EraTime PeriodCultural Characteristics
Circa. 20,00,000 years
to circa. 8,000 BC (BCE)
  • Hand axes, cleavers.
  • Hunting and gathering.
  • Hominins grouped in small societies.
Circa. 8,000 years
to circa. 1,300 BC (BCE)
  • Microlithic tools.
  • No knowledge of metals.
  • Hunting of animals and birds.
  • Gathering of plant food and fishing.
  • Later stage domestication of animals.
Circa. 2,000 BC (BCE)
to 1,000 BC (BCE)
  • Polished Stone Axes.
  • Microliths.
  • Domestication of animals.
  • Cultivation of crops.
  • Significant Agricultural revolution.
  • A Multiplicity of groups.
  • Co-existence of hunter-gatherers and pastoral groups.
  • Started early cultural civilisation.
Iron Age
Circa. 1,300 BC (BCE)
to 500 BC (BCE)
  • Megalithic burial custom.
  • Co-existence of hunter-gatherers and pastoral groups.
  • Development of chiefdom.
    Resembles early Tamil-Brahmi script.
  • Knowledge of iron, black and red ware, black ware ceramics.
  • Craft specialists.
Early Historic
and Sangam Age
Circa. 300 BC (BCE)
to 300 AD (CE)
  • Cultural traits of the Iron Age.
  • Kingdoms of Chera, Chola and Pandya.
  • Development of hero worship. Poetic traditions and literature.
  • Trade and exchange by sea.
  • Art, culture, music and dance reached its peak.
  • Highly developed and cultured people.