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Rawat | Stone Age sites in Pakistan

Stone Age sites in Pakistan

Pakistan is 6th populated nation and area covered by Pakistan is 33rd in word ranking of countries. We all know that the creation date of Pakistan is 1947 but are you know that the history of the land now called Pakistan is belongs to oldest human age (Stone Age). Pakistan is culturally very rich country and also the house of old religions and civilizations. Today we tell you about the oldest site in Pakistan.

Riwat

Riwat (or Rawat) near Murree is a Lower Paleolithic (Stone Age, also divided in lower, middle and upper class.) site in Punjab, Pakistan. This site provides evidences of the earliest Homo occupation outside Africa and dates back to 1.9 million years ago. The site was discovered in 1983. Another site, called Riwat Site 55, shows a later occupation dated to around 45,000 years ago.

Discovery of site

Riwat was discovered by the British Archaeological Mission to Pakistan, directed by F. Raymond Allchin and Bridget Allchin (1977–1987), and Robin Dennell (1988–1999). In the early 1980s, the mission set out to investigate the earliest periods in the pre-history of Pakistan, which at that point were only poorly understood, based on the work of Helmut de Terra and T. T. Paterson in the 1930s. One of the localities described by de Terra and Paterson was a place near the village of Rawat where artifact-bearing Pleistocene quartzite deposits could be found eroding out of the ridges and slopes of the Soan Valley. Revisiting the site, which they called Riwat Site 55, in 1983, the mission discovered prehistoric stone tools in good condition, and therefore decided to open an excavation, which was conducted over two seasons by Dennell and Pakistani archaeologist M. Halim. The site was dated to the Upper Palaeolithic, about 45,000 years ago. 

At the same time, Dennell, together with geologist Helen Rendell, decided to survey the area around Riwat for more Palaeolithic sites. They noted several finds which appeared to be older than those at Site 55, perhaps indicating a Middle Palaeolithic or even Lower Palaeolithic occupation, but conclusively demonstrating that they were made by human hands, and that they were as old as suspected, proved difficult. In 1985, Rendell and Dennell published a paper in which they argued that some of the Riwat artefacts could be dated to the Lower Palaeolithic, between 400,000 and 700,000 years ago.  Later, in 1988, they selected six artefacts which they argued were as much as two million years old, and therefore the earliest evidence of humans outside of Africa known at the time.

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