ASI discovers ancient camping site dating 8500 BC in Ladakh

New Delhi, Aug 16 (PTI) The Archaeological Survey ofIndia (ASI) has discovered an ancient camping site dating 8500BC in Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir, indicating humans werecamping in the area 10,500 years ago. The site was unearthed at 14,000 feet above the sea levelon the way from Saser La to Ladakh, an official release said. While exploring in Nubra valley during 2015-16, ASI JointDirector General S B Ota noticed a section, exposed due toroad construction, showing successive layers comprisingburning residue. A charcoal sample collected from the site, which was sentto Beta Lab, Florida for radiocarbon, dated it back to 8500BC. Realising the significance of the evidence, a team of ASIofficials were sent for further inspection last month. Further, charcoal samples from lower and upper depositssent for dating have provided radiocarbon dates of 8500 BC and7300 BC respectively, indicating repeated human activity atthis camping site for about eight hundred years, the releasesaid. Preliminary studies of charred bones collected from thesite, carried out by P P Joglekar of Deccan Collage, Pune,have shown the presence of Gorel and Yak, it added. "The research so far carried out has proved the antiquityand nature of human activities to an extent, but their campingpatterns, extent of camping area, tools and other culturalaspects are yet to be traced," the release said. To address these issues, proper archaeologicalexcavations and explorations are being planned by the ASI, itsaid adding, however, it will not be an easy task to undertakethese works in such a rugged terrain at an altitude around14000 feet, with low oxygen and no habitation. PTI MPRG

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