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Posted at: Mar 8, 2019, 6:53 AM; last updated: Mar 8, 2019, 6:53 AM (IST)

Study belies claims on Harappan tools

Were in use till 4,000 years ago, discover Patiala anthropologists

Jupinderjit Singh

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 7

Patiala-based anthropologist Vidwan Soni and his son Anujot Singh have discovered that people in the late Harappan civilisation used stone tools even till 4,000 years ago instead of earlier established 8,000 years.

The father-son duo worked for several years collecting the relatively “young” stone tools from Shivalik Hills for the last several years.

Their study has been published in several magazines of international repute on anthrolpology and related issues. Prominent among them include Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, an International Journal of Elsevier publication; and Antiquity (an international journal of high quality).

In their paper, the father-son duo has challenged the eminent pre-historians on the later Harappan life.

The paper has also been published in a reputed Indian journal, Current Science, which is published from Bengaluru. A paper titled Indian Society of Prehistoric and Quaternary Studies published by Deccan College, a deemed university of Pune, has also carried their research.

Soni is known for setting up a fossil museum at Punjabi University, Patiala. Explaining the relevance of his findings, he told The Tribune that it was known that due to long droughts the Harappans moved to Shivalik Hills, butit was not known they improvised on the available material and restarted using tools of the Stone Age. This was because they could not find copper any more.

“Due to long droughts the late-Harappans got shifted towards Shiwaliks for search of water. Due to non availability of metal, they started fabricating and using stone tools,” he said.

Soni explained that earlier it was known that the stone tools were called “Soanian” as they were first discovered in 1939 from the banks of the Soan (now in Pakistan) by de-Terra and Paterson.

“Later, such tools from terraces of Punjab and Himachal streams. But these were meager collections of tools from terraces surfaces in undated contexts and it was speculated that older surfaces were more than 5 lakh years old and younger surfaces were between 50,000 and 1.5 lakh years old,” he added.

Underlying the significance of their research, he said, “We have found such tools in large numbers (including some hitherto never reported new types also) from young surfaces which were dated by Luminescence Radioactive OSL dating from Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, Dehradun, that came out to be just to 4,000 to 6,000 years old.”

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