Palaeolithic Cave Paintings found in Aravalli

  • 16 Jul 2021

Archaeologists have discovered cave paintings in Haryana that they believe belong to the Upper Palaeolithic age, which could potentially make them one of the oldest cave arts in the country.

The caves are in the Aravalli mountain ranges, just outside the national capital, near the region’s only surviving patch of primary forest, a holy grove called Mangar Bani.

  • So far Bhimbetka in Madhya Pradesh is home to the oldest known cave art in India, dating back to the Mesolithic Age (around 10,000 years ago).
  • The Mangar cave art is 20,000-40,000 years old, according to archaeologists, but this is something that can be established through archaeological dating.

The Find: Paintings

  • Cave paintings comprising images of human figurines, animals, foliage, and geometric, some that have paled over time, but others that are still very visible.
  • Rock art and open-air ceremonial sites were also found.

About Colours of Painting

  • Most of the paintings are ochre, but some are white.
  • According to experts, cave paintings in white are usually from a later stage (early contemporary era), while Stone Age paintings are more often than not, ochre.
  • Stone Age paintings generally have red and ochre colours. Stones of these colour used to be available locally and inhabitants crushed the stones for preparing the colour for paintings.

Upper Paleolithic Age

  • The Upper Paleolithic Age began around 40,000 years ago and lasted till around 10,000 years ago.

Earlier Finds in this Area

  • Tools from the Palaeolithic Age have been identified earlier in parts of the Aravallis but, it is for the first time that cave paintings and rock art of a large magnitude have been found in Haryana.
  • The Aravallis demonstrate the earliest evidence of the Stone Age which we call the Lower Palaeolithic Acheulean culture.