TNPSC Study Materials Ancient India – Middle Palaeolithic Culture

TNPSC Study Materials Ancient India

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Topic:  Ancient India – Middle Palaeolithic Culture


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  3. Notes Taken Tamilnadu New Syllabus

Middle Palaeolithic Culture

  • After about 4,00,000 years BP (Before Present), changes took place in the lithic technology and the species of human ancestors diverged.
  • The species of Homo erectus existed in the Middle Palaeolithic period.
  • Anatomically modern humans are said to have emerged around 3,00,000 years ago.
  • In India, the Middle Palaeolithic phase was first identified by H.D. Sankalia on the Pravara River at Nevasa.
  • Recently, the Middle Palaeolithic of Athirampakkam is dated to be around 3.85-1.72 lakh years BP.
  • Indian Middle Palaeolithics probably may be as old as the African Middle Palaeolithic

Industries and Tool Types

Tools Used

Hand axes, cleavers, choppers, chopping tools, scrapers, borers and points, projectile points or shouldered points ,and knives on flakes.


Flake industry was predominant in the Middle Palaeolithic period and tools such as scrapers, points and borers were made. Scrapers were used for wood and skin working.

The Middle Palaeolithic culture in India is dated between 3,85,000 and 40,000
BCE. While the African Middle Stone Age is associated with the Homo sapiens,
it is associated with the Neanderthals in Europe.

No hominin fossil bones of this species have been found in India.

The Middle Palaeolithic sites are found in Narmada, Godavari, Krishna, Yamuna
and other river valleys.

Ways of Life and Main Characteristics

The main features of the Indian Middle Palaeolithic period include the following:

    • The tools became smaller.
    • The decrease in the use of hand axesin relation to other tools.
    • Use of core preparation techniques in stone tool production.
    • Use of chert, jasper, chalcedony and quartz as raw materials.
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