About the Book:
The present volume tries to evaluate the cultural and environmental factors,
which necessitated a transition from hunting-gathering to food-producing stage;
and the material culture, technology, subsistence, art, religious beliefs, disposal
of the dead, biological composition, dietary habits, pathology and social organization
of the then inhabitants, drawing data from the excavated finds, ethnography
and author’s own understanding of this phase for the last five decades.
Evidence for the microlithic tradition in India, which now has a duration of
over forty millennia, is much richer than for the preceding Palaeolithic period
which lasted nearly from 1.0 to 1.5 million years. In the Mesolithic period,
microlithic and composite tools took the centre stage resulting in an improved
economy and sedentary lifestyle and laying the foundation for a settled agricultural
life. The book discusses the origin and evolution of the Mesolithic culture
with its chronological details.
About the Author:
Prof. Virendra Nath Misra (17th August 1935 – 31st October
2015) had carried out extensive archaeological and ethnographic fieldwork in
Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
He was the author and editor of eleven books and about hundred and fifty research
papers. He had been the editor of Man and Environment, Journal of the Indian
Society for Prehistoric and Quaternary Studies, and member of the editorial
advisory boards of The Anthropologist, Journal of World Prehistory, La Anthropologie,
The Holocene, The Asian Perspectives and Geoarchaeology. He had been a recipient
of HomiBhabha Fellowship; Leverhulme Visiting Fellowship at ANU, Canberra; Senior
Fulbright Fellowship at UC, Berkeley; National Fellowship of the ICHR; Emeritus
Fellowship of the UGC; D.N. Majumdar Memorial Medal of the Indian Social Science
Association; and V.S. Wakankar National Award of the Madhya Pradesh Government.
Prof. Misra had taught Anthropology at Lucknow University and Archaeology at
Deccan College Post-Graduate & Research Institute, Pune. He was the Director
of Deccan College from 1990 to 2000.