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27 February 2011
Iron Age rock-cut tomb discovered in Kerala

A rock-cut tomb dating back to the Indian Megalithic period (Early Iron Age) has been found at Kodiyeri, Kerala, India. The tomb, cut in laterite -  a local argillaceous red sandstone - has a dome ceiling and was unearthed accidentally at a private plot of land while soil was being removed, Kannur University Anthropology Department head S. Gregory said. The tomb was discovered at one-metre depth, Dr. Gregory added. A polished 75-centimetre-tall laterite pillar was at the centre of the semi-spherical-shaped dome with two stone benches on either side, he said.
    People from the megalithic period were the earliest builders of laterite tombs with dome ceiling, which were used as secondary burials of certain bones of the dead, Dr. Gregory said. Some bone fragments, iron knives and lamp posts were found inside the tomb, he said. The finds unearthed include three-legged red earthen pots and black earthen pots and lids.
    Dr. Gregory and N.K. Ramesh, a former student of the Anthropology Department, collected the remains from the site. The Document Officer from the Department of Archaeology Bala Mohanan reached the site and authenticated the finds.
    Mr. Ramesh said local people recalled the finding of a similar tomb in a nearby area nearly 40 years ago. Dr. Gregory said the finds from the site would be transferred to the museum of the Department of Anthropology on the Kannur University's Thalassery campus at Palayad with the permission of the State Archaeology Department.
   
Edited from The Hindu (21 February 2011)

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