Towards the end of the Neolithic period, metals like bronze and copper began to be used. The first metal to be used was copper. Many other cultures used these stone copper implements. Such a culture comprises of called Chalcolithic phase. They also occasionally used a low grade Bronze. Chalcolithic cultures extended from the Chotanagpur plateau to the upper Gangetic basin. Some of the sites of this era are Brahmgiri (near Mysore) and Navada Toli on the Narmada.
Chalcolithic Phase is also known as Eneolithic period which saw the use of the metals among which the Copper was first. It is called Chalcolithic which means use of stone as well as copper was prevalent in this period. The earliest settlements of the Chalcolithic period range from the Gangetic basin to Chhotanagpur Plateau. The economy of this period was based upon agriculture, stock raising, hunting and fishing. Limited number of Copper and bronze tools have also been recovered. The presence of painted pottery is a hall mark of the Chalcolithic period. The burial practice was another striking feature and the dead were buried in a particular direction all over a particular area. The largest site of the Chalcolithic period is Diamabad situated on the left bank of the Pravara River.
The pottery ranges from Red ware , deep red ware to deep brown and black, Pictographic red and black and polished red. Important Observations about Chalcolithic Culture. Some Chalcolithic Cultures are
1. Ahara Culture: The sites of Ahar Culture were Aahar (Rajasthan), balathal, Gilund etc. The distinctive feature is black and red ware.
2. Kayatha Culture: Located in Chambal and its tributaries, the sturdy red slipped ware with chocolate designs is main feature.
3. Malwa Culture: Narmada & its tributaries in Gujarat. One of the largest Chalcolithic settlements.
4. Svalda Culture: The well-known sites are in Dhulia district of Maharashtra.
5. Prabhas & Rangpur Culture: Both of them are derived from the Harappa culture. The polished red ware is the hall mark of this culture.
Important Observations about Chalcolithic Culture, The lower Palaeolithic sites were not found on the plains of Indus, Saraswati, Brahmaputra and Ganga because probably material in the form of stone was not available over there. As Stone was the major industry of the time. Then, in northern India , Mesolithic sites have not been recorded. The main difference between the Lower Paleolithic and upper Paleolithic was that in Lower Paleolithic quartzite was mainly used while in upper Paleolithic crypto-crystalline silica was mainly used. In Kashmir, the people of Neolithic settlements used to bury dogs with their masters .
Apart from the stone tools, there is one side in India which gives evidence of Bone tools in Paleolithic Era. It is Muchchatta Chintamanu Gavi. Its located in kurnool . Cultivation of cotton was a main feature of Mehrgarh as well as Indus Valley Civilization. The Earliest evidence of Rice cultivation has come from Belan Valley The Middle Palaeolithic Industry based upon stone was located in southern Thar desert in Rajasthan and it was called Luni industry. The most common animal in the cave paintings of Palaeolithic and Mesolithic era was was deer. The people of Gilund in Rajasthan were not aware of bricks. The Banana, Coconut, areca nut etc. came from South East Asia around 2000 BC.
For Video on Chalcolithic Phase Refer to our You Tube Channel, Ask Rahul Sir : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MAL0pvv-HpU&list=PLf_HOZSYQpCdrjVdLDjsMHN4RrjbKV9au&index=8