6 History

The Early Farmers

Learning Goals:

  • Neolithic Age
  • Beginning of Farming
  • Invention of Wheel

Neolithic Age: The last phase of the Stone Age is called the Neolithic Age. This phase began about 10,000 years ago. This phase marks a significant change in the life of humans because this is the period when man began farming.

Tools of the Neolithic Age: The tools of the Neolithic Age were much smaller and more refined. Stone was given better shape and some tools were fitted with handles, e.g. spears, axe, sickles, arrows, etc.

Sites of The Neolithic Age

This map shows various Neolithic Age sites in India. They are as follows:

neolithic sites on map of India
REF: NCERT Textbook
  • Burzahom and Gufkral in Jammu & Kashmir
  • Mehrgarh in Pakistan
  • Chirand in Bihar
  • Daojali Hading in the north east
  • Koldihwa in Uttar Pradesh
  • Hallur and Paiyampalli in south India

Archaeological Proofs of Farming
SitesGrains and bones
Mehrgarh (present day Pakistan)Wheat, barley, sheep, goat, cattle
Koldihwa (Uttar Pradesh)Rice, fragmentary animal bones
Mahagara (Uttar Pradesh)Rice, cattle (hoof marks on clay surface)
Gufkral (Kashmir)Wheat and lentil
Burzahom (Kashmir)Wheat and lentil, dog, cattle, sheep, goat, buffalo
Chirand (Bihar)Wheat, green gram, barley, buffalo, ox
Hallur (Andhra Pradesh)Millet, cattle, sheep, goat, pig
Paiyampalli (Andhra Pradesh)Black gram, millet, cattle, sheep, pig

Beginning of Agriculture

The beginning of farming was the most revolutionary development in the human history. This marked the beginning of progress towards a settled life.

Historians guess that farming was first discovered by women. This was possible because women had to live at a place for a longer duration during pregnancy and raising children. While staying at a place for a long duration; women and children may have observed that seeds develop into plants. They may have learnt growing plants after that observation.

Benefits of Farming:

  • Farming meant there was better supply of food. Additionally, there was less reliance on hunting and gathering.
  • We know that a plant takes many months to bear fruits and seeds. So people needed to stay at a place for longer duration to take care of the crop. This helped humans to live a settled life.
  • Once food was surplus, people could focus intellectual development during their spare time. This helped in developing scientific, linguistic and artistic skills.
  • After the beginning of settled life; communities became bigger and eventually took the form of villages. It is important to remember that a village is a place where agriculture is the main occupation of people.

Early Farmers

Life at Mehrgarh

NCERT Solution