Expedite steps to conserve petroglyphs on Edakkal caves: Epigraphist M.R. Raghava Varier

A team of experts led historian M.R. Raghava Varier visiting the Edakkal caves on January 15, 2022.

Notable epigraphist M.R. Raghava Varier has urged the State government to expedite steps to conserve the petroglyphs on the Edakkal caves and Thovari hills in the Wayanad district scientifically.

While presenting a paper on ‘An introduction to Edakkal Rock Art’ at a three-day workshop on ‘Preserving Edakkal’, being organised by the State department of Archaeology at Sulthan Bathery,Dr. Varier said that the rock art of Edakkal was an invaluable world heritage with its engravings, and the style and techniques of depiction. As the urbanisation and construction activities in the vicinity of the site were posing a serious threat to the neolithic site, it should be addressed properly, he said.

“Rock art in the form of painting like those in Bhimbetka in Madhya Pradesh are in plenty but Edakkal engravings are unique in that they are engraved on the surface of the rock, probably with some pointed implement. Thematically too, Edakkal is different,” Dr. Varier, who is also the chairman of the nine-member expert committee, said.

The prehistoric rock art were mostly representations of hunting scenes. The figures of Edakal were of a magico-ritualistic character, Dr. Varier said, adding that many a newly found petroglyph had close resemblance with the Harappan signs and figures.

The rock engravings at the Thovari hill are similar to the Edakal art in the style of drawing but at the same time, they are different from them in the subject matter. Straight-lines are the elements of production and the styles of engraving in both the sites but the Thovari art differs in that the lines were narrower and shallower when compared to the Edakkal figures, he said. This was probably indicative of the technological differences in tools.

The expert team visited the Edakkal caves and Ponmudi Kota on the Ambukuthy hills, the Megalithic site at Ayiramkolly and rock art site, and Govinda Moola near Ambalavayal, on Saturday as a part of the workshop. The three-day workshop will conclude on Sunday.

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Printable version | May 12, 2022 5:35:06 am |