Geographical Distribution of Palaeolithic Sites

The geographical distribution of the Palaeolithic sites suggests that this culture was spread throughout the length and breadth of the Indian subcontinent. In the north, Kashmir Valley and the Sohan Valley in Rawalpindi (now in Pakistan) have yielded Palaeolithic tools.

In Rajasthan, Palaeolithic tools were found at the sites along the river Luni. In Western India, the Palaeolithic tools were also discovered from the sites of the rivers Sabarmati, Mahi and their tributaries in Gujarat. In Maharashtra, the most important sites are Nevasa on a tributary of Godavari and Patne in the Tapti river system.

In Madhya Pradesh, the rock shelters at Bhimbetka (near Bhopal) and Adamgarh in the district Hoshangabad have yielded tools from the Palaeolithic to the Mesolithic period.

In Uttar Pradesh, the Belan Valley (the region broadly from Allahabad to Varanasi) is the most prominent site. It shows human occupation of the area continuously from the Palaeolithic period.

Towards the east, Assam and neighbouring areas including Meghalaya (Garo Hills) have yielded prehistoric artifacts. Palaeolithic tools have also been found at various sites in Bengal, Orissa and Bihar.

In Peninsular India, Palaeolithic tools have been reported from Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. In Tamil Nadu, an important site is Attirampakkam in Chingleput region.

The subsistence of the Palaeolithic cultures was based mainly on hunting animals and gathering fruits and roots. In other words, the people were primarily hunters and gatherers with no settled habitation.

The Palaeolithic cultures of the prehistoric period were wide spread throughout the Indian subcontinent. The study of the tools indicates a gradual progress in tool technology which must have led to better availability of resources.

Subsistence Pattern

The Palaeolithic people practised hunting and food-gathering for their subsistence. They made simple stone tools for hunting, cutting, digging and other purposes. They led a nomadic life and migrated to places where plant and animal resources along with water were easily available.