The Madrasian culture is a prehistoric archaeological culture of the Indian subcontinent, dated to the Lower Paleolithic, the earliest subdivision of the Stone Age.[1][2] It belongs to the Acheulian industry, and some scholars consider the distinction between the Madrasian and the broader, regional Acheulian tradition defunct.[3][4]

The Madrasian is characterized by bifacial handaxes and cleavers,[5] but also includes flake tools, microliths and other chopping tools. Most were made from quartzite.[6]

The Madrasian was named for its type site of Attirampakkam (then part of the Madras Presidency), near to the city of Madras (now renamed as Chennai), discovered by British archaeologist and geologist Robert Bruce Foote in 1863.[2][3] The oldest tools at Attirampakkam have been dated to 1.5 million years ago using cosmic-ray exposure dating.[7]

See also


  1. ^ Armand, J (1985). "The Emergence of the Handaxe Tradition in Asia, with special reference to India". In V. N. Misra, Peter S. Bellwood (ed.). Recent advances in Indo-Pacific prehistory: proceedings of the international symposium held at Poona, December 19-21, 1978. BRILL. pp. 3–. ISBN 978-90-04-07512-2. Retrieved August 24, 2011.
  2. ^ a b Avari, Burjor (5 June 2007). India, the Ancient Past: a history of the Indian sub-continent from c. 7000 BC to AD 1200. Routledge. pp. 25–. ISBN 978-0-415-35616-9. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
  3. ^ a b Kenneth Oakley (30 April 2007). "Paleolithic Cultures in Asia". Frameworks for Dating Fossil Man. Transaction Publishers. pp. 229–. ISBN 978-0-202-30960-6. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
  4. ^ Upinder Singh (1 September 2008). A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century. Pearson Education India. pp. 73–. ISBN 978-81-317-1120-0. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
  5. ^ Reddy (1 December 2006). Indian Hist (Opt). Tata McGraw-Hill Education. pp. 1–. ISBN 978-0-07-063577-7. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
  6. ^ Sen, Sailendra Nath (1 January 1999). Ancient Indian History and Civilization. New Age International. pp. 23–. ISBN 978-81-224-1198-0. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
  7. ^ Pappu, Shanti; Gunnell, Yanni; Akhilesh, Kumar; Braucher, Régis; Taieb, Maurice; Demory, François; Thouveny, Nicolas (2011-03-25). "Early Pleistocene Presence of Acheulian Hominins in South India". Science. 331 (6024): 1596–1599. Bibcode:2011Sci...331.1596P. doi:10.1126/science.1200183. ISSN 0036-8075. PMID 21436450. S2CID 206531024.