Chalcolithic Age

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Chalcolithic Age| Culture, Sites, Time Period and Features

• Chalco+Lithic was derived from the Greek words “khalkos” + “líthos” which means “copper” and “stone” or Copper Age. It is also known as the Eneolithic or Æneolithic.

• It was a transition period between the Neolithic and the Bronze Age. It was developed in central India and Deccan region.

• The culture is characterized by well developed lithic blade industry and has an evidence of copper in its cultural assemblage.

• Some Chalcolithic cultures are contemporary of Harappan and some of pre-Harappan cultures but most Chalcolithic cultures are post-Harappan

• The centers flourished in semi-arid regions of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, and Maharashtra.

→ Sites of this culture appears to be heavily concentrated in the Tapi valley/ less in Godavari-Pravara valleys and unevenly in the Bhima valley.

• Chalcolithic sites are spread over a wide areas, occupying different regional contexts and environments.

• Excavations at the sites like Inamgaon, Nevasa, Daimabad, Kaothe, Chandoli and Walki have provided information of this early agricultural population.

Chalcolithic Culture

Chalcolithic Culture Sites Time Period Features
Ahar Culture Aahar (Rajasthan), balathal, Gilund etc. The distinctive feature is black and red ware. 2,800-1,500 B.C. • Black and red ware decorated with white designs.
Kayatha Culture Found in Chambal and its tributaries, the sturdy red slipped ware with chocolate designs is main feature. 2,450-700 B.C. • Sturdy red shipped ware with chocolate coloured designs.
Malwa Culture Narmada and its tributaries in Gujarat (One of the largest Chalcolithic settlements) 1,900-1,400 B.C. • Thick polished surface with red or black designs over it.
Savalda Culture Dhulia district of Maharashtra. 2,300-2,000 B.C. • ‘Savalda ware’ which is brown blackish and chocolate coloured design.
Jorwe Culture Maharashtra, Nevasa, Chandoli, Daimabad and Imamgaon. 1,500 -900 B.C. • Painted black-on-red and has a matt surface treated with a wash
Prabhas Culture Very few sites 2,000-1,400 B.C. • Derived from Harappan culture

• Lustrous Red Ware because of their glossy surface.

Rangpur Culture Ghelo and Kalubhar rivers in Gujarat. 1,700-1,400 B.C. • Derived from Harappan culture

• Lustrous Red Ware because of their glossy surface.

Features or Characteristics of Chalcolithic Age

• Can be distinguished by its painted pottery.

• The first full-fledged village communities evolved in the Chalcolithic phase. Chalcolithic villages could be differentiated from each other mainly on the basis of pottery and other artefacts such as terracotta and tools.

• The Chalcolithic people built rectangular and circular houses of mud wattled-and-daub. Floors were made
of rammed clay. Most of the houses had chullahs’ either inside or outside, and these had their variations also

• Barley and wheat are cultivated. Others crops are bajra, jowar, millets, ragi, green peas, lentil, green gram and black gram.

• Polished stone tools and Metals like Copper and its alloys were used in making axes, chisels, knives, fishhooks, pins, rods.

• The chalcolithic communities traded and exchanged goods with other contemporary communities.

• Chalcolithic sites have yielded vertebral faunal remains in plenty consisting of both wild and domesticated variety.

• The domestic animals represented are the Indian humped cattle, sheep, goat, dog and pig . The wild species are black buck, nilgai, gazella, chital, sambar, barking deer, wild pig, hare etc.

• Cattle was the most predominant domestic animal.

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