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2 January 2012
Megalithic burial urn excavated in southern India

A burial urn, locally known as a nannangady and believed to date back to the megalithic era (1500 BCE -100 CE), was recently excavated from a construction site near Ramakkalmedu in Idukki district (Kerala, India). The discovery may throw light on the possibility of carbon dating for further studies as there were bone remains found inside the ancient urn.
     The nannangadi is about one metre high and its opening has a diameter of about 12 inches. The top of the urn was covered with a round shaped stone slab. Two small pots and a bowl having a diameter of about 8 inches were placed near the urn. Inside the urn, a human bone was found.
     "The red and black pottery is remarkable as it denotes the Dravidian expansion to South India," Mr T. Rajesh, historian, who led the excavation said. It is the first that a human bone was fond in a nannangadi, and these remains will allow scientists to date the burial urn, he added.
     Dr P.J. Cherian, director of the Kerala Council for Historical Research, said that the excavation had opened the windows for further study of the valuable historical remains in Idukki district. The local administration has drawn up a project 'Discovering Idukki,' in its annual budget for 2011-2012 to protect the megalithic sites and start studies of those monuments. It also plans to open a megalithic museum at the district headquarters in Painavu for collection and preservation of the historical remains excavated in the district.

Edited from The Hindu (30 December 2011)

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