Lithic technology and social transformations in the South Indian Neolithic:The evidence from Sanganakallu-Kupgal
Here we examine patterns in stone tool technology among Mesolithic, Neolithic and Iron Age localities in the Sanganakallu–Kupgal site complex, Bellary District, Karnataka, South India. Statistical tests are used to compare proportions of raw materials and artefact types, and to compare central tendencies in metric variables taken on flakes and tools. Lithic-related findings support the inference of at least two distinct technological and economic groups at Sanganakallu–Kupgal, a microlith-focused foraging society on the one hand, and on the other, an agricultural society whose lithic technologies centred upon the production of pressure bladelets and dolerite edge-ground axes. Evidence for continuity in lithic technological processes through time may reflect indigenous processes of development, and a degree of continuity from the Mesolithic through to the Neolithic period. Lithic production appears to have become a specialised and spatially segregated activity by the terminal Neolithic and early Iron Age, supporting suggestions for the emergence of an increasingly complex economy and political hierarchy.