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Posts Tagged National Geographic

Water is sacred to all human cultures : Pictures

Ganga, Yamuna, Saraswathi, Godavari, Narmada, Sindhu, Cauvery.. jale asmin sannidhim kuru!

At this link you can find pictures of how water is treated as sacred in various cultures.

Sacred Waters – Photo Gallery – National Geographic Magazine.

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Indian History – A New Construct – 1.0 – The Narmada Woman 600,000 years old

A. The Genographic Project  by National Geographic

B. Questions that I need to ask.

C. The Narmada Woman

A. The Genographic Project  by National Geographic : (Reference)

  • This studies genetic markers and proposes migration theories.
  • Prior to 60000 BC, their model recognises human presence only in Africa, Europe, China and South East Asia. It shows India, Australia, Arabia and the Americas as unpeopled.
  • Then it proposes migrations via Arabia, To India by land and Australia largely by by boat around 60000 BC.
  • It then shows a second migration to India, by boat closer to 50000 BC and by land all the way to Americas.
  • In their model the branch that went to Europe stayed there, but the other branches circulated back and forth across Asia. Similarly in their model, the branches that went to the Americas stayed there.

B. Questions that I need to ask.

  1. Can genetic markers suggest inter-breeding or does it have to mean migration?
  2. Can genetic markers prove the absence of other indigenous people?
  3. Is there no evidence of human existence in India prior to 60,000 BC?
  4. Is there evidence that no humans existed in India prior to 60,000 BC?
  5. Has the evidence found been ignored and  neglected?
  6. Did no one even look for evidence? Dr Sonakia, GSI has looked for evidence in Narmada Valley and found the skull of a  Narmada Woman “in a layer of volacanic ash between 75000 and 750,000 years old, closer to the 750,000 boundary.”

C. The Narmada Woman (Notes)

In 1982, a human skull was found in the Narmada Excavation in a layer of volacanic ash between 75000 and 750,000 years old, closer to the 750,000 boundary. It is either a homo erectus. Some writers have used morphometry to highlight some features of the skull and ignore other features – such that they can call it a Homo Sapiens skull. If  they are right, then we have a Homo Sapiens skull buried close to the 750,000 year old boundary in Narmada Valley, India.

References :

