On the Late Pliocene stone tools of the Quranwala Zone, north-west sub-Himalayas, India

Vidwan Singh Soni & Anujot Singh Soni

Abstract

Abstract image

A recent study of the Quranwala Zone (QZ) of the north-west sub-Himalayas, India, presents evidence for anthropic activity during the Pliocene that includes a number of stone tools found in association with fossil animal bones with cut marks. Based on the date of the Pliocene rock outcrop, the tools and bones are suggested to date from 2.6 Ma (Gaillard et al. 2016). There is, however, a question mark over the context of these tools within an outcrop of Pliocene rocks and, hence, over the date of these tools and the fossil bones. The trench from which they were excavated at Masol 2 (Gaillard et al. 2016: fig. 3) lies in a depression at the bottom of a slope; the description provided in section 2 of the paper by Gaillard et al. (2016) suggests that the stone tools may not have been in situ within the Pliocene levels, but had accumulated there and were mixed with the fragments of fossil bone due to geological processes. Moreover, many of the stone tools, such as the ‘simple choppers’ found in association with the fossil animal bones (Gaillard et al. 2016: figs 6, 8, 9), are usually found on much more recent sites and are therefore unlikely to date from 2.6 Ma.


Authors

  • Vidwan Singh Soni
    Punjabi University Patiala, NH 64, Urban Estate Phase II, Patiala District, Patiala, Punjab 147002, India (Email: vidwansoni [at] gmail.com)
  • Anujot Singh Soni
    Department of Punjab Historical Studies, Punjabi University Patiala, NH 64, Urban Estate Phase II, Patiala District, Patiala, Punjab 147002, India
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