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Gaillard C.,French Natural History Museum | Mishra S.,Deccan College Post-Graduate and Research Institute | Singh M.,Society for Archaeological and Anthropological Research | Deo S.,Deccan College Post-Graduate and Research Institute
Quaternary International

Large cutting tools have been known for a long time in South Asia and have always been considered to be related to the Acheulian. The character of the Indian Acheulian, however, has not been well described and its evolution is poorly known, as there are few sites which are dated. Advances in geochronology have yielded increasingly early dates from most parts of the world where Lower Palaeolithic occupation is documented. These techniques have been barely applied to the South Asian sites but it is highly significant that the dating attempts have provided Lower Pleistocene ages. In this paper the handful of sites for which some chronological data is available and are older than 600. ka are presented. Their assemblages are highly diversified, in composition, but their large cutting tools (especially cleavers but also handaxes) are mostly based on the production of large flakes. They compare well with the early Acheulian from other parts of the world. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA. Source

Gaillard C.,French Natural History Museum | Singh M.,Society for Archaeological and Anthropological Research | Rishi K.K.,Government of Punjab | Bhardwaj V.,Society for Archaeological and Anthropological Research
Comptes Rendus - Palevol

The largest collection of Acheulian artefacts in the Siwalik region is from the site of Atbarapur in north-western India. The artefacts occur in reworked sediments of the Pinjore Formation, starting with the onset of the Pleistocene and continuing at places in this region till 0.6 Ma. The technical study shows two similar "chaînes opératoires": one based on cobbles for making small flakes and the second based on boulders for large flakes. Both are short and simple: cores are not prepared and each of them produced about seven flakes. Handaxes and cleavers, typical Acheulian tools, are made on the large flakes, often struck from the ventral face of larger flakes (Kombewa method) or from split boulders. The technology compares well with the Lower Pleistocene Acheulian of peninsular India, but with slightly more refined bifaces. It also compares with assemblages from Africa and East Asia: Atbarapur stands as a milestone on the diffusion route(s) of the Acheulian. © 2010 Académie des sciences. Source

Chapon Sao C.,French Natural History Museum | Abdessadok S.,French Natural History Museum | Dambricourt Malasse A.,French Natural History Museum | Singh M.,Society for Archaeological and Anthropological Research | And 7 more authors.
Comptes Rendus - Palevol

The Mio-Pleistocene Siwalik formations have been known worldwide since the 19th century for their fossil hominoids. Numerous paleomagnetic studies have contributed to build the chronological framework of the Siwalik Group subdivided into Lower, Middle and Upper Siwalik Subgroups. Our study concerns the Tatrot Formation (Late Pliocene) of the Upper Siwalik Subgroup located at Masol in the Chandigarh Siwalik Frontal Range (India), and is accessible by the Patiali Rao River. At Masol (district Mohali, Punjab), the erosion of the anticline structure has formed an inlier and exposed paleontological assemblages characterizing the Late Pliocene "Quranwala fossiliferous zone". Since 2008, the Indo-French research program, "Siwaliks", has conducted surveys in the Masol inlier and has collected stone tools on the surface of the outcrops among fossilized bones, a few with cut marks. The first cut-marked bone was discovered in 2009 at Masol 1 (M1). The study of the magnetic polarities of some stratigraphic units of M1 revealed that the deposits recorded a normal polarity. According to the paleontology and the previous magnetostratigraphy of the Patiali Rao, it appeared that the deposits of Masol 1 are older than the Gauss-Matuyama reversal, dated to 2.58 Ma. © 2015 Académie des sciences. Source

Gaillard C.,French Natural History Museum | Singh M.,Society for Archaeological and Anthropological Research | Malasse A.D.,French Natural History Museum
Quaternary International

The Siwalik Range especially in its western sector is known for numerous surface sites yielding large quantities of cobble tools. These tools have for long been considered to belong to the Lower Palaeolithic but they are sometimes associated with other apparently more evolved tool types having a transversal trimmed cutting edge. These types look like adzes/axes and are made from large flakes, split cobbles or flat cobbles. Moreover, such assemblages composed of choppers along with these adze/axe-like tools occur on geological surfaces formed in the late Pleistocene; they are probably later than these deposits in age. These assemblages compare well with the industries occurring further east in Nepal or northern South-East Asia related to the Hoabinhian industries. It is suggested that they are linked through subsistence and technical behaviours to the particular environment of the sub-Himalayan belt and its eastern extension characterised by densely forested hilly landscapes, generously irrigated by perennial streams. Besides, this region was not severely disturbed during the last glacial maximum and could have been a refuge for many animal and vegetal species. It has certainly favoured " latitudinal" circulation (precisely circulation along the geomorphological features) of human and animal populations despite the global climatic changes. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA. Source

Dambricourt Malasse A.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Moigne A.-M.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Singh M.,Society for Archaeological and Anthropological Research | Karir B.,Society for Archaeological and Anthropological Research | And 9 more authors.
Comptes Rendus - Palevol

The Indo-French research program 'Siwaliks' has been surveying the Late Pliocene Formation of the Chandigarh anticline (NW India) since 2008. These sub-Himalayan floodplain deposits are known for their Tertiary-Quaternary transitional fauna, especially those from the Quranwala zone in the Masol Formation, whose basal member is approximately 130 meters below the Gauss/Matuyama paleomagnetic reversal (2.588 Ma). About 1500 fossils have been collected in the inlier of Masol, most often on recently eroded outcrops, and sometimes in association with stone tools (choppers, flakes). Many bones were covered by a variety of marks (animal, bioerosion and tectonics) and among these traces a few were intentional cut marks. Different methods have been applied in Paris (France) to describe their topography on a micron scale, using the 3D Digital Video Microscope Hirox, and completed with binocular microscopy at the Center for Research and Restoration of Museums of France (C2RMF), and X-ray microtomography with the AST-RX platform, at the National Museum of Natural History, Paris. Experiments with quartzite cobbles collected near the fossils were carried out in India and in France. The mineralization of the traces is identical to the bone tissue, and comparison with our experimental cut marks confirms that the profiles are typical of the sharp edge of a flake or cobble in quartzite; their size and spatial organization testify to energetic and intentional gestures from an agile wrist acting with precision, and to a good knowledge of the bovid anatomy. © 2015 Académie des sciences. Source

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