About the book:
This book on South Asian Prehistory covers the story of humans from the beginning of the Stone Age to the advent of agriculture and animal husbandry. The authors have not confined themselves to merely typological descriptions of tools but have tried to look beyond - to the humans and their society that created them. As the authors have done considerable work on palaeoenvironment of Kashmir and Rajasthan, they have provided an environmental backdrop to the history of human cultures in the subcontinent. They have also provided a chronological framework to Stone Age Cultures based on a variety of physical techniques. This is the first time that the South Asian Stone Age Cultures are being described in a multidisciplinary framework. The book gives an interesting backdrop of the latest findings of hominids from Africa and other continents. It starts with the Early and Middle Palaeolithic Cultures and then devotes a chapter to the transitional Stone Age Cultures, which eventually led to domestication of plants and animals. The chapter on Early Farming Cultures not only gives regional pictures of the Neolithic Cultures but also discusses the far fetched effects of the major transition from hunting and food collecting to agriculture. It shows that the agriculture revolution has been a mixed blessing as in its wake have come a variety of diseases, epidemics and other calamities. A full chapter has been devoted to rock art studies, giving an up-to-date summary of the regional rock art traditions of the South, of the Himalayas and of Central India. In the concluding chapter the authors summarise the evidence and also point towards the need for further research in various related fields.