Early Indians - A Short Chronology of the Modern Human in Indian Prehistory

Early Indians - A Short Chronology of the Modern Human in Indian Prehistory


Early Indians

எழுத்தாளர் Tony Joseph
பதிப்பாளர் Juggernaut
பக்கங்கள் 272
பதிப்பு First Edition - 2018
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A Short Chronology of the Modern Human in Indian Prehistory

~ 300,000 years: The age of the earliest remains of a modern human, Homo sapiens, ever found – in a cave in Jebel Irhoud, about fifty kilometer’s from the city of Safi in Morocco.

~ 180,000 years: The age of the earliest modern human fossil found outside of Africa - at a rock shelter in Misliya in north Israel.

~ 70,000 years ago: Geneticists calculate that the earliest successful Out of Africa (CoA) migration happened around this time. This migration was termed successful because these migrants are the ancestors of all of today's non-African populations. (Earlier modern humans outside of Africa have not left a lineage that is detectable today.) The OOA migrants 70,000 years ago are likely to have taken the Southern Route that would have brought them from Africa (specifically, from modern day Eritrea and Djibouti) into Asia (modern-day Yemen) through Bab el Mandeb at the southern tip of the Red Sea.

~ 65,000 years ago: The OoA migrants reach India and are faced with a robust population of archaic humans. They perhaps take both an inland sub-Himalayan route and a coastal route, to keep themselves out of the way of other Homo species in the subcontinent who dominated central and southern India, and then move across the Indian subcontinent into south-east Asia, East Asia and Australia.

60,000–40,000 years ago: The descendants of the OoA migrants populate central Asia and Europe over this period.

~ 40,000 years ago: Neanderthals go extinct in Europe, with the Iberian peninsula in south-western Europe (modern-day Portugal and Spain) being their last refuge and stand.

45,000–20,000 years ago: The First Indians, the descendants of the OoA migrants in the subcontinent, start using Microlithic technology, and their population increases dramatically in central and eastern India. South Asia becomes the place where ‘most of humanity' lives. Modern humans move into what would have been long-established refuges of other Homo species in southern and central India.

~16,000 years ago (14,000 BCE): Modern humans reach the Americas, the last major continent to be settled in by modern humans, after crossing Beringia, the land bridge between Siberia and Alaska.

~ 7000 BCE: In a village that is today called Mehrgarh, at the foot of the Bolan Hills in Balochistan, a new agricultural settlement begins that would ultimately become one of the largest habitations of its period between the Indus and the Mediterranean.

7000–3000 BCE: Migration of Iranian agriculturists from the Zagros region to south Asia leads to their mixing with the descendants of the First Indians sometime during this period. Geneticists estimate the mixing to have taken place at least by 4700 BCE to 3000 BCE.

7000–2600 BCE: The Mehrgarh site shows evidence for cultivation of barley and wheat, and increasing consumption of domesticated animals. The site was abandoned somewhere between 2600 BCE and 2000 BCE. By then agricultural settlements had spread all across north-western India - in the Indus and Ghaggar-Hakra river valleys and in Gujarat.

7000 BCE: From around this period there is evidence for rice harvesting and sedentary settlement at Lahuradewa in the Sant Kabir Nagar district of Uttar Pradesh in the Upper Ganga plain. The chronology of transition from harvesting wild rice to cultivating domesticated rice is not yet certain, but there is no doubt that Lahuradewa indicates experiments in agriculture were taking place at several places in south Asia around the same time and that Mehrgarh was not an isolated case.

5500-2600 BCE: The Early Harappan era, which witnesses early agricultural settlements growing into towns with their own unique styles, such as Kalibangan and Rakhigarhi in India and Banawali and Rahman Dheri in Pakistan.

3700–1500 BCE: Evidence of early agriculture starts to appear in different parts of India – eastern Rajasthan, southern India, the Vindhya region of central India, eastern India and the Swat valley of Kashmir.

2600–1900 BCE: The Mature Harappan period, which sees many sites being newly built or rebuilt, and many existing sites being abandoned. There is also a visible and higher level of standardization across the region, with a common script, seals, motifs and weights. The transition from the Early Harappan to the Mature Harappan phase happened over four or five generations, or 100 to 150 years.

2300-1700 BCE: The period of the Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Complex (BMAC), a civilization centered on the Oxus river (also called Amu Darya) and covering today's northern Afghanistan, southern Uzbekistan and western Tajikistan. The BMAC had close trade and cultural relations with the Harappan Civilization.

2100 BCE: A southward migration of pastoralists from the Kazakh Steppe, towards the southern central Asian regions that would today be called Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. The migrants make an impact on the BMAC, but mostly bypass it and move towards south Asia throughout the second millennium BCE, as listed below (2000–1000 BCE).

2000 BCE: Two major waves of migrations with their origin in China – after it had gone through the farming revolution and the resultant population surge – reshape south-east Asia. The first one brings Austroasiatic languages, new plants and a new variety of rice to India after 2000 BCE.

2000–1000 BCE: Multiple waves of Steppe pastoralist migrants from central Asia into south Asia, bringing Indo-European languages and new religious and cultural practices.

1900-1300 BCE: The Late Harappan period that sees the decline and eventual disappearance of the Harappan Civilization, primarily due to the effects of a long drought that affected civilizations in west Asia, Egypt and China as well.


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