Correct Answer - Option 1 : Both statements are correct
Prehistoric Age refers to the time when there was no writing and development. It consists of five periods – Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic, Chalcolithic & Iron Age.
The term Mesolithic is derived from two Greek words – ‘meso’ and ‘lithic’. In Greek ‘meso’ means middle and ‘lithic’ means stone. Hence, the Mesolithic stage of prehistory is also known as the ‘Middle Stone Age’.
Characteristic Features of the Mesolithic Era
- The people of this age lived on hunting, fishing, and food gathering initially but later on they also domesticated animals and cultivated plants, thereby paving the way for agriculture.
- The first animal to be domesticated was the wild ancestor of the dog. Sheep and goats were the most common domesticated animals.
- The Mesolithic people lived in semi-permanent settlements along with occupying caves and open grounds.
- The people of this era believed in life after death and hence they buried the dead with food items and other goods.
- The characteristic tools of this era were microliths – the miniature stone tools usually made of crypto-crystalline silica, chalcedony, or chert, both of geometrical and non-geometrical shapes. They were not only used as tools but were also used to make composite tools, spearheads, arrowheads, and sickles after hafting them on wooden or bone handles. These microliths enabled the Mesolithic man to hunt smaller animals and birds.
- The Mesolithic men started to wear clothes made of animal skin.
- The Mesolithic people were art lovers and initiated rock art. The subject matter of these paintings was mostly wild animals and hunting scenes, dancing, and food collection were also depicted in such paintings. These rock paintings give an idea about the development of religious practices and also reflect the division of labor on the basis of gender.
- The first human colonization of the Ganga Plains happened during this period.
Thus, we can say that both statements 1 and 2 are correct.