Ancient India – Beginning of Farming & Herding

  • With time, people started noticing different varieties of edible ( eatable) plants and animals.
  • Perhaps, they started looking after plants- protecting them from birds and animals so that they could eat them and started noticing how and where they grow.
  • In this way, people became farmers.
  • People also understood that they could attract and then tame animals by leaving food for them near their shelters.
  • Hence, people started domesticating (the process in which people grow plants and look after animals) sheep, goat, cattle, pigs, etc.

This is how they became herders.

Fun fact: The first animal to be tamed was a wild ancestor of dog! Some other earliest domesticated animals are sheep and goat.


Finding Out About the First Farmer & Herder

  • Evidence of farming spots has been found in many parts of the subcontinent.
  • Scientists study evidence of plants like remains of burnt grains and animal bones to find these settlements.

Permanent Settlement

  • As we all know that after a seed is sown, it takes time to grow and bear fruits. When people began growing plants, it meant that they had to stay at one place, look after and protect the plant€” till the grain ripened.
  • Archaeologists have found traces of huts or houses in some sites.  For instance, in Burzahom, Kashmir, people built pit-houses, which were dug into the ground, with steps leading into them. These houses tell us that people stopped changing houses and built a permanent shelter.
  • They have also found utensils both inside and outside the huts, that prove that people used to cook either indoors or outdoors, depending on the weather.
  • Stone tools have also been found from many sites that are different from the one found in Palaeolithic age. These are called neolithic.
    1. These tools were polished and given fine cutting.
    2. They were used for grinding grains and other plant produce
    3. Many earthen pots have also been found that were used for cooking food.
    4. Weaving cloth, using a different kind of materials- for eg: cotton, also came into fashion.
Neolithic tools (Source)

Customs & Practices

Scholars believe that many of these farmers and herders lived in tribes.

  1. Members of tribes follow occupations such as hunting, gathering, farming, herding and fishing.
  2. Some men are regarded as leaders.
  3. Tribes have rich and uniques cultural traditions including their language, music, stories, gods and paintings.

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