Kerala

Megalithic era site yields beads, semi-precious stones

Call for more excavations on western side of Western Ghats

A megalithic era site on the western side of the Western Ghats has yielded a rich collection of etched carnelian beads, semi-precious stones, glass beads, and red and black pottery. The site was discovered while digging a pond at Anakkara village in Udumbanchola taluk early last week.

Two large burial urns with top stones were found at a distance of 10 ft at the site. Dark-brown carnelian beads, semi-precious stones, and pottery with pictorial engravings were found in six earthen pots inside the burial urns. The urns were found about 5 ft below the topsoil.

Historian T. Rajesh, who recorded the findings, called for more archaeological explorations as the site was 5 km from Thovalapadi, from where Roman coins had been excavated earlier. Such a collection of 49 carnelian beads was rare in the State.

Links to Muziris?

He said it should not be considered a standalone site but one having association with other megalithic sites in the region and having links with Muziris. Though low-grade gems had been first excavated in the Indus Valley, they were also found widely in Mesopotamian and other ancient sites.

Tools too

A 16-cm-long dagger, an iron axe, and human bones were also found in the urns.

Though carnelian beads had been found in excavations in Thrissur district, they were not native to this part of the country, Mr. Rajesh said.

The pots also had grains, around half a kg, which had turned powdery due to passage of time. Mr. Rajesh said carbon-dating under the initiative of the Kerala Council for Historical Research, led by historian P.J. Cherian, had yielded remains of 500 BC at a nearby site.

An ancient passage on this side of the Western Ghats to Thrissur, Palakkad and Coimbatore could be traced as there were similarities in the archaeological findings on a long stretch there.

The findings should pave the way for more archaeological explorations as individual studies pointed towards a rich megalithic era life on this side of the Western Ghats, Mr. Rajesh said.

The remains were handed over to the Archaeological Survey of India officials on Monday.

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Printable version | Jul 16, 2020 7:19:51 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/megalithic-era-site-yields-beads-semiprecious-stones/article31681870.ece

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