Megalithic culture in India

Megalithic cultural phase flourished in Peninsular India during 1100 BC – 500 BC. it was preceded by the Neolithic age and was followed by the Sangam age.

  1. This cultural phase was characterized by the use of big stone boulders around the graves. These boulders used to cover the grave and to surround it. Graves found away from the habitation area.
  2. Most of the evidence of these cultural phases like pottery, animal bones, iron objects, beads, ornaments and etc. has been discovered from these graves. Because of this, the Megalithic phase of human life is known as megalithic culture.
  3. Megalithic culture covered almost the whole of Peninsular India.
  4. Megalithic people lived in villages. The thickness of debris was discovered at megalithic settlements indicates that the megalithic people stayed for about 50-100 years for one particular place and then shifted to new places.
  5. Megalithic people produce different types of food grains such as wheat and rice. They domesticated animals such as buffalo and donkeys. Agriculture was yet to reach the surplus stage.
  6. The discovery of iron objects from megalithic graves indicates that this cultural phase belongs to the iron age.
  7. Some copper and bronze objects have also been discovered during excavation. Since copper not found in the area occupied by a megalithic culture, it appears that megalithic peoples were having trade and commerce relations with other parts of India particularly Rajasthan. Because copper was available in Khetri mines, Jhunjhunu district of Rajasthan.
  8. The Megalithic culture characterized by different kinds of pottery:
    • Use black and red pottery which was of quite high quality.
    • White painted Black and Red-ware pottery
    • Red-ware pottery
    • Black-ware pottery
  9. Some megalithic settlements continued to flourish till to 2nd century BC.
  10. At some of the settlements, Roman coins and pottery have been discovered. This evidence suggests that megalithic people involved in early historic age cultures.

Some of the important Megalithic sites in India

  1. Nagarjunakonda, Andhra Pradesh
  2. Adichanallur, Tamil Nadu
  3. Thrissur (Thrissivaperur), Kerala
  4. Jaunapani, Maharashtra
  5. Maski, Karnataka
  6. Piklihal, Karnataka
  7. Brahmagiri, Karnataka
  8. Hallur, Karnataka

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