This study focuses on the prototype of religion. Religion in some form or other has been an essential element of humankind beyond the threshold of history. Social scientists, archaeologists, and historians are of the view that many of the beliefs and practices of the later religions are rooted in their prehistoric prototypes. A difficulty, however, about such inquiry is posed by scarcity of data. Apart from scarcity, the available data is confined to archaeological remains of graves and cave paintings. The interpretation made through these remains may be conjectural to some extent, but if employed with proper caution such evidence can afford valuable clues to understand prehistoric man and his religion. The Indian Sub-continent yields archaeological remains from the very beginning of prehistory. Palaeolithic culture in India shows no traces of beliefs and rituals. The first archaeological information about religious beliefs comes from Mesolithic culture with a time bracket of 10,000-5000 B.C. The present study mainly focuses on Mesolithic communities of Uttar Pradesh and Central India.
|Keywords:||Theme: Religious Foundations, Prehistory, Holocene, Mesolithic|
Assistant Professor, Ancient Indian History & Archaeology Department, Jai Narain Postgraduate College, Lucknow University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India