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10 April 2011
Four dolmens discovered in central India

Archaeologists of the Deccan college post-graduate and research institute have found four dolmens of the Megalithic Age (Third century BCE) or the Iron Age at the Shankarpur village, about 150 km from Nagpur (Maharashtra, India). Such burial monuments are mainly found in the southern states of Karnataka and Kerala, and are quite rare in Maharashtra.
     Kanti Pawar led the excavation for Deccan College. He was assisted by students Kim Yong Jun, Akash Srinivas and Pankaj Kahalekar. "In the Vidarbha region, the common burial type is stone circles, found abundantly in the Nagpur and Bhandara regions. Dolmens are a very rare burial type in Maharashtra. Most excavations by various institutions in the country have found stone circles burial types of the Megalithic Age," Pawar said.
     The excavation began last December and the dolmens were excavated in March. Of the four excavated dolmens, only one is in good condition. The other three have fallen to ruins. The intact one is being claimed by the team to be the largest in the state and India.
     The Deccan College team also found some utensils, four punch-marked coins, remains of human bones, copper and glass bangles, iron objects and also burnt bricks. "It is interesting to find remnants of the Megalithic Age here," Pawar said, adding: "Burnt bricks are a unique finding. So far, not a single excavation of Megalithic burials have had burnt bricks."

Edited from The Times of India (10 April 2011)

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