Current Context

The recent floods in the Mulugu district of Telangana has led to a fresh discovery of paleolithic quartzite tools.


  • The tools or hand axes were found in the sand bed of a stream that dried up after the flood. 
  • Large parts of Mulugu, Jayashankar Bhupalpally districts in the north-eastern parts of Telangana were flooded in July, 2023 leading to large-scale destruction. 
  • The hand axes were found in the stream between Gurrevula and Bhupatipuram villages in Mulugu district.

Tools or hand Axes found

  • The stone axe measuring 15.5cm in length, 11cm in width and 5.5cm in thickness was found.
  • According to paleontologist, the stone axe belongs to the Lower Paleolithic period and is about 30 lakh years ago. 
  • The tools based on chipping style, the material and the size of tools. 

Uses: Palaeolithic hunter gatherers used heavy quartzite and large tools. Similar hand axes as these have been discovered worldwide. 

  • The tools were used for cutting wood and killing animals for food.
  • The new discovery pushes back the understanding about human habitations in Telangana and central India.

Previous discovery

  • In 1863, the East India Company’s Geological Survey team found a paleolithic site at Attirampakkam near Madras (present-day Chennai) with bifacial hand-axes made of stone by early humans. 
  • The tools are about 15 lakh years old. 
  • Paleolithic culture has been labelled as Madras Hand-Axe Industry or Madrasian Culture.

Paleolithic Age

  • Paleolithic Age is also known as or Old Stone Age or Early Stone Age. 
  • It dates back to about 33 lakh years BC. It lasted for 10,000 years.
  • The name Paleolithic was coined by the famous archeologist John Lubbock in the year 1865. 
  • It began with the first use of stone tools by hominins (human-like creatures) and ended with the onset of the Mesolithic Period around 11,650 years ago.
  • It has been classified into upper, middle, and lower Paleolithic periods due to the growth that was experienced by the human species over time.
  • Lower or Early Palaeolithic: From 2.6 million-250,000 years ago, simple pebble tools and crude stone choppers were made by the earliest humans. 
  • Middle Palaeolithic: From 250,000 years ago, with a new focus on flake-tools, which continued to be popular in certain areas until as late as c. 30,000 years ago.
  • Upper or Late Palaeolithic (40,000–10,000 BC): It saw a huge proliferation with regard to both tool shapes and source materials (now also a lot of bone, antler, and ivory).

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