A number of Chalcolithic cultures have been discovered in northern, central and western India. These included:
- The Ochre-Coloured Pottery (OCP) culture in the Punjab, Haryana, north-east Rajasthan and upper Ganga-Yamuna doab.
- The Narhan culture and its variants in the northern Vindhyas and the middle and lower Ganga valley.
- The Ahar culture in the Mewar region of Rajasthan.
- The Kayatha and Malwa cultures in the Malwa region of western Madhya Pradesh.
- The Jorwe culture in western Maharashtra
The Ahar culture, also known as the Banas culture, is a Chalcolithic Culture of southeastern Rajasthan, lasting from 3000 to 1500 BCE, contemporary and adjacent to the Indus Valley Civilization.The main distribution of this culture seems to be concentrated in the river valleys of Banas and its tributaries namely Berach and Ahar.
More than 90 sites of the culture have been identified till date, out of which, Gilund, Ahar, Ojiyana and Balathal are prominent sites. These sites of Ahar culture provide important information about the transformation of life from hunting-gathering to agriculture in the Mewar region.
Features of Ahar-Banas Culture:
- People lived in single, double & multi-roomed rectangular, square or circular houses.
- The houses were made of stones, mud bricks, the walls being plastered with mud.
- Typical Ahar pottery is a Black-and-Red ware (BRW) with linear and dotted designs painted on it in white pigment and has limited range of shapes, which include bowls, bowls-on-stands, elongated vases and globular vases.
Economy & Subsistence:
- The subsistence of Ahar-Banas people was based on cultivation, animal rearing and hunting. They sustained on a number of crops, including wheat and barley.
- The people of Ahar culture had trade links with the Harappans.
- The technology of Ahar people was mostly based on copper. They exploited the copper ores of the Aravalli Range to make axes and other artefacts.
- However, the Neolithic trend of using polished stone tools continued in this period also and microlithic tools of silicious material were also very common.
Important Sites of Ahar-Banas Culture:
- Pachamta ( Because, Excavation done in 2015)
* Important Note:
Please note use of words Indus Valley “Civilization” but Ahar-Banas “Culture” . We did not use Ahar-Banas Civilization. Why?
Because Ahar-Banas is Culture and not Civilization. So what is the difference between Civilization & Culture?
- Culture is by definition smaller than a civilization. Civilization includes (technology, forms of government etc, and even culture)
- Culture can grow and exist without residing in a formal civilization whereas a civilization will never grow and exist without the element of culture. Hence, Culture is earlier or a pre-condition for civilization to develop.
- All Societies have culture but only a few have Civilization ( example, Indus Valley Civilization)