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28 May 2015
Megalithic monuments discovered in India

A team of archaeologists discovered several new megalithic monuments in Karbi Anglong district (Assam, north-eastern India).
     The team, which was headed by Director Dr Deepi Rekha Kouli and comprised the Directorate's Technical Officer Nabajit Deori, Exploration Officer Chabina Hassan, Guide Lecturer Dilip Sarma, Photographer Apurba Gogoi and Foreman Arup Jyoti Deori, was assisted by the Gauhati University's (GU) Department of Anthropology in its venture. It was the first joint effort of the Directorate of Archaeology and the GU Department of Anthropology to study the megalithic tradition.
     Technical Officer Deori said that the team explored the Nonjirong megalithic site, which dominates the western plateau of Hamren in Karbi Anglong. Although many of the monuments here have crumbled or disappeared due to natural causes, many of them are still standing. Among the five megalithic sites of Nonjirong, three sites have been previously reported, but two new sites have been discovered by the team.
     The team visited and documented a site known as Hithi, located on a bank of a stream Umrenkhang. Both dolmens and menhirs are found at the site. The size of the menhirs varies from 1.53m to 0.58m while that of the dolmen slab varies from 1.35m to 1m found resting at the highest height of 0.88m from the ground level.
     The megalith in Umchera is a single menhir erected by the side of a gravel road on the way to Kanduli. The front side of the menhir is flat and the backside is semi circular in shape. The upper portion is tapering towards the top. The measurement of the menhir is 2.95mx1.18mx0.80m.
     Among the megalithic sites of Hamren subdivision, only the Tikka site is protected by a concrete boundary wall by the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council. The site has eight upright stones with dolmen slabs.
     The team has done systematic mapping of the distribution of the megalithic monuments in Karbi Anglong Hills landscape, which has offered close insights into the system of settlement pattern on these hills at the time when the megalithic culture was prevalent in the area, Deuri said.

Edited from The Assam Tribune (24 May 2015)

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