Chalcolithic Period (The Bronze Age)

About 5,000 years ago the man started using bronze along with the stone. Now the man had developed to a great extent. The population was mainly urban including the priests, writers and clerks during this stage. Though the tools available suggest that there was over-lapping in use of stone and the metal, the similarity in the shape and types of stone and bronze tools shows simultaneous use of the bronze and stone. Tin mixed with the copper was the major material used. That is why; the period is called Bronze Age.

The specialists were needed to manufacture goods with the metal, like smiths, miners and the smelters. During this period, the discovery of wheel revolutionised the whole system. The transportation was improved which eventually brought about the complexities in life of the man. The commerce was developed. The production in all fields was surplus i.e. he could sell it away for luxuries. This gave rise to capitalism. The person with more resources was able to control the power. This age is witnessed in Indus Valley Civilisation that spread to long belt along the western India.

  • The Chalcolithic people used different types of pottery of which black and red pottery was most popular. It was wheel made and painted with white line design.
  • The Chalcolithic people were not acquainted with burnt bricks and generally lived in thatched houses. It was a village economy.
  • They venerated the mother goddess and worshipped the bull.

Important Sites of the Chalcolithic Age

  • Important sites of this stage are spread in Rajasthan, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, etc.
  • The Chalcolithic culture in Rajasthan is known as Banas culture after the river of the same name and is also known as Ahar culture after the typesite.
  • In the Malwa region the important Chalcolithic sites are Nagda, Kayatha, Navdatoli, and Eran. Mud-plastered floors are a prominent feature of Kayatha.
  • The Kayatha culture is characterized by a sturdy red-slipped ware painted with designs in chocolate colour, a red painted buff ware and a combed ware bearing incised patterns.
  • The Ahar people made a distinctive black-and-red ware decorated with white designs.
  • The Malwa ware is rather coarse in fabric, but has a thick buff surface over which designs are made either in red or black.
  • The Prabhas and Rangpur wares are both derived from the Harappan, but have a glossy surface due to which they are also called Lustrous Red Ware.
  • Jorwe ware too is painted black-on-red but has a matt surface treated with a wash.
  •     The settlements of Kayatha cutlure are only a few in numbers, mostly located on the Chambal and its tributaries. They are relatively small in size and the biggest may be not over two hectares.
  • In contrast to small Kayatha culture settlements those of Ahar cultures are big. At least three of them namely Ahar, Balathal and Gilund are of several hectares.
  • Stone, mud bricks and mud were used for the construction of houses and other structures.
  • Excavations reveal that Balathal was a well- fortified settlement.
  • The people of Malwa culture settled mostly on the Narmada and its tributaries. Navdatoli, Eran and Nagada are the three best known settlements of Malwa culture.
  • The Rangpur culture sites are located mostly on Ghelo and Kalubhar rivers in Gujarat.
  • The Jorwe settlement is comparatively larger in number.
  • Prakash, Daimabad and Inamgaon are some of the best known settlements of this culture. The largest of these is Daimabad which measured 20 hectares.
  • From Mesolithic culture onwards, all the culture types coexisted and interacted with each other.

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