Ancient stone tools dating back to 15,000 years discovered near Mumbai beach

stone tools discovered in India
Representational image Reuters

Indian archaeologists have found stone tools dating back to the Middle Stone Age on a hill near Manori beach in Mumbai, Maharashtra. The microliths, or minute flint stone tools could date back to 10,000 to 15,000 years.

Hindustan Times (HT) reported that experts believe that the hills could possibly be a factory site for such implements in those days. This latest finding would help the scientists to trace the island habitation in the Mesolithic era.

"Tool-making debris is found along with blade tools there, which is why it is believed to be a factory site. Through comparative dating of data, it can be said that these tools could date back to approximately 15,000 years," Kurush Dalal, assistant professor (archaeology) and coordinator, Centre for Extra-Mural Studies (CEMS), University of Mumbai, told Hindustan Times (HT).

Abhijeet Dandekar, assistant professor at the Pune-based Deccan College Post-Graduate and Research Institute, said that the stone tools could also be helpful to get information about people's diet during that era.

"We haven't found skeletal remains, but only stone tools. What we can gauge from the findings is that this is the period before agriculture started, and fish was a major part of their diet," Dandekar said.

He added: "This was the era before man invented clothing, and it is believed that the people lived in the open or under natural rock outcrops."

In an interview, Professor Mayank Vahia told HT that this recent discovery is a remarkable finding and these tools will surely determine Mumbai's existence.

"Mumbai's history can be traced back to thousands of years ... we know Kalyan and Nalasopara were major trade centres of West Asia before the Harappan civilization. But it's difficult to determine whether the seven islands that became Mumbai city were populated in those days," Prof. Vahia said.

This article was first published on January 3, 2018