Prehistoric Archaeology of Kashmir

Polished bone tools, Burzahom (After IAR 1961–62:Pl.XXXVII)

The history and archaeology of the state of Jammu and Kashmir is very interesting and promising. Unfortunately little is known about the rich culture and heritage of Kashmir. The State is a sufferer of insurgency for many decades. The disciplines of history and archaeology have also suffered. Some research was done on the archaeology of prehistoric times in the Kashmir valley, which has not seen the light of trovel and spade since India's independence. None of the archaeological sites in the valley is scientifically explored or excavated.

 

The cultural horizons of Kashmir are very broad. We have archaeological cultures right from Palaeolithic up to colonial times. The Palaeolithic, Neolithic, Megalithic, Early Historic and Later Historic periods are well attested by a large number of archaeological sites dotting the surface of Kashmir, which are documented by few archaeological reconnaissance studies. This module is concerned with characterising the material culture of the stone ages of Kashmir. Palaeolithic tools were recovered from a large number of archaeological sites throughout the length and breadth of Kashmir. Stress will be laid on the rudimentary trade links with other cultures, particularly the Indus Civilization. Semiprecious materials like carnelian beads were found at Burzahom, pointing to long-distance links with outside cultures.