Directorate of Archaeology ( Uttar Pradesh ) INDIA Directorate of Archaeology ( Uttar Pradesh ) INDIA Directorate of Archaeology ( Uttar Pradesh ) INDIA
Important Findings
Exploration & Excavation
Suggested Topics For Research


Current Research
Archaeological Excavation
Archaeological Excavation -Village-to-Village Exploration, district Mirzapur..
Project Director
Rakesh Tewari, Directorate of Archaeology Uttar Pradesh, Roshan-ud-daula Kothi, Lucknow 226 001
P. C. Pant, Former Prof. in Prehistory, BHU, 10, Amaravati Colony, Sarvodaya Nagar, Lucknow 226 016
I. B. Singh, Department of Geology, Lucknow University, Lucknow 226 007.
S. Sharma and M. Sharma, Department of Geology, Lucknow University, Lucknow 226 007.
P. Srivastava, A. K. Singhvi, and P.K. Mishra, Physical Research Laboratory, Navrangpura, Ahmedabad 280 009
H. J. Tobschall, Institute for Geology and Mineralogy, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, D - 91054, Erlangen, Germany
Excavation Team
R.K. Srivastava, Ram Vinay, S.K. Dubey, G.C. Singh, Rajiv Trivedi, Ram Gopal Mishra, Balram Krishna, M.M. Dimri, Directorate of Archaeology Uttar Pradesh.
Project Phase
Research Aim and Current Resaerch
The Ganga Plain, presently one of the most densely populated areas of India has a large number of archaeological sites, mostly dating back to about 2500 - 3500 years before present. Until about three decades ago it was believed that the Ganga Plain was unsuitable for the Stone Age human habitation. The discovery of a series of supposedly epi-Palaeolithic and Mesolithic sites in Pratapgarh, Allahabad, Jaunpur and Varanasi districts of Uttar Pradesh belied the above observation and the scholars in general seemed to have accepted the hypothesis that the Stone Age people of the Vindhyan area migrated towards north in search of food during the terminal Pleistocene and early Holocene periods.
However, the occurrence of Lower and Middle Palaeolithic human activity in the Ganga Plain has been beyond the imagination of scholars particularly because of the monotonous spread of alluvium mostly devoid of suitable stones, the raw material for manufacturing implements. The meticulous field investigations carried out by the team of the Department of Geology, Lucknow University into the sediments of the Yamuna river-section between the railway and road bridges near Kalpi, District Jalaun during the last five years have proved beyond doubt that human groups occupied the region around 45,000 years before present. Moreover, as per the observations of this team, the stone and bone implements occur in a definite stratigraphic horizon, which has been dated by various absolute dating methods. This artefacts yielding horizon is present in Event II which also produced a variety of vertebrate faunal remains, namely elephant tusk, shoulder blade of elephant, molars of equus, bovids, bos etc. which seem to suggest a humid climate during deposition of this horizon.
The vertebrate fossil fauna has been reported from the river-sections of both the Ganga and the Yamuna rivers since the earlier half of the nineteenth century. Most of these discoveries may be labelled as stray though significant findings, not involving any sincere efforts to reconstruct the depositional history, environment and palaeoecology of the deposits and their fauna. The age assignments to these deposits were vague and tentative. Nor any effort appears to have been made to determine the significance of the fauna in the wider perspective of the alluvial deposits of the Ganga and the Yamuna rivers. However, these findings did indicate a humid climate in the area, supporting rich vegetation which could sustain diversified and rich fauna during certain times of Late Quaternary period.
On the contrary, Singh et al. (1999), first reported the discovery of a sizeable vertebrate fauna assemblage discovered in 1997 from the Kalpi section, and have been working in the area since then with a view to reconstruct the depositional processes, palaeoenvironment, and palaeoclimate of this section and put the succession in a chronological frame-work. During the last five years the concerted efforts of the team have yielded not only numerous fossilized bones but also some small pebble tools, some flakes and chips, as well as a good number of bone-tools with evidence of partial burning. This assemblage included elephant tusk and numerous fossilized bones of bovids, equids, elephants, etc., some of them showing blackening effect. Realizing the significance of the presence of bones, bearing deliberate human workmanship and blackening effect, Singh et al. surmised human occupation at Kalpi section site. Initially, the chronology of the artefacts and vertebrate fauna bearing horizon (Event II) was based on two radiocarbon dates of calcrete nodules. The calcrete nodules from top of Event I gave an age of > 40, 000 years, while calcrete nodules from lower part of Event III gave an age of 28,530 1090 years before present. The F/P2O ratio of the bones from Event II indicated age of 20-35, 000 years before present. Thus, the age of Event II was considered around 30, 000 years.
Considering the apparent archaeological importance of the above finds Directorate of Archaeology Uttar Pradesh collaborated with Dr. I.B. Singh and Dr. P.C. Pant for further investigations in this respect. First of all this team jointly inspected the site and thereafter carried out a detailed study of the artefacts collected from the Kalpi-section. These studies resulted in a research paper entitled 'Middle Palaeolithic Human Activity and Palaeoclimate at Kalpi in Yamuna Valley, Ganga Plain', which has been published in Man & Environment Vol. xxvii, No. 2. These studies led to a multidisciplinary project for undertaking archaeological excavations to expose the Kalpi-Section with the objective to corroborate the surface observations and to have a better idea of human activity continuing here for a considerable period of time. The outcome of the first season's work has not only duly endorsed the earlier surmises it has also opened many new aspects for further fieldwork at and around this site.
Tewari, R., P. C. Pant, I. B. Singh, S. Sharma, M. Sharma, P. Srivastava, A. K. Singhvi, P.K. Mishra and H. J. Tobschall 2002. 'Middle Palaeolithic Human .Activity and Palaeoclimate at Kalpi in Yamuna Valley, Ganga Plain', Man & Environment XXVII No.2, Pune.
Singh, I.B., S. Sharma, M. Sharma, P. Srivastava and G. Rajagopalan 1999. Evidence of Human Occupation and Humid Climate of 30 ka in the Alluvium of Southern Ganga Plain, Current Science 76: 1022-1026.
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