Dolmenoid cists, megalithic burial chambers constructed with dressed granite slabs, have been found in the Puliyankad area of Mundur 2 village near here.

They are typical of rocky midland plains and high ranges. They seem to abound in the Puliyankad region.

Rajan of the History Department of Government Victoria College here said explorations in the area showed the presence of several slab cists in a small area covering a few acres.

Pot sherds of urns

“The slab cists were brought to our notice by Sadananda Swami Saraswathi of Dayananda Ashram at Cheraiya in the Puliyankad locality. Dressed granite slabs, normally used for dolmenoid cists, were exposed in the ashram compound recently when ploughing was done using a tractor. Pot sherds of urns were also found near these slabs,” he said.

More interesting is the slab cist found on the road in east-west orientation on the side road leading to the ashram. It was completely exposed when work on the road was undertaken a few months ago.

The exposed portions of the side slabs were destroyed by labourers and broken pieces were found nearby.

The structure of the cist resembled the one found at Brahmagiri. However, it could not be determined whether there was a stone circle as found at Brahmagiri.

Orthostats

Mr. Rajan said:

“The four orthostats forming the cist are enclosed by a stone circle, perhaps in a rectangular form. The side-slabs are about 7-8 feet long and those on the other sides about 3-4 feet. We do not know whether there was a port hole as the eastern portion of the exposed orthostat has been completely destroyed.

“The thickness of the dressed granites is about 5 feet. It could not be ascertained whether there was a cover slab. The traces of remains found in the locality give us the impression that cists are the dominant megalithic type here.”

Also, several cists must have been erected in the same area. Close to the cist on the road there were clear traces of a dolmenoid cist — one in the compound of one Hasan Koya.

Traces of a cist were also found in the nearby school compound.

Pottery remains

Local people said they have come across pottery remains in the same locality. In the compound of one Khadar also, traces of pottery was found. Near his kitchen a vessel was found.

Khadar said there were two vessels found in such a manner that one was used to cover the one below.

It was significant that last year a cist was found at Choozhiyampara. Relics from the area included different types of pottery and iron objects.

Similar objects

Similar objects were unearthed from the cists found at Pirappankode, Puliyur, Machad, Edapal and Thiruvilvamala.

“Cists have also been found at Poothankara, Vadakkethara, Mannankandam, Elanthikara and Angamaly, Kuppakkolly, Ambalamedu and Varandappaly,” Mr. Rajan said.

Correction

The word “sherd” in the text of the above report is right. In archaeology, a sherd is commonly a historic or prehistoric fragment of pottery, although the term is occasionally used to refer to fragments of stone and glass vessels as well. A sherd or potsherd with writing painted or inscribed on it can be more precisely referred to as an ostracon