Blast from the past

That pre-historic humans lived in caves is an indisputable fact. Truths about their life in the caves are work in progress.

A recent discovery of a few pieces of pottery and a piece of stone, apart from a rock painting in caves created by a rock cluster, by a historian in Mannemkonda, barely 20 km away from Mahabubnagar has attracted attention. It apparently has the potential to turn the spotlight on how life in a pre-historic Telangana was, approximately 10,000 years ago.

That is the finding that historian Dyavanapalli Satyanarayana appears to have stumbled upon, during his wanderings recently. Interestingly, the historian was actually searching for another site called Potanpalli that was earlier discovered by the Department of Archaeology, a while ago, when he hit upon Mannemkonda. And how did he do so? Like a detective-cum-historian, by speaking to shepherds moving about in the area.

What is it all about? “It’s like this. The paintings I found primarily depict betel leaves on a creeper and that means the existence of civilization. Then again, about what man did then, apart from living in the caves. It is about man descending from the hills to the plains. But owing to fear of being attacked, possibly even eaten up by animals, how he prefers to be in the foothills. This is because he wants to get back to the hills if the need arises,” the historian told The Hindu.

Asked about the age and how he could arrive at a conclusion about the age of the civilisation, Dr. Satyanarayana said it primarily revolved around his discovery of two pieces of pottery that were hand-made, from the Mesolithic Age and not from the Potter’s Wheel and a rock that was clearly from the Neolithic Age.

“Another important aspect is the presence of a large water body nearby and we all know water bodies mean life. What I wish to showcase is that apart from the fact that life existed, it is how life was in Telangana, some 10,000 years ago. We still do not know much about life then per se, but that is where I urge the Government of Telangana to step in. I wish that the department takes up excavation on a larger scale in and around the rock shelter. But first it needs a fence to keep unwanted people and animals away,” Dr. Satyanarayana summed up.


Infographic points

The Potter’s Wheel was invented roughly around 6,000 years ago.

The painting on the rock in diametric design, called rock-art science means the universe, LIFE.

Similar rock paintings found earlier in caves behind the Gnana Saraswathi Temple at Wargal in Medak district.

Beauty-wise, Mannemkonda painting is much better than Wargal

It’s made using juice from green leaves on a white lime base resulting in a reddish image.

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Printable version | Nov 30, 2020 1:14:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/blast-from-the-past/article7477091.ece

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