Neolithic Age: Meaning and Characteristics

The word Neolithic is also a Greek word where “NEO” stands for new and “LITHOS” stands for stone. Thus it means New Stone Age. The Neolithic age or the new stone age was the last phase of the stone age.

The term Neolithic was first coined by Sir John Lubbock in 1865 AD. The main sites of a Neolithic culture have been discovered in various parts of Afghanistan, Kashmir, Bihar, Asam, Orissa, Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, South India.

General Characteristics

People in Neolithic made great progress towards the development of civilization when he started domestication of animals and plants.

Domestication of Animals

 Man instead of hunting and killing animals for food now began to tame them for their daily use. First of all, the dog was domesticated and it was followed by sheep, goat, pig, Onager Gazelles, Buffalo, Dear, owl, Ass, Swine, Tortoise, and other milch animals. He tamed them for food, milk and also hide to use it as a dress. Now the Neolithic man gathered great herds of animals and thus became both hunter and herdsman as well.

During the period tools were also made of stones but there was a remarkable improvement in the tool industry. Now the stone tools and implements were made skilfully more varied in form and often ground grooved and polished tools like an axe, harpoons, sickle, grinders, blades, plows etc, were made of bones and stones.

The invention of the wheel

The invention of the wheel is no doubt a great landmark in the history of mankind, It accelerated the progress of civilization and perhaps without the wheel, the modern civilization would have been impossible. The wheel especially potter’s wheel made possible the production of a variety of pots. The wheel was used in the cars for transporting goods & men from one place to another place. Wheel rightly has been called the cradle of civilization.

Food and Dress

the domestication of plants and animals brought a drastic change in the food habits of the Neolithic communities they now took beef, vegetables, wheat, barley, rice, milk, fish, fruits, ghee, and honey. The cultivation of cotton and flax, taming of cattle and the invention of the wheel led to the weaving and spanning of weaving and cotton clothes. The inspiration for woolen clothes was probably got from the spider’s web. The bone- needles facilitated the process of sewing clothes.

Dwellings

After the domestication of plants and animals, the Neolithic Man left caves and started living in cottages made of leaves and branches of trees but later on made huts of mud-bricks and stones.

Trade

With the development of wheel and then the wheeled cart, they went to various areas with their goods to cell them on the barter system.

Religion

Not much is known about the religion of the Neolithic culture. Probably people might have worshiped the natural phenomenon like the thunder, the lightning, the sun, the moon, the water, etc. They might have worshiped even their ancestors who were given a respectable burial.

Neolithic Age: Meaning and Characteristics

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