A 3,500 to 4,000 years old Chalcolithic-era site located at Maharashtra’s Aurangabad has been destroyed during a soil scooping work for a highway project. The site was to be excavated by Maharashtra archaeology department and Deccan College in February. "Such a site is rare in Marathwada, and it was supposed to be excavated in February by state archaeology department and Deccan College," PTI quoted Mayur Thakre, Curator of Maharashtra archaeology department as saying. Following the incident, the state archaeology department has asked the revenue department to stop the ongoing project work.
"When the department got to know that soil was being scooped out from site for the construction of a highway nearby, it wrote to the sub-division officer (SDO) to stop work," Thakre told PTI. The preliminary report showed that 70 per cent of the prime site area has been damaged in the incident.
Earlier in 2015, the state archaeology department had identified a ‘Chalcolithic-era’ site near the border of Khandesh region and Marathwada. Several other ‘Chalcolithic-era’ sites were also discovered at Maharashtra’s Nandurbar and Inamgaon.
The ‘Chalcolithic-era’ refers to the period between the Neolithic and Bronze age. The ‘Chalcolithic’ is a Greek word. It means ‘copper age’. The period during when human beings began experimenting with metal instruments (like making tools for constructions, agriculture, self-defense, etc) and reorganizing their societies is called the ‘Chalcolithic’ era. Estimating a specific date on the ‘Chalcolithic-era’ is difficult. However, it is being considered that the ‘Chalcolithic-era’ has lasted from around 3,500 to 2,300 BC.
In India, the ‘Chalcolithic-era’ sites are located around the South-Eastern part of Rajasthan, Western part of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, and in some parts of South and Eastern India. The hunting was one of the important occupations of the people of Chalcolithic age.