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2 October 2010
Ancient grinding stone discovered in India

Workers of the Tamil Nadu highways department unwittingly became excavators as they stumbled upon an ancient granite structure, possibly a lime crushing stone - while digging a trench for constructing a subway on Dargah Road at Old Pallavaram (India).
     Following earlier finds of cairns by the Archaeological Survey of India, Old Pallavaram has been notified as a megalithic site. ASI officials will inspect the grinding stone to ascertain its age and possible connection with prehistoric communities that are believed to have lived here.
     The road workers found the ancient stone at a depth of three metres. The ganite wheel is 12 feet in diameter and weighs about 4.5 tonnes. Hundreds of residents thronged the site to catch a glimpse of the giant circular object. "It looks like a major find. We've informed officials of the state archaeological department about the discovery," Alandur tahsildar K Sowrirajan said.
     Officials said the object could not be an ancient wheel, since there were no holes in the stone that could be used to fit it into a cart. "It looks more like a crushing stone used many centuries ago to crush lime for whitewashing buildings. There are no visible inscriptions on it. Archaeologists, who are expected to inspect the stone, may be able to throw light on its origin by analysing its structure and nature," said officials of Kancheepuram district administration.

Edited from The Times of India (19 September 2010)

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