Meghalaya-alaya ("abode") and megha ("of the clouds")-occupies a mountainous plateau of great scenic beauty. It is one of the Seven Sister States of northeast India. People have lived here since Neolithic Era. Apart from accounts of the more important Khasi kingdoms in the chronicles of the neighbouring Ahoms and Kacharis, little is known of Meghalaya prior to the British period. Neolithic sites discovered so far are located in areas of high elevation such as in Khasi Hills, Garo Hills and neighbouring states. The limited archaeology done in the hills of Meghalaya suggest human settlement since ancient times. Meghalaya was formed by carving out two districts from the state of Assam: the United Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills, and the Garo Hills on 21 January 1972. Before attaining full statehood, Meghalaya was given semi-autonomous status in 1970.