  1. Pictures on GSI web-site. ,
  2. Excavations in the Central Narmada Basin.,: ““The broken skull specimen of Homo erectus, first & only of its kind in India, discovered by Dr. Arun Sonakia, Ex-Director, Palaeontology Division, Geological Survey of India, Central Region, Nagpur is one of such rare collection. This skull was discovered on 5th December, 1982 in the middle of the Narmada valley in Hathnora, Madhya Pradesh. This Hathnora Skull fossil carries a double interest: It is the most ancient human remnant so far discovered in Indian subcontinent and It was discovered in situ which allow a precise determination of its stratigraphic, palaeontological and cultural context all attributable to the Middle Pleistocene (around 500,000 years ago) age in the geological time scale. The material is a part of the cranium which may be ascribed to a female individual at the age of thirty. The skull was studied by Arun Sonakia in 1982 and Marie-Antoinette de Lumley in 1984 based on morphological comparisons with similar fossils discovered in Europe and Asia. The study revealed that the Narmada Man was a Homo erectus i.e. archaic man. At that time, it was impossible to do CT scan. Now, with the help of Geological Survey of India, Prof. Henry de Lumley, Marie de Lumley, Amilie Vialet from the Institute of Human Palaeontology, Paris are working upon a project based on serial CT scan data of the skull.””
  3. An article on the Out-Of-Narmada theory proposed by Dr. Sonakia,: “Thanks to the discovery of very few fossil remains, the antiquity of humans is still an enigma. The Indian sub-continent has many relics of oldest ‘cultural evidences’ such as stone implements, but so far only one oldest hominid fossil has been discovered.  Taking a complete picture of the cultural evidences and fossils of our ancestors through the ages, some Indian palaeo-anthropologists believe that archaic human Homo erectus had his abode in the Narmada valley and from there he migrated in all directions and evolved to Homo sapiens with the passage of time. The other group, which happens to be in majority from the developed world sticks to Africa being the centre for human evolution. The story of ‘out of Africa’ stock is well publicised. ‘Out of Narmada’ is a comparatively new concept put forth by Dr Arun Sonakia ex-director of Geological Survey Of India (GSI) and an expert on hominids. His postulations are based on his own discovery of hominid skull in 1982 from Hathnaura on the bank of Narmada River near Hoshangabad in Madhya Pradesh and interpretation of data available on early human sites of the SAARC region.”
  4. Article in Current Science published in 1998.: ” Studies on lithostratigraphy, magnetostratigraphy and tephrastratigraphy reveal that Narmada Homo erectus is from a bed just above a formation of 0.73 Ma and at least 19 m below a layer of 74,000 BP. Fossils belonging to Hippopotamidae, Equidae, Stegodontidae, Suidae and Canidae are mainly relied upon for biozonation of the Narmada deposits. Fossils of these families collected along with the Homo erectus skull or from the same geological horizons containing the skull point to a Middle Pleistocene (in all probability its lower horizon) age of the Narmada Homo erectus. The discovery of IndianHomo erectus bridges the gap between African H. erectus in the west and Chinese and Javan H. erectus in the east and south east respectively. There is a general consensus of opinion that Afro-Asian H. erectus ranges in age from Lower Pleistocene to Middle Pleistocene. Indian H. erectus falls within this range.”
  5. 100 fossilized dinosaur eggs found in Narmada Valley
  6. http://cities.expressindia.com/fullstory.php?newsid=35276 How old is the oldest human fossil found in India? 600,000 years old. The skull of a 30-year old woman in the western Narmada region of Madhya Pradesh.Dr Arun Sonakia, director, Nagpur Circle, GSI was the one who discovered the skull along with other mammalian fossils in late 1982.  Explaining with a plaster cast of the skull, Sonakia pointed out the differences that evolution had wrought. ‘‘This skull has a gently sloping forehead with massive eyebrow ridges and a cranial capacity of 1,100cc. Prehistoric man had better visual faculties and less grey matter. The skull of modern man has a more vertical forehead and not such deep-set ridges. Other sensory faculties are more developed and the cranial capacity is 1,400-1,500cc, indicating the presence of more grey matter,’’ Sonakia remarked. Radio carbon dating could not be done on the skull because the process can’t be used on any fossil that is more than 40,000 years old. Sonakia and his team managed to date the antiquity of the skull through faunal dating – by analysing animal fossils found with the skull. These fossils are of animals that flourished between a certain period all across the world in Europe, Africa and Asia. They all belong to the Quartenary period. Fauna of this period is 18 lakh years old and younger. ‘‘We also used changes in the earth’s magnetic field to date the skull. These changes in the magnetic field take place over a long time and affect these fossils,’’ Sonakia explained. The cast of the skull along with other discoveries of GSI are on display at the India Habitat Centre as part of the GEOSAS Congress taking place in the city.”
  7. http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/110486818/abstract?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0 : Western Idea claims it is a Homo Sapiens, based on some morphometry in which case, we have the oldest Homo Sapiens Skull. “In 1982 a fossil hominid calvaria was found in a middle Pleistocene deposit in the central Narmada valley of Madhya Pradesh, India, and was assigned to the new taxon Homo erectus narmadensis. Subsequently, morphometric studies of the specimen were conducted by two separate research teams from France and the United States, both in collaboration with Indian colleagues. Results of the most recent study, which includes morphometric and comparative investigations, lead to the conclusion that Narmada Man is appropriately identified as Homo sapiens. While the calvaria shares some anatomical features with Asian Homo erectusspecimens, it exhibits a broader suite of morphological and mensural characteristics suggesting affinities with early Homo sapiens fossils from Asia, Europe, and Africa as well as demonstrating that the Narmada calvaria possesses some unique anatomical features, perhaps because the specimen reflects the incoherent classificatory condition of the genus Homo.”
  8. http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v423/n6941/full/nature01669.htmlThe Homo Sapiens Idaltu is a 160,000 year old sub-species of Homo Sapiens whose skull was found in Herto, Middle Awash, Ethiopia. These were very, very large robust people. The link gives a picture of the skull and an artist’s drawing of the person. Their skulls were larger than our skulls. “Radioisotopically dated to between 160,000 and 154,000 years ago, these new fossils predate classic Neanderthals.”

Authorship and Copyright Notice : All Rights Reserved : Satya Sarada Kandula

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