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Rock-cut cave from Megalithic period found in Dakshina Kannada, says expert

A peculiar type of Megalithic burial found at Kadaba in Dakshina Kannada district.

A peculiar type of Megalithic burial found at Kadaba in Dakshina Kannada district. | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

A peculiar type of a rock-cut cave from the Megalithic period (800 BC to 500 BC) has been found at a government cashew plantation at Aturu-Kundaje near Ramakunja, Kadaba taluk in Dakshina Kannada, according to T. Murugeshi, Associate Professor and Head, Department of History and Archaeology, MSRS College, Shirva, in Udupi district.

“Probably it is the first rock engraving from the Megalithic period found in Dakshina Kannada,” he said in a release on Monday.

Megalithic culture was the dominant one in south India. It was known by its fascinating burials and curious data, Mr. Murugeshi said.

“Usually, Megalithic burial sites are marked by stone circles and menhirs. But in the cave found near Ramakunja, a sepulchre is marked by a circle or zero. It brings up interesting questions like did the Megalithians know zero?” Mr. Murugeshi said.

No grave articles were found inside the cave. But at its centre, an altar like pit has been noticed. Small pieces of red, black, and red pottery were found in small quantities in the cave. Most probably, the cave was robbed by the locals, he said.

Earlier, the south-west coast of Karnataka and Kerala had recorded a very special type of megaliths-like rock-cut caves, scooped out in the laterite earth. “Normally, a 2.5 ft or 3 ft circular opening in the centre is cut into the laterite soil about a metre deep, and the bottom is cut into a hemispherical shape. This type of rock-cut caves are common in the south-west coast of Karnataka. A small variation is found in Kerala, with side openings in the sub-surface, but central opening was common in both the cases,” he said.

“In the cave near Ramakunja, there is no central opening. But a huge engraving of a circle of about 7 feet diameter is found above the laterite surface and exactly below this in the same dimension, is a hemispherical cave with a side opening of about 2 feet in height. This side entrance is designed like a door frame and it is oriented to the north-east,” the release said.

Students Shreyas, Goutham, Shariq, Karthik, Dishanth, and Vishal Rai worked for two days in exposing the cave, he said.

A peculiar type of Megalithic burial found at Kadaba in Dakshina Kannada district.

A peculiar type of Megalithic burial found at Kadaba in Dakshina Kannada district. | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT


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Printable version | Aug 7, 2022 2:42:15 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Mangalore/rock-cut-cave-from-megalithic-period-found-in-dakshina-kannada-says-expert/article65354087.ece