The earliest traces of human existence go back to the period between 3,00,000 and 2,00,000 BC. A large number of primitive stone tools found in the Soan valley and south India suggests this. The modern human being first appeared around 36000 BC. Primitive man in the Palaeolithic age which lasted till 8000 BC used tools and implements of rough stone. Initially man was a food gatherer and depended on nature for food. He learnt to control fire which helped him to improve his way of living. From 8000 BC the Mesolithic age began and continued up to 4000 BC in India. During this time sharp and pointed tools were used for killing fast-moving animals. Chota Nagpur plateau, Central India and south of the river Krishna are some of the sites.
Neolithic settlements are not older than 4000 BC. Man began to domesticate animals and cultivate plants settling down in villages to form farming communities. The wheel was an important discovery. Towards the end of the Neolithic period metals like copper and bronze were used. This was the Chalcolithic phase.