Posted by Vishva News Reporter on March 17, 2003

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Human Origins Program Field Projects in India

In several basins of southern India, including the Hunsgi and Baichbal Valleys and the Malaprabha Valley, an ongoing cooperative research effort is being conducted among researchers from the Human Origins Program at the Smithsonian Institution and several universities in India, including Deccan College and Karnatak University.

The Hunsgi and Baichbal Valleys, India

Thumb In collaboration with Dr. K. Paddayya of Deccan College, Dr. Michael Petraglia of the Human Origins Program, has been conducting field and museum investigations. Since 1988, research has centered on the earliest archaeological evidence in the Hunsgi and Baichbal Valleys. The sites date between 500,000 to 200,000 years ago. Current excavations in the Hunsgi Valley are focusing on the Isampur Quarry, a spectacular site which has yielded hundreds of stone tools. Study of the stone tools has given us insight into the decisions made by the artifact manufacturers. This allows us to pose questions about the early human mindset and the development of human learning.
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The Malaprabha Valley, India

Thumb Archaeological surveys and excavations in the Malaprabha Valley are being directed by Dr. Ravi Korisettar of Karnatak University and Dr. Michael Petraglia of the Human Origins Program. Surveys have shown that early humans in this area camped near springs and obtained quartzite to make stone tools. Most revealing have been recent excavations of sites dating from 100,000 to 50,000 years ago. This is a time period which remains poorly documented in South Asia, thus a thorough study of this site will add to our understanding of how early humans made a living and how they coped with the environment around them.


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