Among the not too many upper Paleolithic sites on which we base most of our knowledge of Indian upper Paleolithic, the sites of Reningunta (Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh), Mutchtala Chintamani Gavai (Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh), Bhimbhetka and Bagor (Madhya Pradesh) and Belan Valley (Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh) may be considered very important.
Renigunta has yielded a large number of blades that are often regarded as representative tools of the upper Paleolithic. Among such blade tools are burins, awls, scrapers, borers, points and small choppers. The cave site of Mutchtala Chintamani Gavai occupies a special place among the above mentioned sites. The first bone tools have been discovered from this site.
Not only that, the richness of the site can be imagined by the fact that more than 90% of the tools found at this site consist of bone tools. Among such tools made on bone, horns and other non-lithic materials are scrapers, chisels, borers, biarhs and spatula. The site at Belan valley, beside other artifacts, has also yielded a ‘female figurine’ made on bone.
Similar figurines known as Venus have been found in abundance from many European upper Paleolithic sites. But some scholars have created doubt over its nature by describing it as a ‘fishing harpoon’. If this is finally proved to be a Venus like figurine, it will be the first object of this type from the Indian upper Paleolithic.
Recently a site belonging to the upper Paleolithic has also been discovered from Bagor. The most striking feature of this site is that not only it is a habitation site, it also looks like a worshipping place.
This cultural phase world wide began around 36,000 BC and came to an end around 9,000 BC. “It has a duration of barely 27,000 years or so which is less than 3% of the duration of the lower Paleolithic age and 6% of the duration of middle Paleolithic phase” (Bhattacharya, Ibid).
An important fact that can be drawn from it is that in this journey of cultural evolution the more man advanced, the less duration of the coming cultural phase of increasingly important and radical cultural achievements. Sadly, our knowledge of the Indian upper Paleolithic is still far from adequate.