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Stone age tools dating back 2,00,000 years found in Rajasthan

Times Of India Feb 28, 2017, 11:26 IST Geetha Sunil Pillai

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UDAIPUR: Archeologists have found a large number of Stone Age tools ranging from 5,000 to 2,00,000 years old at several sites in Bhilwara and Bundi districts.

In a recent survey , large number of late Acheulian, middle Palaeolithic and Microlithic tools were examined at various sites in eastern Rajasthan by a team of archaeologists from Sahitya Sansthan, Janardhan Rai Nagar Rajasthan Vidyapeeth, Udaipur accompanied by historian Om Prakash Sharma of Bundi.

The survey , supported by Vidyapeeth University , was carried out to have clear concepts of chronology , distribution and nature of Stone Age settlements in this region since some of them had been noticed already . These sites were located to the east of Bagor, on the banks of Kothari in Bhilwara, which was one of the earliest Mesolithic sites in eastern Rajasthan discovered and excavated by famous Professor VN Misra in early seventies. Bagor site had yielded earliest evidence of domestic dog with Stone Age community .

"In our recent survey to east and north east of Bhilwara, we have examined several Stone Age settlements between Bijolia and Bundi like Haati Tol, Mundol, Banka, Guwar, and so on. A large number of Stone Age tools were discovered on the left bank of a seasonal river, Banganga, near village Banka," principal investigator Prof Jeevan Singh Kharakwal told TOI. Three distinct stages of Stone Age culture -late Acheulian Transition (older than 60,000 years), middle Palaeolithic (60,000 to 40,000 years) and Mesolithic (10,000 to 4,000 years) -were identified in the survey .

Most of the findings are of late Acheulian and are made on large flakes, and tools types are identified as a variety of scrappers and points. In the assemblage, a V shaped cleaver and a leaf shaped hand axe were of early Acheulian character whereas most of the scrapers, made on large flakes, appear to represent the transitional stage between the late Acheulian and middle Palaeolithic, which may be assigned a time bracket of 2,00,000 to 60,000 years.

"With the presence of early Acheulian character, it is likely that there are many early Acheulian sites in this region. Thus, one may safely state that early men flourished for a very long time (for at least more than 2,00,000 years, if not more) between Bijolia and Bundi," Kharakwal claims.

Several middle Palaeolithic tools together with microliths have been discovered at Mundol near Bijolia.The middle Palaeolithic tools are of course 40,000-60,000 years old. There are about half a dozen of Mesolithic sites in this area. Except for the Acheulian site of Banganga, all others were discovered either on gentle slopes of the rocky out crop or on ridges composed of Vindhyan sand stone. All Microlithic sites have yielded variety of fluted or conical cores, flakes, bladelets, debitage (waste) and nodules of chert (raw material).

Most of the blades appear to have taken out of the cores by chest pressure technique and the size of the blade might have been less than 5 cm. Nature and typology of cores, debitage and blade lets clearly indicate Mesolithic assemblage which can be dated 10,000 to 4,000 years.

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