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20 May 2014
Prehistoric rock shelter discovered in India

A team of archaeologists has discovered a prehistoric rock shelter near the Nedumala caves at the Piralimattom hills in Majalloor grama panchayat of Ernakulam district, bordering Idukki (Southern India). The study, led by P.Rajendran, Kerala University research scientist and archaeologist, was a follow-up of research at three prehistoric caves and nearby settlements.
     Unlike menheirs, rocks shelters had rarely been discovered. The caves at Piralimattom had elaborate petroglyphs in cupules and shallow grinding surface forms, mainly on vertical walls and a few on the ceiling. These types of petroglyphs were first discovered in Kerala at Mattidampara at Kadakkal in Kollam recently. This was the second such discovery in the State, Dr. Rajendran said, emphasizing the need for further research at the sites.
     The team identified several prehistoric cupules and grinding surfaces inside the caves. Dr. Rajendran said the shallow grinding surfaces within the caves may date back to the Neolithic period, around 4000 BCE. He said excavations could also unravel early Stone Age evidences from the thick deposit of earth within the caves. Dr. Rajendran said the site needed to be protected for its archaeological importance.

Edited from The Hindu (17 April 2014)

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