Asked said earlier, we don’t know much about the burial of dead bodies in the first period of Neolithic age. NCERT class 7th Urdu says that they might have burnt their dead bodies. However, in the second period, we have some information about the burial of dead bodies. This feature distinguishes the first period from the second period. Second period is known for its burial practices and some changes in pottery, in the latter part of the period or at the beginning of the third period. At Burzahom, there were some graves that depict that they buried their dead ones in the compounds. The four skeletons of human beings that were found tell us that they were in crouching position. In some graves, there were animal skeletons of dogs, wolves and the wild goat or the Hangul. There are many opinions regarding the skeletons of these animals. Some say that they were domesticated by the inhabitants of Burzahom while some are of the opinion that they were offered to deities and buried in the graves. Apart from these, some say that in order to protect them from extreme climatic conditions, they were kept below the ground.
After this, we come across the third period of Burzahom or the Megalithic period. In this age, the living conditions of people changed a lot. They started to live in small mud brick houses. They left living in pits. For memorization, they installed the big stones or Menhirs. That is why, this period is called the “ Megalithic period”. “ Mega” means “ big” and “ lithic” means stone. This period is characterized by changes in pottery and in living conditions. In this age, pots were more elegant. This age brought the use of potter’s wheel. People started to make pots on wheels. The surface of the pots was smooth and evenun like in the first two periods, where the surface was rough and irregular.
The inhabitants of Burzahom possessed some knowledge of inscription or engraving. The finished stone slab fixed in the pond at Burzahom tells us about the art of engraving. On it is engraved the hunting scene of a deer. The hunting scenes were also seen in the latter part of the second period. Apart from stones, some metal tools were also used that speak of Chalcolithic age or they talk about the flourishing trade in those days. Many believe that copper came from China to this part of the world. Moreover, rubble structures associated with the Megalithic men are also found.
Tools of stones and bones, dwelling pits, burial of animals with their masters, etc., speak a lot about uniqueness of Burzahom in pre-historical age. Civilization of Burzahom is in close affinity with the civilizations of North China, Central Asia, Russia, Afghanistan and Iran. Some other Neolithic sites in Jammu and Kashmir are: Begagund, Gufkral, Hariparigom, Olchibag, Pampur, Panzgom, Brah, Sombur, Waztal, Before wrapping up, let us quote some words of RS Sharma in this regard. He says” In the northwest, Kashmiri Neolithic culture was distinguished by its dwelling pits, wide range of ceramics, the variety of stone and bone tools and the complete absence of microliths. Its most important site is Burzahom, which means “ the place of birch”, situated at 16 km northwest of Srinagar. The Neolithic people lived there on a lake-side in pits and probably had a hunting and fishing economy and seem to have been acquainted with agriculture. The people of Burzahom used coarse grey pottery. It is interesting that at Burzahom, domestic dogs were buried with their masters in their graves. This practice does not seem to be evident in any other Neolithic culture in India. We may place the Baluchistan and Kashmir valley Neolithic settlements in the North-Western group.”
Burzahom is worldly acknowledged. It is our duty to preserve it. If we lose this historical site, it will be a collective mourning for us.