Neolithic Times: History through Ecology

Neolithic period or New Stone Age

Indian history dates back to a time even before the Indus Valley civilisation took root. Such a view is possible by looking at the ecological history of the region. With an increased awareness about the dangers of climate change, the study of the ecological systems of a region, its changing facets, etc are also things worth looking into, it is felt.

Historians conjecture that with the melting of glaciers around 10,000 years BP led to a receding forest cover and eventually to a food crisis. It is speculated further that once hunter-gatherer communities most probably then came to domesticate animals and cultivate plants. Plants such as wheat, barley and lentils and animals like goats, cattle and sheep were first domesticated in the Indian subcontinent.

There is a further claim made that rice was cultivated around 7,000 years BP. Thus, agricultural and pastoral communities as opposed to hunter gatherer communities were established in the Indian subcontinent in several places. The places and habitats most conducive to cultivation were the Indus plains as well as the Deccan peninsula.

There was also found traces of animal husbandry such as nomadic cattle herding because of evidence of ash mounds in the Deccan. It is hence conjectured that hunting and gathering of food, along with the process of shifting cultivation might have continued to domesticate the moister areas of the subcontinent that would have been more favourable to life.


For more related information, you may refer to the following:

Who were Dravidians in India?

Reasons for the Decline of the Harappan Civilization

The Myth of the Aryan

Facts about the Indus Valley Civilization

 The Gupta Period