|28 January 2019
Megalithic park planned for central India
An archaeological park has been proposed on a five hectare site near Nagpur in central India, where excavations of 3 out of around 50 megalithic stone circles began in November 2018.
Assistant professor and project leader Kantikumar Pawar says that 3 human skeletons have been found at one burial site, which is rare. Of these, 2 were a couple buried together, and the third who may be a male was buried around 3 metres away. There is some speculation that the burial of the couple might suggest an ancient version of the historic practice of Sati, where the widow chooses to follow her husband in death.
These skeletons were found intact with solid, compact bones, making it possible to extract and test their DNA, which will be compared with modern tribal groups in the area.
Pawar notes that: "The DNA of megalithic people has not been studied. Many Central Indian primitive groups like Gond, Korku, Kolam have cultural affinities with megalithics like burying their dead and erecting small stones around these sites."
Other objects found indicate the burial was that of a special person like the chieftain. A copper and earthen pot had been kept above the head and beside the waist of the female skeleton. The other skeleton, believed to be a male, had weapons like axes and chisels near the skull and waist. One theory is that those megalithic people, who used horses and iron and copper weapons, migrated from South India.
Edited from DNA India (January 2019)
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