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Megalithic cist burial monument discovered Kerala

Yet another evidence of proto-historic habitation in Malabar has emerged with the discovery of a rare megalithic cist burial monument near Kuitheri in Valayam grama panchayat in Kozhikode district.

Megalithic cist burial monument discovered Kerala
The megalithic cist burial discovered in Kozhikode district 
[Credit: The Hindu]
“This secondary burial practice of the Megalithic people has been constructed with six rocks slabs. The monument has a length of 1.50 metres and width of 1.10 metres,” says N.K. Ramesh, archaeological anthropologist, who has made several discoveries in north Kerala including megalithic urn-burial and cist burial sites at Manikkovilakam near Kuitheri.

“The depth of the chamber is 1.30 metres. The orthostats (upright slabs) used in the construction of the cist have an average thickness of 18 cms. These slabs are vertically placed in rectangular shape. The orthostat on the southern side is missing, thus leading to a possible assumption that the local people might have taken it for some other use,” he adds.

Mr. Ramesh, who is a senior assistant, Museum project, Cultural Heritage Department of Thunchathu Ezhuthachan Malayalam University at Tirur, says that the chamber of the cist has been filled with red soil. Well-fired black ware pottery pieces have been found inside the ancient burial chamber. Usually one finds umbrella stones and laterite domes (rock cut caves), he adds.

An urn burial jar with Capstone flush (lid of the urn) has also been unearthed near the cist. The rim of the jar has a depth of one metre and the capstone has a length of 47cms and width of 30 cms. But this jar might have been partially destroyed during digging for construction of a road earlier, Mr. Ramesh says.

The 32-year-old researcher has been credited with the discovery of iron ingots weighing 8 kgs and several urn burial jars near the cist burial site.

“The different burial practices in a single area clearly show that the social stratification of the megalithic people in north Kerala. Such types of cist having similar features have been discovered all over Kerala,” he says.

Previous discoveries by P. Rajendran, archaeologist at Oliyani near Kunnoni in Kottayam district or in Idukki revealed that a standard methodology had been adopted in the construction of cists in the State.

Author: Biju Govind | Source: The Hindu [May 24, 2016]

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