HABITATION AND WAY OF LIFE

The information on mode of living, habitation, means of subsistence, disposal of dead and rituals and belief systems of hunting gathering people is fragmentary. Mostly the inorganic substances have survived while the degradable organic material have not. However, the small fragments, tools, artefacts, locations of finds and circumstances of their preservation throw some light about their habitation, means of subsistence and their social organisation.

During lower Palaeolithic period very little is known about the dwellings or sise of the groups of Homo habilis. Their main food came from plants and a small proportion from scavenging dead animals or very small animal hunt which was probably consumed in raw form.
From the period of Homo erectus we notice certain significant features like the use of fire, building dwellings, living in bands of 25 – 30 people, social relations and planned hunting. All these gave them a certain life style.

Their shelters are in the form of natural caves as well as built dwellings which were oval or circular in shape. Tree branches and covering of skins were used to erect these. Presence of hearth in dwellings indicates regular use of fire. Now the meat was consumed grilled on fire or cooked in pits. The hearths are open. Hunting was a regular practice which was mainly the work of men while women were involved in gathering of plant food and foraging. Human groups lived separately but did come together on seasonal or cyclic manner. The movements of groups were within a limited territory.

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