A Report on the Exploration of Neolithic Sites on the Central and Eastern Meghalaya Plateau, Northeast India

Neelima Vasudevan & P. Ajithprasad

Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda


Northeast India, sandwiched between Southeast Asia, Southern China, South Asia, and the Himalayas is an important cultural corridor for understanding prehistoric human migrations. The Meghalaya plateau, located within this region, receives high amounts of rainfall, is dominated by thick vegetation, and possesses Stone Age sites, mostly dating to the Neolithic period. This paper presents data from recent explorations conducted on the Neolithic sites of Central and Eastern Meghalaya plateau. It focuses on the nature of sites, settlement patterns and site formation processes. Material culture assemblages recovered from the sites includes pottery and stone artifacts. The lithic repertoire is dominated by flakes, debitage, and flakes with secondary flaking, but axes, adzes, chisels and short axes are also represented. Previous research in the region has reported cord impressed and paddle impressed pottery. Also significant is the Hoabinhian type artefacts reported from Meghalaya. The chronology of these archaeological settlement sites remains a major issue for the entire region. The cultural context and significance of settlements are critically reviewed in this presentation.