Write a brief note on the peasants of Belan Valley.
The Belan River, which is a tributary of the River Tour (joining Ganga) flows from east to west along the edge of the Vindhyan Plateau outcrop. It is an area covered with dense forest. Serving as a natural habitat for wild animals like Tiger, Chital, Blue bull etc. The evidences excavated from the Belan valley sites suggest the transformation of the stage from food gathering to food producing. The main excavation sites of this region are Chopani-Mandu, Kaldihive and Mahagera.
Chopani-Mando sites provide the earliest evidences of the use of pottery in the world. This site establishes a three phase sequence from epi-Paleolithic to late Mesolithic or Proto-Neolithic period. Phase III that is advanced Mesolithic features semi-sedentary community life and specialized hunting gathering economic system. A large number of ring stones and hand made pottery have been discovered from here. The presence of mild rice and bones of wild cattle, sheep and goat have been discovered.
The excavation from Koldihawa and Mahagara demonstrate providence of sedentary life, domestication of rice, and also cattle, sheep, goat and other evidences found from the site are:
- A large cattle pen with hoof marks of cattle found in Mahagara.
- Cord impressed pottery.
- Chalcedony blades round celts and adzes have been discovered.
- Round floors littered with tools.
Thus the Neolithic culture of Belan Valley depicts an advanced sedentary life with:
- Standardized pottery.
- Defined family units.
- Food processing units.
- Sophisticated tools like adzeus, Celts and chisels.
- Domestication of animals.
- Farming of domesticated rice.
It is believed (though not universally accepted) that Neolithic farmers of this valley were the earliest rice farmers in India.