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17 March 2011
Archaeologists start excavating stone circle in India

Department of ancient Indian history, culture and archaeology (AIHCA) of Nagpur University has begun excavations of a megalithic circle near village Sawri in Bhadrawati tehsil. This unique megalithic circle was discovered by Chandrapur chapter convener of Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) Ashoksingh Thakur last year. AIHCA head of the department Pradeep Meshram is supervising the excavation project at Sawri.
     "Hundreds of megalithic circles have been excavated near Nagpur area, so we know about the cultural sequences there. This is the first time our department is excavating such a monument in Chandrapur district, which will allow us to understand the similarities or differences between them. The antiquities recovered from this megalithic circle will be compared with evidence from other places in the light of special traits like presence of a single megalithic on a flat land and appearance of cup mark on them," said Meshram.
     The stone circle being excavated measures 9.20 x 8.80 meters in diameter. The circle is made by huge red stones and an inner pit is filled by small pieces or rubble. A copper coin was recovered on the very first day of excavation. Some pieces of pottery and rim portion of pottery along with some leg portion of terracotta bull etc too have been recovered so far, Meshram informed.
     "We are planning to take one more trail trench on the bank of Irai, the place where Sawari village was located earlier before it was shifted to present location," he added. Meshram added that at Sawari an interesting and unique anthropomorphic statue is located about 100 metres away from the stone circle. These statues are quite rare, but a few of them have been found in Andhra Pradesh and Karanataka state.
     
Edited from The Times of India (10 March 2011)

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