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Jwalapuram (meaning "City of fire" in Sanskrit/Telugu) is an archaeological site in the Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh, southern India, which shows hominid habitation before and after the Toba event (73 kya) according to the Toba catastrophe theory.[1][2] It is unclear what species of humans settled Jwalapuram as no fossil remains have yet been found.[3][4]

The location of Jwalapuram in context with other prehistoric sites in the region of river valleys of Krishna River and Tungabhadra River.

Jwalapuram is of particular importance in understanding the emergence of microlithic technology in South Asia and the role of environmental change on lithic technological change. At Jwalapuram Locality 9, five stratigraphic units provide a record of technological change through time. Microblade technology dominates lithic assemblages from Stratum E to the top deposit. There are many different definitions for "microblade" and Clarkson et al. define microblade with a 40mm maximum length in the direction of striking and a length:width ratio greater than 2:1; they also include that the dorsal surface has nearly no cortex (less than 20 percent) and at least on dorsal ridge in the direction of striking as well as nearly parallel lateral margins.[5] Using this definition of microblade, Clarkson et al. track the changing density of microblade technology throughout the strata. The changes in microlithic technology is speculated to have been caused by climate change, which made the area more arid and therefore groups of people had to become more mobile, causing changes in their technological tool kits.[6]

The archaeological site was visited by Dr. Alice Roberts, presenter of the BBC documentary The Incredible Human Journey.[7]


  1. ^ Patel, Samir S. (January/February 2008). "Paleolithic Tools, Jwalapuram Valley, India," Archaeology, 61 (1)
  2. ^ Petraglia, Michael, et al. (6 July 2007). "Middle Paleolithic Assemblages from the Indian Subcontinent Before and After the Toba Super-Eruption," Science 317 (5834): 114-116
  3. ^ Balter, Michael (5 March 2010). "Of Two Minds About Toba's Impact," Science 327 (5970): 1187-1188
  4. ^ Haslam, Michael (1 May 2012), A southern Indian Middle Palaeolithic occupation surface sealed by the 74 ka Toba eruption: Further evidence from Jwalapuram Locality 22, Quaternary International Volume 258, Pages 148–164
  5. ^ Clarkson, Chris; Petraglia, Michael; Korisettar, Ravi; Haslam, Michael; Boivin, Nicole; Crowther, Alison; Ditchfield, Peter; Fuller, Dorian; Miracle, Preston; Harris, Claire; Connell, Kate; James, Hannah; Koshy, Jinu (2009). "The oldest and longest enduring microlithic sequence in India: 35000 years of modern human occupation and change at the Jwalapuram Locality 9 rockshelter". Antiquity. 83 (320): 326–348. doi:10.1017/S0003598X0009846X.
  6. ^ Clarkson, C., Petraglia, M., Korisettar, R., Haslam, M., Boivin, N., Crowther, A., Ditchfield, P., Fuller, D., Miracle, P., Harris, C., Connell, K., James, H. & Koshy, J. 2009. The oldest and longest enduring microlithic sequence in India: 35,000 years of modern human occupation and change at the Jwalapuram Locality 9 rockshelter. Antiquity 83: 326-348.
  7. ^ Roberts, Alice (31 May 2009) The Incredible Human Journey - Part 4 - Australia

Coordinates: 15°49′N 78°02′E / 15.81°N 78.03°E / 15.81; 78.03