The earth is nearly 4000 million years old. Man is said to have appeared on the earth in the Palaeolithic stage. It was only about 40,000 years ago that Homo Sapiens (Modern man) came into being.

The age about which there are no historical evidences is called Pre­historic age. The material most widely used by pre-historic man was stone. This is the reason why the pre-historic age is also known as Stone Age. The stone age can be divided into four periods.

(i) Palaeolithic Age (Old Stone Age):

Palaeolithic Age spanned roughly from 500,000 B. C. to 10,000 BC. In India Palaeolithic remains have been found near upper Indus, upper Narmada region and Chennai. During this period, man lived in caves. People were the hunter and food gatherer.


(ii) Mesolithic Age (Middle Stone Age):

Mesolithic Age spanned from 10,000 BC. to 8,000 BC. People had bows and arrows to hunt prey. The people started agriculture and they shifted towards river side.

(iii) Neolithic Age (New Stone Age):

Neolithic Age extends from 8,000 BC. to 4,000 BC. In this age quartzite the chief material of the old stone age was replaced by trap rock or basalt.


(iv) Chalcolithic Age (Copper Age):

Chalcolithic Age extends from 4,000 B. C. to 2,000 B.C. During this age copper metal was discovered. Chalcolithic remains have been found in the Chotanagpur plateau and the Gangetic basin. Stone Age ended during 2000 B. C.