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Soan near Adiala.JPG
Geographical range South Asia
Period Lower Paleolithic
Dates 500,000 years before present — 125,000 years before present
Type site Soan River
Preceded by Acheulean
Followed by Mousterian
Map of Asia showing important sites of the Soanian culture (clickable map).

The Paleolithic

Pliocene (before Homo)

Lower Paleolithic (c. 2.6 Ma–300 ka)

Oldowan (2.6–1.8 Ma)
Riwat (1.9– 0.045 Ma)
Acheulean (1.7–0.1 Ma)
Soanian (5.0–1.2 Ma)
Clactonian (0.3–0.2 Ma)

Middle Paleolithic (300–45 ka)

Mousterian (300–40 ka)
Micoquien (130-60 ka)
Aterian (82 ka)

Upper Paleolithic (40–10 ka)

Baradostian (36 ka)
Châtelperronian (41-38 ka)
Aurignacian (38–29 ka)
Gravettian (29–22 ka)
Solutrean (22–18 ka)
Magdalenian (18–10 ka)
Hamburg (15 ka)
Federmesser (14-12 ka)
Ahrensburg (13-11 ka)
Swiderian (11 ka)
Stone Age

The Soanian is an archaeological culture of the Lower Paleolithic (ca. 500,000 to 125,000 BP) in South Asia.[1] Contemporary to the Acheulean, it is named after the Soan Valley in the Sivalik Hills, Pakistan. Soanian sites are found along the Sivalik region in present-day India, Nepal and Pakistan.[2]

On Adiyala and Khasala about 16 km (9.9 mi) from Rawalpindi terrace on the bend of the river hundreds of edged pebble tools were discovered. At Chauntra hand axes and cleavers were found.

In Tamil Nadu, skeletons up to 187,000 - 200,000 years old have been discovered.[3][4][5][6] Tools up to two million years old have been recovered. In the Soan River Gorge many fossil bearing rocks are exposed on the surface. 14 million year old fossils of gazelle, rhinoceros, crocodile, giraffe and rodents have been found there. Some of these fossils are on display at the Pakistan Museum of Natural History in Islamabad.

The term "Soan Culture" was first used by Hellmut De Terra in 1936,[7] however, D. N. Wadia had identified the presence of these archaeological implements in 1928.[8] Further archaeological research was conducted by Stephen Lycett in order to determine the morphometric assessment of Soanian techno-complex. The result of this experiment concluded that the Soanian techno-complex contains a Mode 3 Levallois technique core component.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Lycett, Stephen J., Is the Soanian techno-complex a Mode 1 or Mode 3 phenomenon? A morphometric assessment.
  2. ^ Distribution of Acheulian sites in the Siwalik region
  3. ^ P. Rajendran1, Peter Koshy2 and Santha Sadasivan3. "Homo Sapiens (Archaic) Baby Fossil of the Middle Pleistocene | Rajendran | Ancient Asia". Retrieved 2014-03-10. 
  4. ^ "Over 2 lakh years old fossilised skull found - The Times of India". 2003-03-31. Retrieved 2014-03-10. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Religions and Religious Freedom in India", page 20
  7. ^ Hellmut De Terra (1969). George Grant MacCurdy, ed. Early man: as depicted by leading authorities at the International symposium, the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, March 1937. pp. 267–. ISBN 978-0-8369-1184-8. Retrieved 16 October 2011. 
  8. ^ Kenneth Oakley (30 April 2007) [1964]. Frameworks for Dating Fossil Man. Transaction Publishers. pp. 224–. ISBN 978-0-202-30960-6. Retrieved 16 October 2011. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]