Chalcolithic Culture in India: Explained in Depth

A new cultural phase (i.e. Chalcolithic Culture) emerged in the Indian subcontinent around 2800 BC. It was characterized by the use of copper as well as stone tools. The simultaneous use of copper and stone tools is the most essential feature of this phase ie why it is known as a phase of chalcolithic culture.

Around the middle of the 4th Millenium, BC man discovered the first metal. This metal was copper.

  • Gradually copper tools began to be used but the use of stone tools was not given up. As a result of this chalcolithic cultural phase commenced.
  • The chalcolithic cultures flourished in parts of the Indian subcontinent during 2800-700 BC.

These cultures were concentrated in western India covering parts of Gujrat, Rajasthan, MP, and Maharashtra because copper was found only in western India.

Distribution Of Chalcolithic Culture

  1. Kayatha culture flourished in valley of R. Kalisind (MP) during 2200-2000BC.
    • Kayatha was its most prominent site.
  2. Ahar Culture (2000-1500 BC) – Valley of R. Banas (Rajasthan).
    • Ahar and Gilund – most prominent site.
  3. Malwa Culture (1600-1300 BC) – Parts of Gujarat, Rajasthan, MP (malwa region)
    • Navadatoli- most prominent site R.Narmada
  4. Jorve Culture (1400-700 BC)- Maharashtra parvara river tributary of Godavari.
    • Jorve, Inamgaon and Daimabad- most prominent sites.
  5. Savalda culture (2000-1800BC)- bordering areas of Gujrat-Maharashtra
    • Savalda- most prominent site
  6. Rangpur culture (1800-1400BC)- During
  7. Prabhas culture (1800-1400BC)- Near modern Somnath
    • Prabhas pattan was the ancient name of Somnath

Economic life during Chalcolithic Culture

Chalcolithic people practised agriculture, domesticated animals, and were also involved in 2-degree activities.

Agriculture was quite advanced during the chalcolithic period because the people were aware of variation and crop rotation. A dam was also built for storing the water.

  • Barly was the main crop of chalcolithic people.
  • The state of agriculture surplus was yet to be reached.

Various kinds of arts and crafts were also practiced. copper and bronze objects were used. Pottery making was a prominent craft everywhere.

Chalcolithic people practiced trade and commerce through a barter system.

Social Life

For the 1st time, social stratification was witnessed during the chalcolithic period.

  • The difference in the six of houses and the items found in graves indicate that some people were rich while some other poor during chalcolithic period.
  • Some of the houses were big while other small. These big houses would have been occupied bby rich people.
  • Some of the graves have yielded good and silver ornament and semi pericious stons. These graves difinitely belonged to rich people. In some graves cheap pottery and orther beads were founds. So these graves difinitely belonged to poor people.

Chalcolithic people lived in village & life was well settled.

Politico-Admin Life

The existence of public buildings like forts and dams in chalcolithic settlement indicate that some type of public authority was there during the chalcolithic period because without public authority the construction and maintenance of public buildings are not possible.

Nothing is known definitely about the nature and character of public authority during this period.

Religious Life

The religious life was well developed in chalcolithic culture because multiple and fates and beliefs were practiced by people.

The discovery of female figurines in large no. indicate that the mother goddess was the chief deity.

Male figures are rare in the discoveries of chalcolithic culture. This indicates that the status of male deities was inferior. To female deities.

The discovery of items of common use from graves indicates that chalcolithic people believed in the idea of life death. The items of common use were placed with dead bodies so that person could use them in another world.

  • This reveals that philosophical dimenssons of religion have emerged in chalcolathic period.

From some of the graves in Maharashtra & skeletons whose lower parts of the feat were chopped off have been found.

  • It is believed thaat feet below ankle was cut for preventing turing of dead body into ghost.

Significance of Chalcolithic Pottery

Potteries were well advanced during a chalcolithic period and these potteries are most valvable source of info of chalcolithic culture because no written records of this phase have been found.

  • Chalcolithic people were not aware of the script because they did not leave written records behind.

From kayatha- 3 varieties of red ware have been found. The pots were painted in dark brown & buff (yellowish) colour.

  • From ahar – 7 varieties of pottery have been found. Black and red ware having paintings in white color was the most important pottery at this place.
  • Malwa pottery- buff coloured having painting in black.
  • Jowe – black & red type having various forms like bouls and jars.
  • Rangpur- lustrous red ware
  • Prabhas culture- Red coloured pots having painting in block. Similar pots were used as savalda.

Discovery of pottery of various types indicates that it was a highly developed profession duriing chalcolithic period.

  • Since pots are highly refined indicates that tenchnology known how and craftsman ship were in advanced stage.

The colores used on the pots indicate that the chalcolathic people had some knowledge of chemical science.

Geometriacal designe found on pots in form of parallel lines and curved line indicate that some kind of know ledge of mathematics have emerged during this age.

Pots were burnt in kiln. This indicates that the chalcolithic people were moving towards age where burnt bricks were used on large scale in costructing houses.

Food grains produced by chalcolithic people have been found in pots that throw light on agri knowledge of this age.

Pots of this age are wheel turned. Indicating chalcolithic people had knowledge of the wheel.

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