Chalcolithic or Eneolithic period marks the use of the metals among which the Copper was first.

Chalcolithic means use of copper and stone.

Copper was probably the first metal used by humans and the period of Copper Age was from 1800-800 BC.

Thus, chalcolithic period was transition between Stone Age and metal age.

This was the period in which stone tools were losing their significance and copper tools were finding grounds. 

The earliest settlements belonging to the Chalcolithic Phase are extended from the Chhotanagpur plateau to the copper Gangetic basin.

Some sites are found at Brahmagiri near Mysore and Navada Toli on the Narmada. 

The people of the Chalcolithic age subsisted on farming and hunting-fishing.

Cattle, sheep, goat buffalo and pig were reared. Thereafter, they were killed for food.

Crops like barley and wheat were cultivated. Other crops that were cultivated are bajra, jowar, millets, ragi, green peas, lentil, green gram and black gram.

Hunting was one of the important occupations. 

Wheel- made fine pottery is considered as the specialty of the Chalcolithic culture. Most of these used to be of red and orange color. 

The presence of painted pottery is a hall mark of the Chalcolithic period

The burial practice was another striking feature and the dead were buried in a particular direction all over a particular area.

Some important Chalcolithic cultures of India are as follows: 


The sites of Ahar-Banas Culture were Aahar, balathal, Gilund etc in the vicinity of Banas river in Rajasthan. The distinctive feature is black and red ware. 


Located in Rajasthan near Chambal and its tributaries, the sturdy red slipped ware with chocolate designs is main feature. 


Narmada & its tributaries in Gujarat. One of the largest Chalcolithic settlements. The largest site of the Chalcolithic period is Diamabad situated on the left bank of the Pravara River. Major sites of Malwa Cultureinclude Daimabad, Inamgaon, Kayatha, Nagda, Vidisha, Eran, Mandsaur, and Navdatoli (near Maheshwar). A massive fortification wall and a moat have been discovered at Eran. 


The well-known sites are in Dhulia district of Maharashtra. 


Both of them are derived from the Harappa culture. The polished red ware is the hall mark of this culture. 


Jorwe is a village and an archaeological site located on the banks of the Godavari River in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra. This site was first was excavated in 1950-51 under the direction of Hasmukh Dhirajlal Sankalia and Shantaram Bhalchandra Deo. 

Chalcolithic sites belonging to the Jorwe culture (ca. 1300–700 BCE) have been discovered throughout Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and other states.  The key features of this culture include red pottery, generally with matt surface bearing paintings in black. 



The Stone Age is the first period in the three-age system of archaeology, which divides human technological prehistory into three periods: 

  • The Stone Age 
  • The Bronze Age 
  • The Iron Age 

The Stone Age was a broad prehistoric period during which stone was widely used to make implements with an edge, a point, or a percussion surface. The period lasted roughly 3.4 million years BCE and 2000 BCE with the advent of metalworking. 

The major subdivisions of the Three-age Stone Age cross two epoch boundaries on the geologic time scale: 

  • The Paleolithic period of archaeology 
  • Mesolithic or Epipaleolithic period of archaeology 
  • Neolithic period of archaeology 

The Paleolithic also called the Old Stone Age, the term “Palaeolithic” was coined by archaeologist John Lubbock in 1865 ; palaios, “old”; and  lithos, “stone”, meaning “old age of the stone” or “Old Stone Age”. 

At sites dating from the Lower Paleolithic Period (about 2,500,000 to 200,000 years ago), simple pebble tools have been found in association with the remains of what may have been the earliest human ancestors. 

Paleolithic humans made tools of stone, bone, and wood.  , The early paleolithic hominins,  Australopithecus, were the first users of stone tools. 

Lower Paleolithic humans used a variety of stone tools, including hand axes and choppers. Although they appear to have used hand axes often, there is disagreement about their use. 

Lower Paleolithic humans constructed shelters, such as the possible wood hut at Terra Amata. 

Fire was used by the Lower Paleolithic hominins Homo erectus and Homo ergaster 

However, the use of fire only became common in the societies of the following Middle Stone Age and Middle Paleolithic. 

Use of fire reduced mortality rates and provided protection against predators. 

Early hominins may have begun to cook their food as early as the Lower Paleolithic (c. 1.9 million years ago) or at the latest in the early Middle Paleolithic (c. 250,000 years ago). 

The Lower Paleolithic Homo erectus possibly invented rafts to travel over large bodies of water, which may have allowed a group of Homo erectus to reach the island of Flores and evolve into the small hominin Homo floresiensis. 

Middle Paleolithic stone tool manufacturing spawned a tool making technique known as the prepared-core technique, that was more elaborate than previous Acheulean techniques. 

This technique increased efficiency by allowing the creation of more controlled and consistent flakes. It allowed Middle Paleolithic humans to create stone tipped spears, which were the earliest composite tools, by hafting sharp, pointy stone flakes onto wooden shafts. In addition to improving tool making methods, the Middle Paleolithic also saw an improvement of the tools themselves that allowed access to a wider variety and amount of food sources. 

Harpoons were invented and used for the first time during the late Middle Paleolithic ; the invention of these devices brought fish into the human diets, which provided a hedge against starvation and a more abundant food supply. 

Paleolithic groups such as the Neanderthals—who had a Middle Paleolithic level of technology—appear to have hunted large game just as well as Upper Paleolithic modern humans. and the Neanderthals in particular may have likewise hunted with projectile weapons. 

During the Upper Paleolithic, further inventions were made such as the net ,bolas, the spear thrower , the bow and arrow, Early dogs were domesticated. Upper Paleolithic cultures were probably able to time the migration of game animals such as wild horses and deer. 

Two main forms of Paleolithic art are known to modern scholars: small sculptures; and monumental paintings, incised designs, and reliefs on the walls of caves. 

Among the bone and ivory carvings dating to the Paleolithic are several examples of partial bone or ivory flutes, including one with five finger holes, found at Hohle Fels Cave, near Ulm, Germany, and dated to about 35,000 years ago.