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23 July 2016
Megalithic structures unearthed in northeastern India

Prehistoric megaliths and tools discovered in Meghalaya's Ri-Bhoi district, in the northeastern India state of Assam, indicate that the Khasi tribe, one of the major tribes in the state, had made the area their home since around 1200 BCE.
     Archaeologist Marco Mitri and a team from the North Eastern Hills University excavated the site near Lummawbuh village on the northern slopes of Sohpetbneng (heaven's navel) peak. Mitri said they found megalithic stone structures and iron implements dating to the prehistoric period spread over a 1.5 kilometre area on the ridge.
     The excavation at Lummawbuh is the first one of a Neolithic site in Meghalaya. Radiocarbon tests confirm their finds dated to 12th century BCE.
     The megalithic structures are used in the traditional mortuary practice which was popular among the tribesmen until a few decades ago.
     "These Neolithic structures were first discovered in 2004 and it took at least a decade to confirm the existence of a settlement in the area till about 200 years ago," Mitri said.
     Mitri's work, "Outline of Neolithic Culture of Khasi and Jaintia Hills" was published in 2009 by The British Archaeological Reports. Mitri also edited the 2010 book, "Cultural-Historical Interaction and the Tribes of North East India".

Edited from The Indian Express (11 July 2016)

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