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Excavations – Important – Tamil Nadu


Attirampakkam, Attrampakkam, Dt Chingleput, Tamil Nadu
Attirampakkam or Attrampakkam is situated in the Korttalayar basin, with other sites in the neighbourhood, forms one of the key sites for the s. Indian (Madras) Lower Palaeolithic industry. Krishnaswami (1938, 1947) suggested that the Palar plain around Madras was characterized by a spread of detrital laterite underlain at certain places by a Quaternary B overlying pre-Tertiary formations. Paterson, 1941, was the first to point out a quadruple Pleistocene terrace sequence around .Madras, similar to what de Terra, 1939, had discovered in the n.w. The laterite peneplain here is cut by the river Korttalayar (old Palar) and near the Red Hills at Erumaivethipalayam terrace features could be recognized. At Attirampakkam itself Krishnaswami saw the stratigraphic evolution of the Acheulian cultures from the lateritic basal gravels of the aggradational terrace to the loam on the top one. Another noteworthy contribution of the site is that here, unique so far among Indian Stone Age sites, was recovered by Foote at least one vestigal fragment of a human tibia (as identified by Busk and Boyd Dawkins of Oxford) from the wash-out of the implement-bearing conglomerate.

In 1964-5 K.D. Banerjee et al. (IAR 1964-5, p. 20) laid four trenches 1 km away from Attirambakkam along the right bank of the Budida-Manu-Vanka on the high cliffs of approximately 50 m contour, showing the following stratification: (1) Sriperumbudur shale with a clayey top and with embedded remarkably fresh hand axes and cleavers, it being uncertain whether the horizon of this industry was simply on the surface of the shale or was an overlying deposit now washed away; (2) detrital laterite, containing the post-Acheulian flake industry, the tool types including points, scrapers and longish blade flakes; (3) sterile brownish silt; and (4) top surface yielding microliths. The work shows the current view that the laterite gravel is the Acheulian horizon is incur Teet and that the silt is not the horizon of the post-Acheulian flake industry.

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