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19 January 2013
Prehistoric rock art site found in Western India

A prehistoric rock art site has been discovered at Kappikunnu near Pulppally in Wayanad district (India). The petroglyphs bear a close resemblance to those on the walls of the Edakkal caves on Ambukuthy hills, in the same region.
     Four figures - one of a couple of deers facing each other, and three abstract ones - have been found engraved on a huge chunk of rock. Other lines on a smaller rock that could have dislodged itself from the main rock, resemble a headgear. The rocks were found in the precincts of the Sree Veliyambam Kotta Siva temple, believed to have been built in the 12th century CE, inside the South Wayanad Forest Division.
     The petroglyphs probably date back to the Neolithic period, Gira Gratier, a scholar from Belgium, said. Ms. Gratier, who was there as a part of her research project on the tribesmen of South India, visited the site after she was told of it by the local people. The site might be a ritual area for ancient people, she said. The rock engravings might have been part of a huge structure in the past, she added.
      A recent exploration of the area by the State Archaeology Department yielded another artifact from the Neolithic, K. Krishnaraj, Archaeology Department's Officer in-charge of the Edakkal Caves, said. The style of depiction of the anthropomorphic figure and some other figures at Edakkal resemble the figures at the newly discovered site, Krishnaraj said.

Edited from The Hindu (13 January 2013)

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