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Those early man tools found in Sikkim

Sikkim Prehistoric Exploration (1980)-II

Once while surfing the web page on internet I came across the name of K.N Dixit, member of Indian Archaeological Society, through him another chapter of the prehistoric exploration in Sikkim was about to be unfolded. Dixit was kind enough to send me an attachment of two scanned pages on Sikkim Prehistoric exploration in 1980 published in Indian Archaeological Society “Puratattva”. The article reports on the pre-historic potentialities of Sikkim exploration undertaken by Prehistory Branch of Archeological Survey of India, Nagpur in October- November 1980.

The certain places of North Sikkim and East Sikkim were preferred in view of different geographical and climatic forms for the purpose where-off headquarter of the entire exploration was set up at Singhik near Mangan. Exploration was conducted along River Teesta and its tributaries, entire Djangu (Dzongu) area up to Dikchu on the west while places up to Lachen and Lachung in extreme north was covered.

Well-polished Neolithic stone tools were recovered from different locations in North Sikkim. The tools included harvesters (2), knife (1), axes (7), adzes (13) and single and double perforated celts (3). These tools were mostly schist, shale and a few pieces on basalt. Highlight of the findings in North Sikkim was beautiful single eyed harvester and Honan Knife. A polisher having three conclave working sides and perforation on the top was recovered from the village north of Chungthang on the way to Lachen.

Except for a single polisher, no major tools were recovered from the area north of Mangan. The places in North Sikkim where the tools were recovered included Lingthen, Lingdon, Barpak, Sankalan, Gytong, Sangdong, Gnon, Tarang, Gor-Tarand and Linkyong. In a short exploration in the district of East Sikkim around Pakhyong, six polished celts comprising two axes, four adzes and a single polisher were recovered.

The article confirmed the perforated harvesters and Honan Knife being typical of the South Chinese Neolithic assemblage. Harvesters with one or more perforation in rectangular or semi lunar shape had been reported from the provinces of Honan in China. Similar single perforated celts had also been reported from Kiangsu Province. But double perforated celt was typical of Sikkim.

Enthralling it had been found in the villages of the North Sikkim that the local people considered the Neolithic tools as a source for the betterment of material life. These tools were worshiped and used in medicinal purposes particularly at the time of child birth. They called those tools “VajraDunga”!

Sikkim at a Glance

  • Area: 7096 Sq Kms
  • Capital: Gangtok
  • Altitude: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
  • Summer: Min- 13°C - Max 21°C
  • Winter: Min- 0.48°C - Max 13°C
  • Rainfall: 325 cms per annum
  • Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi