Neolithic Phase

The Neolithic transition involved less a technological revolution than one in land use. After millennia of success as hunters and food gatherers people settled down to village life as farmers or stockbreeders. It cannot be coincidental that this process of settling down and tending to wheat, barley, cattle, sheep and goat species is first found in South Asia at a site in a frontier region, Mehrgarh. There was no particular period in South Asia when hunters and gatherers took to agriculture and animal rearing. The Neolithic stage appeared in different regions at different times in each case with a unique stone and ceramic technology and range of domesticates.

Neolithic cultures in the Jhelum valley and in the Garo and North Cachar hills exhibit a frontier character with artefactual links with cultures outside the subcontinent. On the other hand in Orissa we may have mingling of traditions from the northeast and the Deccan plateau. Like the Kachhi plain the region comprising the Belan valley at the edge of the Vindhya plateau and the adjoining Ganga plain around Allahabad is an important zone.