Madrasian Culture

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The Madrasian culture is a prehistoric (aka Paleolithic) culture of South India.[1] It flourished in the Lower Paleolithic, the earliest subdivision of the Stone Age, about 2.5 million years ago. It is called the Madrasian culture because artifact tools thought to be related to this culture were first found at sites in Attirampakkam, which is located near Chennai (formerly known as Madras).[2] Thereafter, tools related to this culture have been found at various other locations in this region. Bifacial handaxes and cleavers are typical assemblages recovered of this culture.[3] Flake tools, microliths and other chopping tools have also been found. Most of these tools were composed of the metamorphic rock quartzite.[2] The stone tool artifacts in this assemblage have been identified as a part of the second inter-pluvial period in India.[4]

These particular stone industries were initially discovered at the Attirampakkam site, by British archaeologist and geologist Robert Bruce Foote, in 1863.[1] This site has been a rich source of Lower Paleolithic artifacts since Foote's first discovery. The site has yielded a variety of artifacts, including handaxes, trihedrals, cleavers, unifaces, and lithic flakes of both small and large sizes. The oldest tools found at this particular site date back as far as 1.5 million years ago, according to a 2011 excavation and testing of materials via cosmic-ray exposure dating. This new time record revealed that bifacial technological advances in the region had actually occurred earlier than previously believed.[5]

The Madrasian culture people were hunter gatherers and did not engage in the farming or domestication of animals.[1] During this time period, Lower Paleolithic peoples in this region typically made homes from rock shelters and thatched-roof huts.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Avari, Burjor (5 June 2007). India, the Ancient Past: a history of the Indian sub-continent from c. 7000 BC to AD 1200. Routledge. pp. 25–. ISBN 978-0-415-35616-9. Retrieved 16 October 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Sen, Sailendra Nath (1 January 1999). Ancient Indian History and Civilization. New Age International. pp. 23–. ISBN 978-81-224-1198-0. Retrieved 16 October 2011. 
  3. ^ Reddy (1 December 2006). Indian Hist (Opt). Tata McGraw-Hill Education. pp. 1–. ISBN 978-0-07-063577-7. Retrieved 16 October 2011. 
  4. ^ Tribal Studies (2007). Mibang, Tamo; Behera, M. C. Mittal Publications. India.
  5. ^ "Early Pleistocene Presence of Acheulian Hominids in South India". Shanti Pappu, Yanni Gunnell, Kumar Akhilesh, Régis Braucher, Maurice Taieb, François Demory, & Nicolas Thouveny Science; 25 March 2011: 331 (6024), 1596-1599.
  6. ^ Sen, Sailendra Nath (1988). Ancient Indian History and Civilization pp. 23. Retrieved July 28, 2013.


  • Armand, J (1985). "The Emergence of the Handaxe Tradition in Asia, with special reference to India". In V. N. Misra, Peter S. Bellwood. Recent advances in Indo-Pacific prehistory: proceedings of the international symposium held at Poona, December 19-21, 1978. BRILL. pp. 3–. ISBN 978-90-04-07512-2. Retrieved August 24, 2011. 
  • Kenneth Oakley (30 April 2007). "Paleolithic Cultures in Asia". Frameworks for Dating Fossil Man. Transaction Publishers. pp. 229–. ISBN 978-0-202-30960-6. Retrieved 24 August 2011. 
  • Early Pleistocene Presence of Acheulian Hominins in South India. Shanti Pappu, Yanni Gunnell, Kumar Akhilesh, Régis Braucher, Maurice Taieb, François Demory,and Nicolas Thouveny Science 25 March 2011: 331 (6024), 1596-1599.
  • Sen, Sailendra Nath (1988)."Ancient Indian History and Civilization". pp. 23. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
  • Tribal Studies (2007). Mibang, Tamo; Behera M.C. Mittal Publications. India.

Further reading[edit]