Monday, March 26, 2018

'Out of Africa', in India: A conversation on the Early Middle Paleolithic site of Atirampakkam, Tamil Nadu


A recent article in Nature titled "Early Middle Palaeolithic culture in India around 385–172 ka reframes Out of Africa models" has caused quite the uproar in news media in India and around the world, as it debunks the long-believed theory that complex tool-making emerged in the subcontinent after an influx of modern Homo Sapiens from Africa approximately 130,000 years ago. In fact, tools found at Attirampakkam, a site in Tamil Nadu, have been luminescence dated to 385,000 years old.
South Asian Archaeology spoke to the team, comprising Dr. Shanti Pappu, Dr. Kumar Akhilesh, Professor Yanni Gunnell and Professor A.K. Singhvi via email; and their answers have been consolidated. Drs. Shanti Pappu and Kumar Akhilesh are from the Sharma Centre for Heritage Education, India. The site was dated by Professor A.K. Singhvi and his team from the Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad, and the geomorphology is being studied by Professor Yanni Gunnell, Universit√© de Lyon, Department of Geography, France.