describes the lifestyles of the pre-historic man
development of tool technology
The pre-historic man followed his life support systems to find food
through hunting, gathering and foraging. Animals were hunted either
individually or collectively. Even dead animals were used as food
by burning them in fire. The frequently hunted animals were cattle,
sambhur, deer, mouse deer, leopard, porcupine and squirrel. Birds
and jungle fowl as well as water animals like the tortoise were
not spared. Reptiles, marine and fresh water fish, snails and shells
were also used as food.
the Paleolithic Period, we move on to the Mesolithic Period which
represents the last phase of the hunting and food gathering life
style of man. After this period we notice the domestication of animals
and agriculture in many countries.
Sri Lanka, the Mesolithic Period, also known as 'Balangoda Culture',
is dated between 30,000 and 3000 years prior to the present day.
This era is associated with Iranamadu formations and sandy shores
and caves. The developed stage of stone implements is exemplified
by geometric microliths of extremely sharp arrow heads.
Mesolithic man is popularly known as the Balangoda Man and the present
day Veddahs are considered to be their descendants.
Mesolithic cave sites and tools found in them are displayed in a
panel which identifies four caves sites - Fahiyangala and Belilena,
Kitulgala (top left & right) and Kalmatiya and Aligama, Sigirya
(bottom left & right). The tools have been categoried into three
- grilled shells (left corner), triangle shaped microliths (centre)
and trapezium microliths (right).
technology is illustrated through an interesting panel. The narrative
states that in Sri Lanka, the pre-historic man used quartz ('tiruvana'
in Sinhala) and chert ('kahanda') for the preparation of stone tools.
Smaller quantities of granite and gneiss ('kalu gal') too were used.
In the Lower Paleolithic Period, the stone tools were prepared in
the original shape of the stone or with minor changes. Gradually
changes were made and by Mid-Paleolithic Period, tools were chiseled
into pieces in order to increase their usage.
the Mesolithic Period, tool technology was termed a microlithic
industry. There were distinct features in these. The tools were
smaller in size. The sharpness of blades was another feature and
the tools were of more efficient quality. They were made in different
shapes like crescent, trapezium and triangle in order to increase
were also more complex. The blades were fixed on to wooden, animal
horn or animal bone handles. There were grinders with holes and
tools for producing fire. Needles and spoons were turned out from
animal bones and horns. The selection of material and the different
techniques used in making tools are illustrated in the panel.