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Global interest in stone-age site

Calcutta, Sept. 10: The stone-age site found on the banks of the Subarnarekha has caught the eye of the apex global organisation in this field of study.

The International Federation of Rock Art Organisations, based in Australia, will include the site at Jamshola in Jharkhand in the work it is already doing with the Archaeological Survey of India and the Rock Art Society of India.

The Jamshola site could be unique in the world with evidence of human habitation without a break from 2 million years ago to 5000 BC.

A spokesperson for the federation said yesterday: “Judging the multi-dimensional aspect of the site and the time span spread over several cultural periods, it merits a serious study”.

The federation has asked anthropologist Somnath Chakraborty, who found the site, to submit a report. Chakraborty will present a paper on the site at an international seminar in Agra in January.

Several other organisations are joining the research. A team from the Anthropological Survey of India, Calcutta, will leave early next month to explore the possibility of finding fossils.

An expert said: “Such sites are not unusual in the area. Chhotanagpur is rich in pre-historic relics. It might contain fossils.”

The Archaeological Survey of India has also shown interest in excavating the site, provided a project report is submitted before September 19.

“We have a meeting on new projects scheduled for September 19. If Chakraborty sends us a proposal by then, we might sanction funds,” said an official.

The Jharkhand government, which was to start work in late October, has advanced it by a week. “We will begin work as soon as the rain stops,” said Ajit Kumar Prasad, the director of state archaeology.

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