The text, tables, graphics, notes and bibliographies that follow provide substantive
additions and corrections to the maps and text in the original 1978 edition of the
atlas, referred to throughout as HASA 1978. These are largely keyed to the identify-
ing number-and-letter designations of groups of plates and individual plates and maps
of the original work and to the relevant text on pages 151–262; but several entirely
new designations also appear to refer to subject matter for the periods subsequent to
the cutoff dates of specific maps in HASA 1978 that relate to the post-independence
period. The new bibliographical citations, listed throughout under "New Sources,"
refer mainly to works that will, in our judgment, aid in the comprehension of or
significantly augment the message of the original maps and text. Some, however,
refer to recent works consulted to update the atlas. Except where otherwise specified,
these citations refer to works in the portion of the "New Bibliography" (pp. 320–
326) identified as "Other Published Works."
Corrigenda are noted following the lists of new sources for the respective major
sections of the atlas. These are generally printed in small type; but errors of particular
significance are noted in larger type. Excluded from the following comments are
notes on name changes (e.g., Myanmar for Burma) or orthographic changes (e.g.,
Pune for Poona) in maps relating to the contemporary period since these can be
readily ascertained from any basic reference atlas. Also excluded are corrections of
typographical or other minor errors in HASA 1978 which will have no bearing on the
comprehension of specific maps or text.
I. The Physical Stage
None of the six map plates comprising this section is in need of
updating or correction. New paleao-geographic studies, however,
continue to alter and deepen our understanding of the prehistoric
and proto-historic environments of South Asia. While it is not
practicable to attempt to summarize those studies here, some per-
tinent observations are made in the following section on prehis-
tory. For new presentations of data on the physicial environments
of the several states of South Asia to supplement those of this
atlas, a number of atlases and other works are worthy of citation.
Atlases: Bangladesh in maps (1981); General atlas of Afghani-
stan (1973); India (Republic) National Atlas Organization (1974,
1976, 1977–); The national atlas of Sri Lanka (1988); Pakistan,
Survey of (1986); Satar (1985); A social and economic atlas of
India (1987): United States, Central Intelligence Agency (1976).
In addition to these works there are, for India, numerous state
atlases, some quite good, that, for lack of space, we have not been
able to cite individually in our bibliography.
Other Works (highly selective listing): Contributions to Indian
geography (1983–88); Man and Environment (1977–), listed un-
der "Periodicals and Serials"; A. Geddes (1982); J. Jacobson
(1986), with particular reference to text.
by Jim G. Shaffer
Archaeological research during the last decade on all aspects of
South Asian cultural history has been extensive. Certainly more
sites were discovered and excavated during this period than in the
previous century. The results of this research exceed the goal pro-
posed in Chapter II, to ". . . fill out the [established] framework
with specific content," because it fundamentally changes that
"framework." While the basic descriptions of Section II remain
accurate, chronologies and interpretations based on them are being
revised and in some respects new theroretical formulations appear
The major "framework" change has been the appreciation that,
following human entry into South Asia during the Pleistocene, the
cultural history of the region reflects a series of indigenous cultural
changes generated by local conditions. Although some cultural in-
teraction did occur between South Asian groups and their neigh-
bors, previous interpretations describing major cultural develop-
ments, such as food production, urbanization, and civilization, as
diffusing from the west into South Asia, are not supported by cur-
rent data. The significance of the so-called Indo-Aryan invasion
has, for example, been challenged by archaeological evidence that
indicates a Bronze–Iron Age cultural continuity in the region. South
Asian sociocultural development was not dependent upon extra-
neous Western influences, and representations such as plate II.3,
map (c), with sweeping diffusionary arrows, fail to give weight to
recent archaeological discoveries and theoretical formulations.
The recent theoretical revisions reflect new artifactual and stra-
tigraphic data and establish a more accurate chronology. Since the
publication of HASA 1978, hundreds of additional dates and new
calibration methods have facilitated a better understanding of
diachronic and synchronic cultural relationships in South Asia. The
dates presented below are based upon those in Chronologies in
Old World Archaeology (3d ed., 1991) edited by R. W. Ehrich.
Readers should consult the two chapters concerned with South Asia
for extensive discussions and bibliographies.
NEW GENERAL BIBLIOGRAPHY
Agrawal, D. P. The archaeology of India. London, 1982.
Allchin, Bridget, and Allchin, Raymond. The rise of civilisation
in India and Pakistan. London, 1982.
Chakrabarti, Dilip K. Theoretical issues in Indian archaeology.
New Delhi, 1988.
Dupree, Louis. Afghanistan. Princeton, N.J., 1980.
Ehrich, R. W., ed. Chronologies in Old World archaeology. 2
vols. 3d ed. Chicago, 1991.
Jacobson, Jerome. Recent developments in South Asian prehistory
and protohistory. Annual Review of Anthropology 8 (1979): 467–
King, Denise E. A comprehensive bibliography of Pakistan ar-
chaeology: Paleolithic to historic times. East Lansing, Mich.,
Man and Environment (1977–). (Listed under "Periodicals and
Sankalia, H. D. The prehistory and protohistory of India and Pak-
istan. Poona, 1974.
Other Useful New Sources
R. R. R. Brooks and V. S. Wakankar (1976); K. K. Chakra-
varty, ed. (1984); D. Chattopadhyaya (1986); R. V. Joshi (1983);
Y. Mathpal (1984); Newsletter of Baluchistan Studies (1982/83–),
listed under "Periodicals and Serials"; B. K. Thapar (1985).
