Megalithic Culture of South India: From ‘Nomadism’ to ‘Sedentism’
The IUP Journal of History and Culture, Vol. VI, No. 1, January 2012, pp. 18-38
Posted: 20 Sep 2012
Date Written: January 20, 2012
When North India went through the Chalcolithic period, it was the phase of Iron Age culture in South India. The Iron Age predated the Sangam Age; however the later part of Iron Age culture moved in tandem with the Sangam age and is referred to as the Megalithic culture in the Deccan and South India. The Megalithic people of South India practised a mixed economy based on agro-pastoral production. A combination of specialized strategies, i.e., agriculture and cattle pastoralism was adopted at societal scale of production. A wide variety of shapes in different fabrics and the technical efficiency evidenced in the preparation of ceramics hint probably at a professional class of potters and pottery making as one of the important economic activities. However, hunting gathering practices are also evidenced by archaeological tool remains and paintings of that period. Thus, a marked division between ‘nomadism’ and ‘sedentism’ cannot be made in South Indian case. Rather it had reached a transitory phase from where settled life style and societies emerged.
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