MP News: New project of ASI, initiative started to know the age of ancient archaeological site Bhimbetka rock shelter

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MP News: New project of ASI, initiative started to know the age of ancient archaeological site Bhimbetka rock shelter

Bhopal, Any rock shelter is formed only in the initial stage of human life, but there are many such rock shelters in Madhya Pradesh, which were formed before human life, one such rock shelter is Bhimbetka. Bhimbetka rock shelter located in Raisen district is the oldest archaeological site in the world. For which it is believed that its rock shelter was formed at least 54 crore years ago. But to know the age of this ancient rock shelter of Bhimbetka, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has started a new project. This project is an initiative to determine the age of the UNESCO World Heritage Site from both geological and archaeological perspectives. The project is expected to take about four to five months to complete.

Formation of rock shelters before human life
Manoj Kumar Kurmi, Superintending Archaeologist, Bhopal Circle, who directed and supervised this project of ASI, said that these rock shelters were built when humans had not appeared on this earth, about 40 lakh years ago, prehistoric humans had built these. Searched for shelters and made them their home. These rock shelters were lost in the dense forests until they were discovered by the internationally renowned archaeologist Vishnu Sridhar Wakankar in 1957. In 2003, UNESCO gave it the status of World Heritage Site.
 
How old are rock shelters compared to other objects?
Kurmi said the study aims to reconstruct the environment of the site with the help of artefacts and environmental facts, understand the geological formation of the shelters, their impact on human development and the subsequent impact on artefacts and paintings as well as the relationship between humans and ecology. Efforts are being made. He said that dating of Bhimbetka shelter sites had been done earlier also, but the difference is that where earlier relative dating was done, now we are doing absolute dating. Through this we will know how old the rock shelters are in comparison to other objects.
 
Dating process completes in several stages
Actually, dating is a delicate and time-consuming process, which takes place in several stages. This includes layouting, plotting, engraving, micro contouring, photography and scripting. After this process is completed, the samples will be sent to the laboratory. He said that we have to ensure that light does not fall on the samples, hence an apparatus is used which dries the soil without exposing it to sunlight. The excavation is being done at a place five hundred meters away from the common road. It will take some time to complete the process. The results of this project will also be important for UNESCO. The work under the project was launched by ASI regional director Bhuvan Vikram on January 18. ASI ADG Alok Tripathi also visited the site recently.

Manoj Kumar Kurmi

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