Chalcolithic Age

Chalcolithic period:

Chalcolithic age can be considered as a transition period between Neolithic age and Bronze Age. This is the first metal age where metals like copper and its alloy bronze were discovered.  As the name itself indicates, in this period both metal and stone were used for making tools vessels, for day to day life. The important sites of this age are of Indus Valley sites.  The Chalcolithic culture represented the farming culture that existed during 2000-700 B.C. People of Chalcolithic were not hunter gatherer rather they were doing farming hunting, fishing, cattle rearing, other animals that were reared were sheep, goat, buffalo and pig. Later these animals were killed for food. Chalcolithic people used tiny tools and weapons made of stone and metals. They made bangles of copper manufactured beads of semi precious stones as carnelian, stealite, Quartz. Discovery of cotton and flax at sites shows that they knew the manufacture of threads and weaving. Unlike Paleolithic and Mesolithic Chalcolithic people used metals to make tools 

Tools Used In Chalcolithic Period

Tools used by Chalcolithic people

The Chalcolithic people were the first to use painted pottery.  In South India, many Neolithic phase  faded into the Chacolithic phase, and so hence these cultures are called Neolithic-Chalcolithic. The Chalcolithic communities founded their first  village in peninsular India and cultivated far more cereals than what Neolithic communities produced. The settlements at Kayatha and Eran in Madhya Pradesh and Inamgaon in western Maharashtra were fortified. No plough or hoe has been found at Chalcolithic sites. The rate of infant mortality was very high.

Crops and houses in chalcolithic Age:

Different crops were grown. Rice was the main crop grown in Inamgaon while bajra, millers, ragi, wheat was also cultivated.  Fish and meat was an important diet of the people. The people of Chalcolithic age were expert coppersmiths, Ivory carvers, limestone carvers and terracotta artisans. Most mud houses with single room are found. Rich people had large mud houses with 5 rooms, 4 rectangular and 1 circular in centre of the settlement are found. Since these people believed in life after death, the dead were buried in their houses in north south direction along with pot food items. Different cultures that prevailed in this age were Jorwe culture, Malwa culture. Female figurines of clay show that they prayed many female goddesses. This can be reported from Inamgaon and Nevasa. Bull was also worshipped at Kayatha. Not much cultivation was done due to the presence of black soil. In India we can see Chalcolithic sites in south eastern Rajasthan, western part of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra and south and east India.

Different Cultures Of Chalcolithic Age

Cultures in Chalcolithic age:

Jowre culture which was existed from 1400- 700B.C., mainly found in Vidharbha and coastal region of Konkani in Jowre, Navasa and Daimabad. During this culture people lived in mud houses and used weapons like blade made of stone

Ahar culture was between 2100-1500B.C. The settlement was found in Ahar and Gilund in South Eastern Rajasthan. Ahar culture flourished predominantly in the Mewar region of Rajasthan, on the eastern side of the Aravallis, and in undulating rocky plateaus and plains along the Banas River and its tributaries.

Kayatha culture was present from 1700- 1200B.C. Settlements of Kayatha culture were mostly located on the banks of Chambal River and its tributaries. They were only a few in number and relatively small in size and the biggest may not be over two hectares. 

The Chalcolithic age is followed by Iron Age. Iron is frequently referred to in the Vedas. The Iron Age of the southern peninsula is often related to Megalithic Burials. Megalith means Large Stone. The burial pits were covered with these stones. Such graves are extensively found in South India. Some of the important megalithic sites are Hallur and Maski in Karnataka, Nagarjunakonda in Andhra Pradesh and Adichchanallur in Tamil Nadu. Black and red pottery, iron artifacts such as hoes and sickles and small weapons were found in the burial pits. The Harappan Civilization succeeded the Prehistoric India.

 Reasons for decline:

The decline of this period shows that during this period lot of epidemics like Cholera, Malaria etc. The unhygienic conditions must have made epidemics broke out as we can see many children buried. People did not drink milk of animals as they thought it was for animals.