Megalithic ossuary found in Kerala

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A laterite dome belonging to the megalithic period has been found at Kodiyeri, near Thalassery. The dome was unearthed accidentally at a private plot of land in Karaal Street, Kodiyeri, while soil was being removed a few days ago, Kannur University Anthropology Department head S. Gregory said. 

LAT_MEGALITHICThe dome was discovered at one-metre depth, Dr. Gregory said. A polished 75-centimetre-tall laterite pillar was at the centre of the semi-spherical-shaped dome with two stone benches on either side, he said.

Megalithic humans were the earliest to construct laterite domes, which were used by them for the secondary burial of certain bones of the dead, Dr. Gregory said. Some pieces of the bones and iron knives and lamp posts were found inside the dome, he said.

The finds unearthed from the cave include three-legged red earthen pots and black earthen pots and lids. Dr. Gregory and N.K. Ramesh, a former student of the Anthropology Department, collected the remains from the site. The Document Officer from the Department of Archaeology Bala Mohanan reached the site and authenticated the finds.

Mr. Ramesh said local people recalled the finding of a similar dome in a nearby area nearly 40 years ago. Three similar domes had been found in the past at Kuttikunnu, Sreekantapuram, here and urn burials at Peringathur by P. Rajendran, archaeologist from the University of Kerala, and B. Ananda Bhanu, former head of the Anthropology Department of Kannur University.

He said evidence of megalithic cultures in India had been found for the first time by the archaeologist Babington in 1823 from a site in the erstwhile Chirakkal taluk in the district that became a landmark for evidence of megalithic culture in the State.

Dr. Gregory said the finds from the site would be transferred to the museum of the Department of Anthropology on the Kannur University’s Thalassery campus at Palayad with the permission of the State Archaeology Department.


Source: The Hindu [February 15, 2011]


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