Palaeolithic Cave Paintings in NCR

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Palaeolithic Cave Paintings in NCR

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-I – Ancient History

In news Archaeologists have discovered cave paintings in a rocky and forested corner of Haryana that they believe belong to the Upper Palaeolithic age.

  • The Upper Paleolithic Age began around 40,000 years ago and lasted till around 10,000 years ago.

About the findings?

  • The caves are nestled amid a maze of quartzite rocks in the Aravalli mountain ranges, near a patch of primary forest, a holy grove called Mangar Bani.
  • The paintings are in continuation with the Soanian culture which has been found in Shivalik hills, Narmada and Aravallis.
    • The Aravallis are India’s and the world’s oldest mountain range.
  • Cave paintings comprised images of human figurines, animals, foliage, and geometric. 
  • Rock art and open-air ceremonial sites were also found. 
  • The caves and the paintings themselves are 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). 
  • However, these Mangar cave art is 20,000-40,000 years old. The findings, therefore,  could potentially make the paintings one of the oldest cave arts in the country.
  • Most of the paintings are ochre, but some are white. 
  • Experts say cave paintings in white are usually from a later stage (early contemporary era), while Stone Age paintings are more often than not, ochre.
  • After the finding, the Mangar Bani forest shall be brought under state protection under the section 4 of Punjab Ancient and Historical Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1964.

News Source: Hindustan Times

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