6 History

On The Trail Of the Earliest People

Learning Goals:

  • Life of Hunter Gatherer
  • The Stone Age
  • Climate Change
  • Discovery of Fire

Life of Hunter Gatherer

The primitive man was a hunter gatherer. He used to hunt animals and gather fruits and other plant produce for food. The early man did not live at one place, rather used to move from one place to another. This means that the early man lived a nomadic life.

Reasons of Nomadic Life:

  • The food resource at a particular place was exhausted after some time. Hence, people were forced to move in search of a better place.
  • Moving from one place to another was also important for hunting. We know that animals also keep on moving from one place to another.
  • Most of the plants are seasonal. They bear fruits or seeds in a particular season. So, to get constant supply of fruits, roots, seeds, etc. people needed to be on move.
  • People also needed to move in search of water. You know that some rivers and ponds become dry during summer.



THE STONE AGE

You have read that hunter-gatherers lived during the prehistoric period. People in this age used stones for making tools. Due to this, this period is also called the Stone Age. The Stone Age is divided into three phases:

  • Palaeolithic or Old Stone Age
  • Mesolithic or Middle Stone Age
  • Neolithic or New Stone Age

Palaeolithic Age

The term ‘Palaeolithic’ is made up of two Greek words; ‘Palaeo’ and ‘Lithos’. The term ‘Palaeo’ means ‘Old’ and the term ‘Lithos’ means ‘Stone’. Hence, this period is also called the Old Stone Age. This period extends from 2 million years ago to 12,000 years ago. The tools from this period were crude and had no refinement.



stone age tools
REF: NCERT Book Class 6

This figure shows the earliest tools from the Stone Age. Historians believe that these were made about 2 million years ago. These tools are blunt and big.

stone age tools
REF: NCERT Book Class 6

This figure shows the tools of a later period. These are smaller and much sharper. These were made thousands of years after the tools in the first figure.

stone age tools
REF: NCERT Book Class 6


The tools in this figure show more refinement.

stone age tools
REF: NCERT Book Class 6

The tools in this figure were made about 10,000 years ago. These are much smaller and show better design. These tools are from the Mesolithic Age.

Apart from stones; bones and wood were also used for making tools and for many other purposes. What is remarkable about stone tools is that some of them are being still used in modern homes. For example; grinding stone is still used in many homes for grinding spices and for making flour.

Uses of Stone Tools:

  • For cutting meat and bones.
  • For scraping bark (from trees) and hide (from animals).
  • For chopping fruits and roots.
  • Some tools were attached to handles; made of wood or bone; to be used as axe or hammer.


Stone Age

Tool Making

NCERT Solution