Almost all known human sites from 100,000 to 3000 B.C. in South Asia could fit into the Rohri flint quarries. With the pyramids, they are among the largest known manufacturing enterprises of ancient times. The head of the Italian-Pakistani team investigating reports on a vanishing area.
In 2008 are publishing an extensive update on the findings at Rohri and elsewhere in Sindh by Dr. Biagi and his team. We present the recent paper in PRAEHISTORIA by Dr. Biagi The Mesolithic Settlement of Sindh (Pakistan): A Preliminary Assessment (PDF) which contains much new information on the area around 10,000 B.C., some 7,000 years before the ancient Indus civilization flourished.
A second paper, The Levalloisian assemblages of Sindh (Pakistan) and their importance in the Middle Palaeolithic of the Indian subcontinent published here in January 2008, describes even more recent findings and analysis. These concern a period 150,000 to 50,000 years ago.
In September 2008 we published The Chipped stone assemblage of the Tharro Hills (Thatta, Sindh, Pakistan): A Preliminary Analysis, and New Radiocarbon Dates for the Prehistory of the Arabian Sea Coasts of Lower Sindh and Las Bela in Balochistan as well as New Discoveries of Mesolithic sites in the Thar Desert (Upper Sindh, Pakistan) which appeared in 2008 as part of the E.C.L. During Caspers commemorative volume on Intercultural Relations between South and Southwest Asia.This was followed in November by The Bronze Age Indus Quarries of the Rohri Hills and Ongar in Sindh (Pakistan). In February 2009, Dr. Biagi's essay The Shell-middens of the Arabian Sea and Gulf: maritime connections in the seventh millenium BP? was made available. Shell middens are domestic waste heaps and this essay points to connections across the Arabian Sea, between Balochistan and the Gulf area as early as the 7th millenium BCE, long before the ancient Indus civilization flourished.
In October 2009, we presented Dr. Biagi's essay The Paleolithic settlement of Sindh (Pakistan): A review a complete overview of the research with significant new information on large sites besides Rohri. In March 2010, Dr. Biagi's published a book review of Robin Dennell's The Paleolithic settlement of Asia, a look at the larger known Paleolithic world in the continent going back 100,000 years.
New: In 2011 we publish Neaderthals at the South-Easternmost Edge . . . by Paolo Biagi and Elizabeth Starnini on the latest evidence for the presence of Neanderthals in the southern Indus Valley up to 200,000 years ago based on evidence from flint tools.
These findings, as well as those in neighboring India, are leading to a much expanded understanding of the ancient subcontinent and the origins of human culture in the area.
Unfortunately, as our understanding of this period in Sindh is advancing, extensive development in the area is destroying these ancient sites. Dr. Biagi's recent paper The Archaeological Sites of the Rohri Hills (Sindh, Pakistan): the Way they are Being Destroyed summarizes the discoveries and the destruction that is accompanying them.
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