II.1. PALEOLITHIC, MESOLITHIC AND MICROLITHIC
Knowledge about the early inhabitants of South Asia has in-
creased but remains limited compared to that for many regions of
Eurasia. Among the more important developments are a reclassi-
fication of Ramapithecus and the definition of an Upper Paleo-
lithic. The removal of Ramapithecus from direct human ancestry
altered chronological and developmental perspectives on the Lower
Paleolithic or Early Stone Age. Definition of an Upper Paleolithic
has changed the South Asian "Stone Age" classificatory scheme.
Thus, Early and Middle Stone Age (plate II.1, maps (a) and (b)
correspond to the Lower and Middle Paleolithic; the newly recog-
nized Upper Paleolithic was not separately represented on plate
II.1; and the Late Stone Age (plate II.1, map (c)) is largely equiv-
alent to Mesolithic/Microlithic. Another change is a recognition
that the climatic fluctuations of the South Asian Pleistocene need
not be closely synchronized with those for northern Eurasia as the
graph on plate II.1 suggests. The latter were governed by advances
and retreats of continental glaciation, whereas environmental zones
in South Asia were governed by a monsoonal pattern that shifted
southward with high mountain glacial expansion and resumed more
modern positions when the mountain glaciers receded.
II.1 (a). Lower Paleolithic (Early Stone Age)
Before 1984 a major South Asian archaeological issue was the
absence of fossil humans except for numerous remains of Rama-
pithecus, then considered the earliest possible human. The pres-
ence of Ramapithecus suggested a potential for finding later fossil
humans such as Australopithecines or early Homo. Such expecta-
tions were reinforced by numerous stone tool assemblages com-
parable to those associated with early African humans. However,
a reconstructible Ramapithecus skull found in the Siwalik Hills in
northeast Pakistan provided convincing evidence that Ramapithe-
cus is distinguishable as an ancestral form of orangutan. Conse-
quently, there is now no reason to expect remains of early humans
in South Asia. Current archaeological data indicate that humans
did not enter the region until after 500,000 years B.P. (before the
Despite discovery and excavation of numerous Lower Paleo-
lithic sites, only a minimal understanding of adaptive patterns ex-
ists. The distribution of known sites still compares with that of
plate II.1, map (a), the only major addition being new sites in
Nagaur District, Rajasthan, on the eastern fringe of the Thar Des-
ert. These Nagaur sites suggest that early hunter-gatherers congre-
gated along shallow stream banks and lake margins during moist
periods to exploit animals and plants. Excavations in this district
near Didwana (27°ree;20'N74°ree;35'E)* located one of the rare Lower
Paleolithic stratified sites. That site, like others, had numerous tools,
but no plant or animal remains, habitation features, or other data
necessary for reconstructing human activities. Absolute dates place
Didwana's occupation between circa 400,000 and 150,000 years
ago, which compares with a single date of about 104,000 years
ago for Baghor II (24°ree;34'4"N82°ree;10'54"E), a Lower Paleolithic site
in the Son Valley of northern Madhya Pradesh. Despite their early
dates, a puzzling feature at many Lower Paleolithic sites, even
stratified ones such as Bhimbetka (22°ree;50'N77°ree;37'E), in Raisen
District of Madhya Pradesh, is the presence of a few tools of sty-
listically later types, both Middle Paleolithic and microlithic. This
mixing of technological features suggests to some scholars that
many Lower Paleolithic occupations are chronologically later than
elsewhere in the Old World.
Fossil human skull fragments associated with Middle to Upper
Paleolithic deposits were found recently near Hathnora village
(22°ree;47'N78°ree;06'E), on the Narmada River in central India. Al-
though the fragments were not associated with artifacts, several
Lower Paleolithic sites are known in this region. Some scholars
identified these fragments as a Homo erectus; others maintain they
represent an Archaic Homo sapiens or are unwilling to attribute
them to any specific fossil human type.
II.1 (b). Middle Paleolithic (Middle Stone Age) and
The number of Middle Paleolithic sites has increased, but their
distribution remains that depicted on plate II.1, map (b). Current
research suggests that two regional styles, Central-Peninsular and
Northwest, existed. Why such variations were present is, how-
ever, unknown. The associated hunting-gathering adaptive patterns
are poorly understood because habitation features, animal and plant
remains, and paleoenvironmental information are rare. Excava-
tions at Bhimbetka and at sites in the Belan and Son Valleys of
Madhya Pradesh have clarified diachronic relationships by dem-
onstrating a continuous development of Lower-Middle Paleolithic
lithic technologies. Dates from central Indian Middle Paleolithic
sites indicate a c. 30,000 to 20,000 B.P. or later chronology for
this period; however, a 40,000 + B.P. date has been proposed for
Son Valley sites. Therefore, both Middle and Lower Paleolithic
periods are later than comparable periods elsewhere in Eurasia.
Upper Paleolithic blade and burin assemblages have only re-
cently been defined at a few sites broadly distributed throughout
central and peninsular India, as well as at two possible northwest-
ern sites. Excavations at Bhimbetka and at sites in the Belan Val-
* Latitudes and longitudes (correct to within 5', and closer if possible) of
archaeological sites are provided where they are first mentioned, except in
cases where the sites are plotted in HASA 1978; the latter such sites may be
located by reference to the Atlas index.