SUBSISTENCE AND LIVELIHOOD OF THE MESOLITHIC AND PALEOLITHIC MAN
Regards to my elders
Greetings ladies and gentlemen
Earlier we talked about some features and tools and technologies used in the Paleolithic and Mesolithic age. Now we will talk about the prehistoric mans subsistence and livelihood. SUBSISTENCE AND LIVELIHOOD OF THE MESOLITHIC AND PALEOLITHIC MAN
Subsistence and livelihood in the Paleolithic age
- The Paleolithic man didn’t have the concept of settled life back then. Now the analysis of Paleolithic sites of India, indicate the prehistoric man generally lived in open air sites or rock shelters. The rock shelters are few in number in India and present at Bhimbetka, Madhya Pradesh. Bhimbetka is said to be occupied only in the rainy and winter seasons.
- The Palelithic man chose site which were on high river banks or hill terraces. He chose this locations with priority over perennial water supply, availability of plant food and animal food and raw materials to make tools.
- Historians say that the sites whichever found were not permanent settlements, they were basically camp sites where the early man used to return after his day of hunting and gathering of all food possibilities. It is also said that the man could not go beyond 10 Km of the site in any direction, this meant that the sites had to be close of natural resources, and people lived in groups of 20-25.
- Some sites such as the Belan Valley, present between Allahabad and Varanasi Uttar Pradesh, have been termed as factory sites as there have been found unfinished tools in abundance. It is suggested that these areas supplied
- tools to other regions giving the early evidence of Barter system.
Subsistence and livelihood in the Mesolithic age
- There is no evidence of dwellings in Mesolithic age the same as in Paleolithic age. But excavations at various sites such as Bagor, Rajasthan( Bagor is the largest mesolithic site excavated in India), indicate that mesolithic man lived in semi-permanent huts made out of branches and leaves covered with mud.
- The animal bones and stone tools found at various sites as well as the rock paintings in Bhimbetka depicting prehistoric man hunting, mice trapping,fishing using tools clearly tell about the livelihood in the Mesolithic age.
- At Bagor, evidences of slaughter houses have been found. The bones found were split,broken and charred giving the clue about flesh being roasted on fire.
- Bagor also gives the clue about domestication of cattle, sheep and goat.
- The Burial system in the prehistoric age also comes for the first time in Mesolithic era. At sites such as Langhnaj( present in Gujrat) and Bagor, human skeletons were found buried near the habitation area. Some were found in flexed position as if when they were buried they were placed in such way as if the individual was sleeping and had not actually died. Again this helps us understand the social cultures of the mesolithic age. Skeletons buried were found with microliths and bone ornament nearby suggesting the concept of life after death.
ALSO READ: FEATURES AND TOOLS OF THE MESOLITHIC AGE
In the next post we will discuss about the Harrapan culture or we will start the last age of prehistory, Neolithic age.
Ok Bye…I hope I continue in future.