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Characteristics of the Chalcolithic Age

Filed under: History Ancient History on 2021-06-10 07:37:54
1. Agriculture & cattle rearing – The people living in the stone-copper age domesticated animals and cultivated food grains. They domesticated cows, sheep, goats, pig and buffaloes and hunted deer. It is not clear whether they were acquainted with the horse or not. People ate beef but did not take pork on any considerable scale. The people of the Chalcolithic phase produced wheat and rice, they also cultivated bajra. They also produced several pulses such as lentil (masur), black gram, green gram, and grass pea. Cotton was produced in the black cotton soil of the Deccan and ragi, bajra and several millets were cultivated in the lower Deccan. The people belonging to the stone-copper phase in the eastern regions lived mainly on fish and rice, which is still a popular diet in that part of the country.

2. Pottery – The people of the stone-copper phase used different types of pottery, one of which is called black and red pottery and seems to have been widely prevalent in that era. The ochre-coloured pottery was also popular. The potter’s wheel was used and painting with white linear designs was also done.

3. Rural settlements – The people living in the stone age were characterised by rural settlements and were not acquainted with burnt bricks. They lived in thatched houses made of mud bricks. This age also marked the beginning of social inequalities, as chiefs lived in rectangular houses while the commoners lived in round huts. Their villages consisted of more than 35 houses of different sizes, circular or rectangular in shape. The chalcolithic economy is considered as a village economy.

4. Art and Craft – The chalcolithic people were expert coppersmiths. They knew the art of copper smelting and were good stone workers as well. They knew spinning and weaving and were well acquainted with the art of manufacturing cloth. However, they did not know the art of writing.

5. Worship – Small clay images of earth goddesses have been found from the chalcolithic sites. It is thus possible to say that they venerated the Mother Goddess. In Malwa and Rajasthan, stylised bull terracottas show that the bull served as a religious cult.

6. Infant mortality –  Infant mortality was high among the Chalcolithic people, as is evident from the burial of a large number of children in West Maharashtra. In spite of being a food-producing economy, the rate of infant mortality was very high. We can say that the Chalcolithic social and economic pattern did not promote longevity.

7. Jewellery – The Chalcolithic people were fond of ornaments and decoration. The women wore ornaments of shell and bone and carried finely worked combs in their hair. They manufactured beads of semi-precious stones such as carnelian, steatite, and quartz crystal.
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