This post is mostly a photographic presentation of the Bhimbetka rock shelters, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India.
The Bhimbetka rock shelters are an archaeological site in central India that spans the prehistoric paleolithic and mesolithic periods, as well as the historic period. It exhibits the earliest traces of human life on the Indian subcontinent and evidence of Stone Age starting at the site in Acheulian times. It is located in the Raisen District in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh about 45 kilometres (28 mi) southeast of Bhopal. It is a UNESCO world heritage site that consists of seven hills and over 750 rock shelters distributed over 10 kilometres (6.2 mi). At least some of the shelters were inhabited more than 100,000 years ago. The rock shelters and caves provide evidence of, according to Encyclopædia Britannica, a “rare glimpse” into human settlement and cultural evolution from hunter-gatherers, to agriculture, and expressions of prehistoric spirituality.
Some of the Bhimbetka rock shelters feature prehistoric cave paintings and the earliest are about 10,000 years old (c. 8,000 BCE), corresponding to the Indian Mesolithic. These cave paintings show themes such as animals, early evidence of dance and hunting. The Bhimbetka site has the oldest known rock art in the Indian subcontinent, as well as is one of the largest prehistoric complexes.
(Important Note: ALL photographs of this article added to the sourced texts by NovoScriptorium after kind courtesy of our friend Ben Lee – ALL photographs originally taken by Ben Lee)