The Lower Paleolithic Tamilnadu
The Hominins who wandered and settled in many parts of the world from Africa to Asia were also found in parts of Tamilnadu who settled and made tools from stones. These tools of Hominins were founded from Athirampakkam(Chennai) by the archaeologists.
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Homo Erectus
Other ancestors of humans, Homo Erectus also settled in parts of Tamilnadu who were briefly found on the banks of Kosasthalaiyar River, which was once considered as the cradle of Tamil civilization. The archaeologists employed various methods like “cosmic ray exposure dating” to excavate the sites.
Cosmic ray exposure dating: This method uses the interaction between Cosmic rays and nuclide present in rocks to determine the age.
The Arrival of Robert Bruce Foote:
The entry of Robert Bruce Foote changed the archaeological scene in Tamilnadu, where his methods of excavation and the findings he extracted from the sites garnered national attention which indirectly placed Tamilnadu as an important Paleolithic site.
The Quartzite Stones
The Groundbreaking discovery was made in Pallavaram near Chennai in 1863. It was on a parade ground this Incident happened where he picked a “hand-axe” that was made with Quartsite, which was a Paleolithic tool that had never seen before in India. Four Months later he and his friend founded various other tools of Paleolithic period like cleavers, and Flake tools at Attirampakkam.
Numerous pieces of evidence showed that the people who inhabited the regions of Tamilnadu also knew hammer stones, and spheroids, where the cobbles and pebbles found over riversides were used as raw materials.
Some sites where the Lower Paleolithic tools are founded have been listed below:
  • Athirampakkam.
  • Vadamadurai.
  • Pallavaram,
  • Parikulam.
  • Erumaivettipalayam.
  • North Arcot.
  • Dharmapuri.
Basalt rocks: These rocks are formed when the molten lava explodes from a volcanic eruption and settles down on the ground surface. Some tools that are found in the northern part of Tamilnadu are made of these rocks which were known to the Paleolithic people.
Middle Paleolithic in Tamilnadu:
  • The Middle Paleolithic evolved in Tamilnadu with the change marked by the appearance of tools that were found over some parts of Tamilnadu. There was a lack of fossil evidence but some tools that were found near Athirampakkam clearly shown the differences.
  • These tools have obtained a shift in the way they were made, from Acheulian methods the middle Paleolithic period shifted to the Stone-knapping technique named Levallois technique.
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The Knapped Stone
  • Another marked difference was the size of the tools which became smaller over time.
  • Most of the Middle Paleolithic tools were found from the southern part of Tamilnadu namely Thanjavur, Ariyalur, and Sivarakottai.