About 12000 years ago, there were major climatic changes in the world. The climate of the world had started becoming relatively warmer.

Farming: – A New Beginning

  • Due to the warm climate, several grain bearing grasses including wheat, barley and rice grew naturally in different parts of the sub-continent.
  • In this way, the plants and animals that people used as food, were changing.
  • People now became food producers from food gathering hunters.
  • Their lives changed as they began to give away nomadic lives and led a settled life.
  • The first plants to be grown were wheat and barley.

Beginning of Herding

  • Environmental changes also led to an increase in the number of animals that survived on grass.
  • This helped people to start thinking about herding and rearing these animals. In this way, they gradually became herders.
  • Among animals, the dog was the first to be tamed, followed by the sheep, goat, pig and cattle.

Leading a Settled Life

  • People who grew crops had to stay in the same place for a long time because after burying a seed in the soil, it takes time to grow and ripen.
  • People had to look after the plants, water them, weed them and drive away animals and birds to save the plants.
  • All these things bounded Neolithic people to give away a nomadic life and lead a settled life.
  • They now built mud houses with thatched roofs and began to live in groups in small villages.

Wheel: – A Great Achievement

  • The invention of the wheel was a very important achievement of the Neolithic people.
  • This made life easier and more comfortable.
  • It began to be used for making pottery, moving heavy loads, spinning and weaving clothes.
  • People could now go from one place to another much faster than before.


  • Archaeologists have found many kinds of earthen pots from the Neolithic sites.
  • They were sometimes decorated. People used these pots for storing grains and other things.
  • People began to use pots for cooking food items.

Tribal Ways

Meaning of tribe: – A group of families related to one another, normally takes two or three generations to live together in small villages or settlement form a tribe.

  • Features of a tribe: –
  • Tribes have their own language, music, stories and paintings. They have their own gods and goddesses.
  • There are some men who are regarded as leaders because of their inherent qualities. They could be old and experienced.
  • Tribal people adopt occupations such as gathering, hunting, herding, fishing and farming.
  • Agricultural work is looked after by women folks whereas men folks lead the herds of animals in search of pastures.
  • Children usually look after plants, driving away stray animals and birds that might destroy or eat crops.
  • Both men and women participate in dancing, singing and decorating their huts.
  • Case Study – Daojali Hading
  • It is located on the hills near Brahmaputra Valley, close to the routes that lead to China and Myanmar.
  • The scholars have found stone tools including mortar and pestles probably used for grinding grains.
  • Other finds include jadeite, a stone that may have been brought from China.
  • Tools made of fossil wood (ancient wood that has hardened into stone), and pottery are also found here.
  • Case Study – Mehrgarh
  • This site is in a fertile plain, near the Bolan Pass, which is one of the most important routes into Iran.
  • It is probably one of the first places where people learnt to grow wheat and barley and rear goats and sheep.
  • Remains of square or rectangular houses are also found here. Each house had four or more compartments.
  • Several burial sites have been found here. In one instance, goats were buried along with the dead person. Probably this was meant to serve as food in the next world.

Pit Houses in Burzahom

  • This site lies near Srinagar in Kashmir.
  • Archaeologists have found unusual dwelling pit houses dug into the soil below the ground level.
  • These pits sheltered people from bitter cold.
  • A great variety of stone tools and clay pottery have been found here.
  • Archaeologists have also found cooking hearths both inside and outside the huts which means that people could cook food either indoors or outdoors, depending on the weather.

Neolithic Tools

  • Tools were still made of stone, but they were far better and sharper than before.
  • Tools were shaped and polished and they lasted longer. For example: –
  • Stone Axes with wooden handles were used for harvesting.
  • Sickles were used for harvesting.
  • The Mortar and Pestle were used for grinding grains.


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