Archaeologists in Mumbai have found stone tools dating back to the Middle Stone Age. The stone tools found on a hill near Manori beach indicate that they could date back to 10,000 to 15,000 years.
Experts believe that the hill where the microliths, or minute flint stone tools were discovered could have been a possible factory site for such implements, Hindustan Times reported. They also believe that this finding will help them trace the habitation the islands had 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," HT quoted Kurush Dalal, assistant professor (archaeology) and coordinator, Centre for Extra-Mural Studies (CEMS), University of Mumbai, as saying.
According to Abhijeet Dandekar, assistant professor at the Pune-based Deccan College Post-Graduate and Research Institute, the tools discovered might provide some information about the diet of the people of the age.
"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 explained, adding, "This was the era before man invented clothing, and it is believed that the people lived in the open or under natural rock outcrops."
Calling it a remarkable finding, Professor Mayank Vahia told the publication that stone tools from the Mesolithic era in Mumbai will determine the city'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," he said.