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19 July 2009
Megalithic burial site excavated in India

A huge megalithic burial site said to date back to 3rd Century BCE has been unearthed near Tiruvannamalai (Tamil Nadu, India). Human skeletal remains, iron daggers and a sword, decorated red and black earthen wares, a water jar with an exquisite stand, number of other potteries have been excavated from the cist, a box-like structure made of six huge undisturbed slab stones.
     When a farmer stumbled upon the cap stone of this huge site, people thought there could be treasure and thronged the place. On receiving information Collector S. Viswanathan and tahsildar Murugan visited the spot and made arrangements to excavate the site immediately. Archaeologist and professor of history R. Sekar who visited the site said that the sophistication with which the burial had been made points to the importance of the person buried at the site. Daggers and sword found with the skeletal remains should be used by the person, possibly a male, buried there.
     After digging earth from the side, officials have removed one of the side stones and recovered the objects from the burial. All the other five sides are still intact and it looks like a huge sub-surface niche. "Thickness of the awesome capstone is more than one and half feet. In no other megalithic burial site in the State such a huge cap stone has been found. The stone is 15 feet long and 8 feet wide. There is a round shaped opening in one side of the wall stone. This means to allow 'the spirit of the person buried there to come out and get in' according to the legend of the ancient people. The style of the cist burial and materials found inside indicate that the burial belongs to approximately 3rd century BCE or earlier. This site is comparable only to such megalithic burials unearthed in places like Adityanallur and Kodumanal. However Sambandhanur site seems superior both in terms of size and antiquity" Mr. Sekar said.

Source: The Hindu (17 July 2009)

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