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10 May 2010
Menhir with petroglyphs found in India

A menhir with rock engravings, called petroglyphs, carved on it has been discovered on an open field on the left bank of Nagaleuru, a tributary of the Krishna at Karampudi, 100 km from Guntur (Andhra Pradesh, India). The menhir is a significant remnant of the prehistoric megalithic civilisation, and dates back to 1000 BCE-300 BCE.
     A freelance archaeologist, K. Venkateshwara Rao, discovered the menhir on a vast stretch of open field, which is believed to be a necropolis (originally discovered in 1870) adjacent to the Karampudi-Dachepalli Road.  Mr. Rao, who traced the Menhir after years of research, calls it a "rare and unusual discovery and probably the first-of-its kind in the country." While menhirs have been found in parts of Khammam, Warangal, Madhumala in Mahaboobnagar and Medak districts in Andhra Pradesh and at Boorj Home in Jammu and Kashmir, it is the first time a menhir with petroglyphs was found.
     The rock engravings are at a height of 8-9 feet from the ground. The upper row has four concentric circles with four small lines and a small pointed base. Below these circular figures, shapes of a crawling animal with an elongated head, probably that of a mongoose, a humped bull with V-shaped antlers and a peacock are found. In the last row, two men are seen carrying a pole on their shoulders and moving east. While the circular figures in the shape of a human head on the upper row depict the ancestral and ritualistic worship of the pre-historic human race, the row below it has figures of domestic animals and show that pre-historic man co-existed with animals and also domesticated them. The engravings of a tiger show that man hunted for livelihood.
     A close observation of the menhir shows that it is erected facing north-east, pointing to the fact that it could have been erected during 'uttarayana punya kalam' considered an auspicious period.

Source: The Hindu (9 may 2010)

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