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Last Updated Monday December 12 2016 03:29 PM IST

Believe it or not: This camping site in Ladakh dates back to 8500 BC

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Believe it or not: This is a camping site from #8500BC The exploration is underway. Photo: PIB

The Archaeological Survey of India has unearthed an ancient camping site from the ninth millennium BC on the way from Saser La, leading to Karakoram Pass, in Ladakh.

According to a PIB release, the joint director general Dr. SB Ota says they noticed the place during an exploration of the Numbra valley in 2015-16. He says they found layers comprising burning residue about 22 kms into his survey. They observed that the snow-covered peaks on one extreme, barren land with loose rocks all around and a gushing stream within the western gorges seemed like an ideal camping spot. 

The samples collected from here were sent to BETA Lab Florida and the results surprised even ASI members. The radiocarbon date showed that the charcoal residue dated back to about 8500 BC to 7300 BC.  The research so far carried out has proved the antiquity and nature of human activities to an extent, but their camping patterns, the extent of the camping area, tools and other cultural aspects are yet to be traced. The ASI is planning a proper exploration, however, the rugged terrain and the altitude of 14000 ft with low oxygen could dampen the progress. 

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