Lower Palaeolithic Culture in Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu Palaeolithic culture is one of the oldest stone ages found so far in the world. It is a lower Palaeolithic period, occupied by hominine species. During archaeological excavations at Athirampakkam, the stone tools were collected and preserved. These artefacts were exposed in cosmic-ray test results the hominine lived 1.5 to 2 million years ago.
Homo erectus, the first human ancestor to spread throughout the old world, lived in The Kosasthalaiyar River. Some other evidence was also found are stone tools, pottery, animal bones and pollens. With this evidence, their lifestyle and culture were understood. The cosmic ray exposure results the findings dating back to 2 millions of years.
Sir Robert Bruce Foote, a geologist also considered as “father of Indian prehistory”, had spent most of the time in Indian archaeological surveys. In 1863, he discovered Palaeolithic tools at Pallavaram near Chennai which are the earliest findings of such tools in India. Hence, the hand axe parts were considered the Madras Stone Tool Industry and displayed in the Chennai Museum.
The Palaeolithic people were unaware of iron and pottery making hence they highly depend on stones for converting into a tool. Hand axes and cleavers have been used as main tools in various activities like In hunting the animals and birds. They also used hammer stones and spheroids. For handling these tools they fixed wood and bones as a handle on the stones. These tools were found in the sediment deposits along the flood plains of river basins, hilly areas, caves and rock shelters. The quartzite is a rock stone made of quartz and cobbles were chosen as raw materials to make handles. Both stones and pebbles have high strength and hardness, so they have been widely used as a raw material to make as impact tools. These evidence of stone artefacts found at Pallavaram, Gudiyam cave, Athirampakkam, Vadamadurai, Erumai Vetti Palayam and Parikulam.
In North Arcot and Dharmapuri districts the Basalt rocks are used as a raw material for manufacturing the stone tools. Though, not much proof of lower Palaeolithic found in southern most parts of Tamil Nadu and neighbouring Sri Lanka, but in other parts such as Athirampakkam, findings seem to be dating back to 2 million years ago. This cultural phase carried on with other parts of our country before 300,000 years.
Lower Palaeolithic tools may use with wooden handle
Middle Palaeolithic Culture in Tamil Nadu
Middle Palaeolithic Culture is seen from 3.85 – 1.72 lakh years ago, in Tamil Nadu. The Middle Stone Age shows significant levels of human development, characterized by the use of processed stone tools. The tool types are comparatively fine-tuned and material alteration also found. Like Cores, flakes, scrapers, knives, borers, Levalloisian flakes, hand axes and cleavers are made into smaller sizes compared to the previous age. Middle Palaeolithic Culture artefacts can be spotted in some parts of Tamil Nadu at T. Pudupatti, Sivarakkottai, Thanjavur and Ariyalur.