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23 August 2010
Iron Age burial sites found in India

Hundreds of Iron Age megalithic burial sites at Sengalur village have been unearthed in the Pudukottai District of Tamil Nadu. Discovered by Archeological Survey of India (ASI), the sites consist of different types of burials as well as habitational deposits of the contemporary period. A senior ASI official stated that more than 500 megalithic structures believed to be dating back to about 500-300 BCE have been found during excavations carried out in an area of about 25 hectares at the village near Tiruchirappalli.
     "The findings are rare and the megalithic sites are one of the earliest architectural attempts of the people in South India," ASI Superintending Archaeologist, Temple Suvey Project Southern Region, D Dayalan said.
     The discoveries at the village include stone circles of laterite or granite boulders and constructed with cairn packing, cist burial of different types, pit burial and urn burial with or without capstones. One special feature was the rectangular shaped structure of an Iron Age sepulchral monument. It was unique and not found anywhere else in South India except a solitary finding at Sittannavasal in the same district, he said.
     The excavations  at Melappatti also yielded domestic objects like pottery of different shapes and sizes including red and black pots besides iron objects.

Source: Hindustan Times (13 August 2010)

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