Neolithic Sites in India
India is home to many tremendous sites, monuments, and buildings representing our country’s true glory. These sites can be primitive, medieval, and modern as well. The monuments and sites discovered are structured by the kings and invaders from other countries like the Mughals and the Khiljis. While all these structures hold importance, there is also a growing trend of identifying Neolithic sites and giving them good vitality. India is making continuous efforts to preserve and acknowledge them.
Neolithic sites are those sites that are assumed to have been built or existed during the Neolithic age. Historians regard the Neolithic age as the time at the end of the Stone Age; hence, it is also known as the New Stone Age period.
Characteristics of the Neolithic Age:
- The Neolithic age witnessed the transformation of humankind from food gatherer to food producer.
- This age also saw pottery items, and people started using more advanced forms of tools and weapons.
- The people relied on axes as rectangular weapons with sharp cutting edges.
- The houses were built of mud and reed and rectangular or circular shapes.
Some of the Important Neolithic Sites in India:
- The Neolithic sites and settlements have been found in many areas in India, for example, the North-Western part of Kashmir, the Southern region including Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, and the Eastern part of Meghalaya, Bihar and Odisha.
- Some of the important Neolithic sites in India include Mehrgarh, the oldest Neolithic site in the province of Pakistan called Balochistan, Burzahom in Kashmir, Chiron in Bihar and Uttar in Andhra Pradesh. All these sites show engravings of the Neolithic period.
- Burzahom is one of the important Neolithic sites in India. The characteristic features of this Neolithic site are quite different from other sites because agriculture was not prevalent in these sites.
Edakkal Caves-Neolithic Site in Kerala:
Kerala is home to many archaeological sites which date back thousands of years. The most important neolithic site in Kerala is the Edakkal caves. These caves are located in the Wayanad district of Kerala on the Mysore plateau. Edakkal caves are present in one of the hills of Western Ghats called the Ambukuthi hills. They were discovered by Fred Fawcett, the superintendent of Police of the Malabar district. According to measurements, the split in the Rock is about 22.5ft. in width and 96ft. in length. Historians and Archaeologists have assumed that the engravings on these caves date back to the late Neolithic period of the Indian history timeline. It has also been derived that this place had a significant link with the Indus Valley Civilisation. Many coffee plantations surround the road to Edakkal Caves. They are located 1.2km above sea level. Also, the Edakkal Caves are the only evidence of the existence of the neolithic sites in Kerala. These caves are considered famous for their beautiful pictorial paintings or cave paintings that are assumed to be engraved around 6000 BCE. Also, another important fact about the Edakkal caves is that it is the only known site in India with carvings of the Stone Age.
From the facts mentioned above and information about the Neolithic sites and period, it can be rightly concluded that the Neolithic period in the Indian history timeline is significant. It witnessed the development of Homo sapiens drastically. Examples such as the use of pottery and new weapons suggest that humanity began developing during this period. The Edakkal caves are great examples of Neolithic sites, and the engravings are beautiful. The other major neolithic sites in India are also very commendable. The sites constructed in the Neolithic era are also crucial, and their preservation should be done meticulously.