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| Last Updated:12/09/2020

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Seven Megalithic cairn circles discovered in Pudukottai forest




Seven burial sites, dating back to Megalithic period, in the form of cairn circles were discovered in the reserve forest area of Pudukottai district on Wednesday.



The discovery was made by members of Archaeological Research Forum of Pudukkottai (ARFP) during an explorative study a couple of days back. According to ARFP members, two of the cairn circles were being worshipped by some people for over a century.



“Located in the Melachungadu forest in the foothills of Nedumalai in Malayadippatti, these structures had not been spotted by archaeologists,” said A Manikandan, founder of ARFP and a research fellow on ancient science at Thanjavur Tamil University. He said ancient Tamil literature refers to stone circles where ancient Tamils honoured their leaders who portrayed great valour by erecting a stone circle for them.



While no inscriptions were found around the cairn circles, Karu Rajendran, president of ARFP, said the circles could date back to 2,500 BC–1500 BC. Hero stones and cairn circles were part of culture during the Megalithic era, he said. Rajendran stressed on studying these cairn circles through scientific methods like carbon dating and extensive genetic examination to determine its exact age. Seven cairn circles have been identified, which have withstood the test of time, he added. The stones in the circles are laterite – red in colour. The eastern edge of the site has a burial chamber, made of stone slabs of granite.



Some of the circles are made with stone slabs, which are available in the area. The northern cairn circle has a diameter of 24 feet and four circles are 14-feet in diameter.



The forum urged the state government to undertake a survey in the area and secure the location to preserve heritage.




Tales from the Crypt: One of seven burial sites dating back to the Megalithic era found near Melachungadu forest in Malayadippatti by archaeological research forum of Pudukottai






The Times of India - Chennai, 23/05/2019; Section: Times Region, Page: 7