Research excerpts from: "Paleobotanical Anomalies Bearing on the Age of the Salt Range
Formation in Pakistan: A Historical Survey of an Unresolved Scientific Controversy” Paper by
Michael A. Cremo presented at the XXI International Congress for History of  Science - July 2001, Mexico City (unless otherwise noted)
The Salt Range Mountains of Pakistan have attracted the attention of geologists for over a century. Starting in the foothills of the Himalayas in northeastern Pakistan, they extend about 150 miles in a westerly direction, roughly parallel to the Jhelum River until it joins the Indus. They then extend some distance beyond the Indus. The southern edge of the Eastern Salt Range Mountains drops steeply two to three thousand feet to the Jhelum River plain. In this escarpment and other locations the Salt Range Mountains expose a series of formations ranging from the earliest Cambrian to the most recent geological periods. Such exposures are rarely encountered and are thus of great interest to geologists and earth scientists.

At the bottom of the series, beneath the Cambrian Purple Sandstone, lies the Salt Range Formation, composed of thick layers of reddish clayey material (the Salt Marl), in which are found layers of rock salt, gypsum, shale, and dolomite. For centuries the salt has been mined and traded in the Northern Indian subcontinent. Ever since geologists have been studying this formation in the middle part of the 19th century, the age of the Salt Range Formation has been a topic of extreme controversy. The controversy intensified in the 20th century when scientists discovered remains of advanced plants in the Salt Range Formation.
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