Humans were camping in Ladakh 10,000 years ago; ASI discovers new site

nubraAncient camping site dating 8500 BC has been  discovered by Archeological Survey of India (ASI) at 14,000 feet above sea level on the way from Saser La to Ladakh.

While exploring in Nubra valley, S.B. Ota, Joint Director General in ASI observed successive layers comprising burning residue on the serpentine road that gradually climbs along the Saser Stream.

The area was exposed due to road construction.

A charcoal sample collected from the Site, was subsequently sent to BETA LAB, Florida, USA, for radiocarbon date determination in order to understand the antiquity of the above stated camp-site.

The outcome i.e. 8500 BC was beyond even ASI’s expectation.

A team of ASI officials including D.G. and Dr. Ota, Joint D.G. and other experts inspected the site in the month of July 2016 in order to assess the probabilities of further archaeological research During this visit, more charcoal samples and associated bones were collected.

Two of the charcoal samples from lower and upper deposits sent for dating have provided new radiocarbon dates of c. 8500 BC and c. 7300 BC respectively.

These dates have indeed confirmed the earlier date.

Apart from that, new dates also indicate repeated human activity at this camping site for about eight hundred years.

Preliminary studies of charred bones collected from here, carried out by Prof P.P. Joglekar of Deccan Collage, Pune, have shown the presence of Gorel and Yak.

“The research so far carried out has proved the antiquity and nature of human activities to an extent, but their camping patterns, extent of camping area, tools and other cultural aspects are yet to be traced,” said ASI.