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Discovery of recent lithic industries with archaic features in the Hindu Kush range (Chitral district, North Pakistan).

Abstract : Survey in the upper reaches of the Yarkhun valley (Chitral district, northern Pakistan), on the southern slopes of the Hindu Kush range, led to the discovery of six sites yielding lithic industries at altitudes between 3000 and 4000 m. These lithic series bear common features. Technologically they appear archaic for they just consist of coarsely trimmed cobbles or chips collected from close surroundings. The collection, however, satisfies some selection criteria based on shape and raw material (quartz, quartzite, amphibolite, sometimes marble). There is no core reduction for producing flakes. Typologically most of the tools look like axes of various shapes, but with smooth rather than sharp edges; there are also choppers and some smaller tools like notches and end-scrapers with a very particular form of bipolar retouch.
According to their geomorphological situation and referring to the chronology established in the neighbouring range of Karakoram, these industries belong to a time period between 8000 and 3000 years BP. They are contemporary with the Neolithic and related to a tradition of pebble tools characteristic of the sub-Himalayan belt from the Lower Palaeolithic to the late Neolithic.
These new sites in the Hindu Kush, in association with those in the Pamir (Tajikistan), in the Siwaliks (Pakistan, India, Nepal) and maybe further east along the southern fringes of the Himalayas, raise the question of cultural isolation of the mountain populations away from the plain populations. At high altitudes, environmental or behavioural factors might have delayed the introduction of technological innovations as well as the neolithisation process.
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Contributor : Anne-Lise Millan-Brun Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Monday, January 26, 2009 - 11:34:50 AM
Last modification on : Sunday, June 26, 2022 - 5:37:32 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Tuesday, June 8, 2010 - 6:31:25 PM


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  • HAL Id : halshs-00355935, version 1




Claire Gaillard, Anne Dambricourt Malassé, J. Magraner, A. Maitrerobert, Taj Ali, et al.. Discovery of recent lithic industries with archaic features in the Hindu Kush range (Chitral district, North Pakistan).. Bull. of the Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association, 2002, 22, pp.25-33. ⟨halshs-00355935⟩



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