Ancient Camping site discovered in Ladakh

The site shows traces of human inhabitation, perhaps a temporary settlement of pre-historic hunters. It dates back to circa 8500 BCE.

Created On: Dec 5, 2016 18:59 ISTModified On: Dec 5, 2016 18:58 IST

An ancient camping site has been discovered in Ladakh by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). The site is located 14,000 feet above sea level near Saser La in the Nubra Valley.

It was discovered during an exploration of the Nubra Valley by a team of researchers led by Dr. S B Ota, the Joint Director General of ASI. They stumbled upon it by chance, as road construction had left a portion of land exposed that showed layers of burning residue.

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Key Highlights

• The researcher team found charcoal pieces and bone remains at the site. The charcoal was sent for date identification to Beta Analytic in Florida, US.
• The test revealed that the sample dated back to circa 8500 BCE.
• The team returned to the site to collect more samples to validate the result of the previous test.
• It was then revealed that the site is almost 10500 years old, making it the earliest camping site in Ladakh.
• It was also revealed that humans once inhabited the place. It could have been used as a temporary settlement by hunter-gatherers of the pre-historic period.  
• In fact, the place reportedly saw considerable human activity until about 800 years ago.

With a stretch of barren land, a gorge and snow covered peaks at a distance, the site beholds the image of an ideal camping site. This is by far, the most interesting discovery in the region of Ladakh, which is replete with picturesque landscapes.  

Though rough terrain and extreme weather made it difficult for any explorer to dwell deeper into the region, Ota‘s team made it possible through their persistent efforts. ASI now plans to conduct a further excavation to find more clues about the culture of the people who dwelled there, their camping patterns, the tools used by them and the extent of the whole camping area.


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