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India’s Ancient Past$
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R. S. Sharma

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195687859

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195687859.001.0001

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Human Evolution: The Old Stone Age

Human Evolution: The Old Stone Age

(p.50) 7 Human Evolution: The Old Stone Age
India’s Ancient Past

R.S. Sharma

Oxford University Press

Humans appeared on the earth in pre-Pleistocene and early Pleistocene times. Humans form part of the hominid line of evolution and Australopithecus was the last of the pre-human hominids. Some of the earliest skull fossils have been found in the Siwalik hills. These skulls are called Ramapithecus and Sivapithecus. The Palaeolithic Age in India is divided into Lower, Middle and Upper Palaeolithic. The Lower Palaeolithic or the Early Old Stone Age covers the greater part of the ice age. The Middle Palaeolithic industries were largely based upon flakes or small pieces of stone which have been found in different parts of India with regional variations. There were 566 sites in the Upper Palaeolithic phase. The Mesolithic age marked a transitional phase in the mode of subsistence leading to animal husbandry. The Upper Palaeolithic people practise art. It is not clear whether humans lived in a band or pre-band society.

Keywords:   Australopithecus, Siwalik hills, Lower Palaeolithic, Middle Palaeolithic, Upper Palaeolithic, Mesolithic age, art

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