Megalithic period rock paintings found near Palani

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Rock art pertaining to the Megalithic period were discovered by group of archaeologists in a hillock near Palani in Dindigul district, Tamil Nadu. It depicts a funeral and a war scene.

Megalithic period rock paintings found near Palani
The rock art found on a hillock near Palani [Credit: TOI]

The discovery was made in the Kannanur hillock near Oddanchathiram at a height of about 900 metres above sea level. The team of archaeologists include V Narayanamoorthy, professor Asokan, Manojkumar and Arumugam.

It was found on the walls of a cave in the middle of a thick forest. Narayanamoorthy said the drawings had been done using a mixture of resin from banyan trees and limestone. They had been done in 10 parts, which are apart from each other, in the 35 to 40-metre-long cave and wide enough to seat about 100 people. The cave is about seven feet in height. Most of the drawings pertain to a king and his consort; this is evident from the crown on the head of the figure. Many of the drawings in this series have been lost due to the ravages of weather.

One of the drawings depict the king, the queen and a child holding hands. Another shows two figures running away from some unseen force. Then there is a painting of a human ring formed around the figure of a queen. This may have been drawn to depict the safeguarding of a queen during war. There is also a drawing of a person fighting with another sitting on an elephant. A well preserved drawing shows a royal funeral procession. The figure being carried by the others has a crown on the head. The procession shows both armed men, who may represent the army, and unarmed persons.

“When visualised in a series, the drawings may be indicating the monarch, a war and his death,” said Narayanamoorthy.

Source: Times of India [July 08, 2016]

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