Maharashtra State BoardHSC Arts 11th
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The First Farmers in India

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The First Farmers in India:

Site of Mehrgarh came into existence around 7000 B.C.E. This site is of great importance among the neolithic villages in the Indian subcontinent established by the first farmers. The Mehrgarh farmers cultivated barley and wheat. There is another site of a neolithic village that is contemporary to Mehrgarh. The site was found at ‘Lahuradeva’ in Sant Kabir Nagar district of Uttar Pradesh. The site is noted to have been occupied as early as 9,000 BCE, and by 7,000 BCE it provides the oldest evidence of ceramics in South Asia Mehrgarh is one of the earliest sites with evidence of farming and herding in South Asia. Mehrgarh was influenced by the Near Eastern Neolithic, with similarities between "domesticated wheat varieties, early phases of farming, pottery, other archaeological artefacts, some domesticated plants and herd animals. According to Parpola, the culture migrated into the Indus Valley and became the Indus Valley Civilisation.

In Maharashtra, the mesolithic man existed during 10000-4000 B.C.E. He stayed in natural caves and under rock-shelters. He moved along the river banks. He made microliths from silicious stones. However, no evidence of purely Neolithic sites has been found in Maharashtra. What we have instead, are the Chalcolithic villages. The Chalcolithic people were the first farmers of Maharashtra. Inamgaon, in the Shirur taluka of Pune district, is an important site of the village of Chalcolithic farmers in Maharashtra.

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The Palestinian city of Jericho on the banks of the river Jordan is a historical city with a hoary past. It first settled as a village in 9000 B.C.E. It was one of the first neolithic permanent settlements. It started getting organised into a well-knit society at about 8000 B.C.E. The village at this time had a protective wall around it, complete with a watchtower. This is undoubtedly evidence of an organised society. The beginning of cultivation at Jericho and in the surrounding region began earlier than the establishment of the village by a few centuries. Its evidence has been discovered at Gilgal, a site near Jericho. A fire-stricken house at Gilgal was excavated, which yielded burnt remains of figs. After carrying out laboratory analysis of these fig remains, scientists have concluded that the neolithic people at Gilgal had systematically planted fig cuttings. This stands to be the first attempt of planned cultivation.

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