A team from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has discovered more than 71 decorated rock shelters in the Gawilgarh hills of Betul district in Madhya Pradesh and the Dabka reserve forest areas in the Amravati district of Maharashtra.
With this discovery, the number of rock shelters discovered in the area in the last three days has gone up to 226.
Preliminary studies indicate that early man might have inhabited these shelters, which are comparatively secluded before gradually moving towards larger colonies. The decorated rock shelters spread across the Gawilgarh hills have been divided into twenty one groups and their nomenclature derived from either the village nearby or any shrine or locally known landscape of the area.
The discoveries have indicated that the shelters were occupied from the Upper Paleolithic to the Historical period and Mesolithic, Chalcolithic periods.
Different types of tools fashioned from materials like chert, chalcedony and agate have been collected from near and within the shelters.
Two miniature pots of dull redware too were discovered.
Nandini Bhattacharya Sahu, superintending archaeologist, who led the excavation told HT: “The discovery of 226 decorated rock shelters, till date, in the Gawilgarh Hills forms one of the major finds in India in the 21st century.”