Megalithic cist burial monument discovered

Monument near Kuitheri in Valayam grama panchayatin Kozhikode

Updated - September 12, 2016 08:18 pm IST

Published - May 24, 2016 12:00 am IST - Kozhikode:

A window INTO the past:A megalithic cist burial discovered in Kozhikode district.

A window INTO the past:A megalithic cist burial discovered in Kozhikode district.

Yet another evidence of proto- historic habitation in Malabar has emerged with the discovery of a rare megalithic cist burial monument near Kuitheri in Valayam grama panchayat in Kozhikode district.

“This secondary burial practice of the Megalithic people has been constructed with six rocks slabs. The monument has a length of 1.50 metres and width of 1.10 metres,” says N.K. Ramesh, archaeological- anthropologist, who has made several discoveries in north Kerala including megalithic urn-burial and cist burial sites at Manikkovilakam near Kuitheri.

“The depth of the chamber is 1.30 metres. The orthostats (upright slabs) used in the construction of the cist have an average thickness of 18 cms. These slabs are vertically placed in rectangular shape. The orthostat on the southern side is missing, thus leading to a possible assumption that the local people might have taken it for some other use,” he adds.

Mr. Ramesh, who is a senior assistant, Museum project, Cultural Heritage Department of Thunchathu Ezhuthachan Malayalam University at Tirur, says that the chamber of the cist has been filled with red soil. Well-fired black ware pottery pieces have been found inside the ancient burial chamber. Usually one finds umbrella stones and laterite domes (rock cut caves), he adds.

An urn burial jar with Capstone flush (lid of the urn) has also been unearthed near the cist. The rim of the jar has a depth of one metre and the capstone has a length of 47cms and width of 30 cms. But this jar might have been partially destroyed during digging for construction of a road earlier, Mr. Ramesh says.

The 32-year-old researcher has been credited with the discovery of iron ingots weighing 8 kgs and several urn burial jars near the cist burial site.

“The different burial practices in a single area clearly show that the social stratification of the megalithic people in north Kerala. Such types of cist having similar features have been discovered all over Kerala,” he says.

Previous discoveries by P. Rajendran, archaeologist at Oliyani near Kunnoni in Kottayam district or in Idukki revealed that a standard methodology had been adopted in the construction of cists in the State.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.