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Treasuring the pre-historic rock art

Y. Mallikarjun
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invaluable find:Director of Archaeology Chenna Reddy showing paintings found on a rock shelter in Medak district.— Photo: G. Krishnaswamy
invaluable find:Director of Archaeology Chenna Reddy showing paintings found on a rock shelter in Medak district.— Photo: G. Krishnaswamy

Prehistoric rock art, which was discovered in the course of exploration at Hastallapur in Medak district, would be declared as a protected monument and promoted as an archaeological tourist spot.

The rock art belonging to upper Palaeolithic period between 50,000 B.C. and 30,000 B.C. comprises red ochre colour paintings and was similar to those found at Vargal and S. Venkatapur, near Pragnapur, also in Medak district. The paintings, found on a pre-historic serpent hooded rock shelter, depicted animal and human figures, besides hunting and fighting scenes, Prof. Chenna Reddy, Director of Archaeology and Museums Department toldThe Hindu.

The rock shelters were used by pre-historic people to protect them from sun and rain and were usually located on an elevated place, said E. Siva Nagi Reddy, Officer on Special Duty at the department.

The paintings at Pandavulagutta at Hastallapur included depictions of a hunted animal being carried on shoulders, a man holding a net attached to a pole, group dancing, “x-ray type” animal figures. Those of the animals include tiger, deer, hunting dog, antelope and a humped bull.

Tool kits

Exploration in and around the rock shelter resulted in the discovery of numerous flake blade tools made of quartzite materials such as jasper, white crystal, agate and chalcedony. These were mostly brought from elsewhere and used by pre-historic people to make different varieties of tool kits needed for hunting and domestic purposes, said B. Subramanyam, deputy director at the department.

Prof. Chenna Reddy said that he would be writing to the government soon for issuing a notification to declare the rock shelter at Pandavulagutta as a protected monument. He would also take up with the State Tourism Department to it as an archaeological tourist spot by providing various amenities.

Archaeological discovery dating to Palaeolithic period to be declared protected monument, promoted as tourist spot


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