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Excavation of Megalithic burial site

Pullur Banda Village , Siddipet Mandal , Medak District

The Department after exploring the archaeological potentiality of the site i.e., Menhir and Megalithic Burial site at Pullur Village has submitted proposals to Director General, Archaeological Survey of India, Government of India to accord permission for conducting excavation during the field season 2014-15.

The proposal was examined by the Central Advisory Board of Archaeology and Director General, ASI has accorded the permission. After receiving the permission, the department is conducting excavations of the Megalithic Burial Site under the supervision of Departmental Officers on scientific lines. The excavations started on 9th of July 2015 and continued for another 15 to 20 days.

Megaliths are a special class of Monuments in Deccan particularly in Telangana State. Almost all types of megalithic monuments like menhirs, stone circles, dolmens and dolmonoid cists are reported in hundreds of villages in all Telangana Districts. Discovery of cruciform monoliths in male and female forms known as Statue-Menhirs on the Mallugrugutta (Warangal) Galabha, Kachanapally (Khammam) is a unique feature in the megalithic culture of the mid-Godavari valley. The Megalithic monuments located in Telangana are usually dated anywhere between 1000 B.C and 200 A.D.

At Pullur Banda village (18°10'34"N 78°48'41"E), Siddipet Mandal, Medak district, there are nearly 50 Megalithic burials located. These are classified into three types viz., Menhir, Cairns and Dolmens. With a view to understand the culture and traditions of the Megalithic communities of this region two burials are selected for excavation.

Menhir

This is a huge (nearly 5.4 mts. ht) vertical stone kept to the north of the big burial (burial No. 1). Bruising is seen on its back side in the centre. These bruisings are stick type human forms with weapons in their hands. At the foundations of the Menhir, a trench is laid and excavated upto 15 cms.

Cairn (Megalithic burial No.1)

This burial is located to the southern side of Menhir. This is the biggest one having a diameter of 10 X 10 mts., with fifteen boulders in circular shape with a huge capstone (weighing nearly 7 to 8 tonnes) broken into three pieces which are arranged in triangular shape. The capstone was lifted carefully with the help of crane without damaging the deposit of the burial, as it is impossible to lift manually and excavation was continued on scientific lines. During the excavation iron implements such as Dagger, Arrowheads, iron forecep, Knife, Javelin, black and red ware, black ware and red ware pottery, a small broken ring made of clay etc. were recovered. At a depth of 1.85 mts. in the centre of the pit bones were reported in a broken pot on bedrock. Most probably these bones seems to be part of the skull.

Cairn (Megalithic burial No.2)

This burial is located 30 mts. west of Menhir. It consists of 14 boulders in a circular shape in 8X8mts.diameter. This is also a pit burial having huge capstone. After carefully lifting capstone the excavation continued. In this burial black and red ware, red ware and black ware pottery were reported. At a depth of 1.5 mts., remains of bones are also reported in a damaged pot.

From the above evidence i.e., recovery of bone pieces in the pots in centre of the pits, it shows that these are secondary type of burials.

The excavation continued for another 10 days to know more cultural evidence of the site. The bone pieces and related material were sent to the Indian Institute Chemical Technology for K14 test to decide the dating of the material.

The Government is making all efforts to retrieve and preserve the Megalithic Burials wherever it is found, apart from its regular exploration and identification.