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Paleolithic cave paintings found in the Aravalli mountain range

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    History & Culture
  • Published
    15th Jul, 2021


Archaeologists have discovered cave paintings in a rocky and forested corner of Haryana. The painting is believed to belong to the Upper Palaeolithic age, which could potentially make them one of the oldest cave arts in the country.

About the newly found cave paintings

  • The paintings are found from the quartzite rocks in the Aravalli mountain ranges.
  • These caves are located in the region’s only surviving patch of primary forest, a holy grove called Mangar Bani.
  • The cave paintings are comprised of images of human figurines, animals, foliage, and geometric.
  • It is in the form of rock art and open-air ceremonial sites.
  • Most of the paintings are ochre, but some are white. Stones of these colors used to be available locally and inhabitants crushed the stones for preparing the color for paintings.

Bhimbetka in Madhya Pradesh

  • Bhimbetka reflects a long interaction between people and the landscape, as demonstrated in the quantity and quality of its rock art.
  • Bhimbetka is closely associated with a hunting and gathering economy as demonstrated in the rock art and the relicts of this tradition in the local adivasi villages on the periphery of this site.
  • The Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka are in the foothills of the Vindhyan Mountains on the southern edge of the central Indian plateau.
  • The Mangar cave art is 20,000-40,000 years old.
  • This could change the history of cave painting, as till now the reminiscent of Bhimbetka in Madhya Pradesh, which is home to the oldest known cave art in India, dating back to the Mesolithic Age (around 10,000 years ago), is known as the oldest cave paintings of India.

Paleolithic Age

  • The stone age is divided into three periods:
    • Paleolithic (or Old Stone Age)
    • Mesolithic (or Middle Stone Age)
    • Neolithic (or New Stone Age)
  • The Upper Paleolithic Age began around 40,000 years ago and lasted till around 10,000 years ago.
  • This era is marked by the use of tools by our early human ancestors (who evolved around 300,000 B.C.) and the eventual transformation from a culture of hunting and gathering to farming and food production.
  • In the Paleolithic period (roughly 2.5 million years ago to 10,000 B.C.), early humans lived in caves or simple huts or tepees and were hunters and gatherers.
  • They used basic stone and bone tools, as well as crude stone axes, for hunting birds and wild animals.
  • They cooked their prey, including woolly mammoths, deer, and bison, using controlled fire.
  • They also fished and collected berries, fruit, and nuts.