Burial urn of Megalithic era unearthed in Kerala

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A huge burial urn dating back to the Megalithic era that was unearthed while clearing a private road to a house at Hydermettu, near Nedumkandam, recently is believed to be one of the major findings that would shed light on life in the pre-historic era on the western side of the Western Ghats.

Burial urn of Megalithic era unearthed in Kerala
The burial urn unearthed at Hydermettu, near Nedumkandam in Idukki district,
is believed to be the largest one found in the region
[Credit: The Hindu]

The urn is said to be the largest one unearthed from the region so far. It is 3-ft wide at its mouth and its shape is a variant of other ones explorated in the district. Moreover, there are art works on it — a pointer to the cultural awareness of a society that belonged to the pre-historic period.

A large number of burial urns have been unearthed from Ramakkalmedu, Mundieruma and Puzhpakandam nearby in the recent past. However, they were comparatively small in size and do not have notable decorative works, said V.M. Safeer, Head, Department of History, MES College, Nedumkandam.




Mr. Safeer said the burial urns unearthed from the region belonged to 1,00 BCE and 500 BCE. Some of the urns have remains of iron weapons and pieces of bones. “Their period can be known only through carbon dating,” he said adding that some might be aged only a few hundred years.

The importance is that the findings in the hinterland of the erstwhile Muziris port is valuable evidence of a culturally-oriented society. The new finding is on the hill area bordering Tamil Nadu and believed to be linked to a settled life there. Burial urns, dolmen and hero stones are spread over a large area on the western side of the Western Ghats

Though individual studies were conducted in the past, specific studies and research are needed to throw light on the importance of these historical remains, he added.




Kerala Council for Historical Research chairman P.K. Michael Tharakan told The Hindu on Sunday that small-sized burial urns were unearthed from different areas in the State. However, it needed a study connected to the other ones unearthed in the region. It pointed to the need for a surface exploration there. On the basis of the evidence, further explorations could be taken up and it may lead to valuable conclusions with regard to the lengthy history of human habitation in the district. The Archaeological Department was undertaking excavations at historically important sites, he said adding that the district, especially the Anchunadu valley, was a treasure trove for historical studies.

At present, the KCHR was on a project to explore the historic importance of Kottappuram, he said adding that the High Range area on the Western Ghats needs a comprehensive exploration of its past. It was also the hinterland for moving hill produce to Muziris port and had a civilised society from the early period.

Author: Giji K. Raman | Source: The Hindu [November 12, 2018]

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