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Excavations for the field seasons 2016-17

Palamakula and Narmetta villages, Siddipet District

The megalithic burials located in Palamakula and Narmetta villages are selected for excavation during the year 2016-17.

Megalithics are special class of monuments in Deccan, particularly in Telangana State. In Archaeology, the term ‘megalith’ denotes a tomb, built of huge stones either dressed or undressed. The South Indian Megalithic Tombs represents a distinctive culture phase which succeed the primitive Neolithic culture. This phase is also known as Iron Age Culture. Generally, the Megalithic culture is dated from 1000 B.C. to 2nd Century A.D.

These megalithic monuments are classified in to eight types i.e. 1) Dolmenoid cist 2) Cairn Circles 3) Menhir 4) Topikal 5) Pit burials 6) Dolmens 7) Avenues and 8) Alignments. This phase is characterised by black and red ware pottery with or without graffiti marks and iron implements.

1-Palamakula (V), Nangunoor (M), Siddipet District:

The Department has taken up excavations at double circle cairn cist burial and cairn circle cist, to understand the construction pattern and cultural traditions of this region. Palamakula is a roadside village, located on Siddipet – Husnabad Road at a distance of 13 kilomtrs. from Siddipet. The site is located towards northern side of the village. Four burials namely as Meg.I, Meg.II, Meg.III and Meg.IV are selected for excavations.

Meg-I:-

The cairn circle with cist devoid of capstone is located on the north side of the village, very near to the road leading to Pathadangapalli village and laid quadrants. The cist burial is encircled with undressed boulders numbering 14. The dia of this meg is 6 mtrs.

The orthostats in swastika shape with port hole were exposed and the length of the orthostats is 2.30 mtrs and width is 1.20 mtrs.

Meg -II (Double Circle Cist Burial):-

The Meg-II is located at a distance of 85 mtrs towards the south side of the Meg- I. The dia of Circle is 8 mtrs. The gap between outer circle and inner circle is 1 mtr. The outer circle has 16 boulders and inner circle contains 12 undressed boulders.

At a depth of 0.30 cms orthostats on all four sides are exposed in swastika pattern and a port hole on north side with 0.60 cms in dia. In this burial, only few bone pieces are noticed.

Meg-III:-

The Meg-III is located on west side, 50 mtrs to Meg-I. The dia of the burial is 4 mtrs devoid of any circle boulders. Black and Red ware bowls, red ware pots and three legged miniature pots were recorded.

Meg-IV:-

Meg-IV is located 55 mtrs away from the Meg-I on the northern side. At a depth of 0.30 cms, orthostats are noticed in Swastika pattern. The length of Orthostat is 1.60 mtrs and width is 1.20 mtrs. On the eastern side at the depth of 0.40 cms, pots of red ware and black and red ware and bowls are noticed in a systematic manner. At a depth of 1.25 mtrs on western side, a small cist was exposed. The length of orthostat of cist is 1.25 mtrs and width is 0.50 cms. The cist is shown as independent one. The gap of 0.50 cms on south side and 0.15 cms on western and northern sides are given. At the depth of 1.75 mtrs, a fragment of skull portion in fragile condition, long bones and ribs were exposed. Pottery of black and red ware bowls, red ware pots and iron implements i.e., axe, sickles and unidentified iron implements are recorded.

Highlights:

  • The unique feature of this site is exposing of Cist with in a Cist, which is rare type burial so for excavated in Telangana State.

2-Narmetta (V), Nangunoor (M), Siddipet District:

Narmeta village is located on Siddipet – Husnabad Road at distance of 16 Kms. To understand cultural and traditions of megalithic communities, particularly of this region and Telangana State in general, two Megs namely: Menhir and Cairn burial are selected for taking up excavations and named them as Meg-I and Meg-II.

Meg-I:

The excavations are conducted at this burial with Menhir is peculiar in nature having double circle boulders. The dia of the Meg-I is 14 mtrs. having 24 boulders as inner circle and 6 boulders as outer circle. The Menhir is planted on northern side and it measures 2.95 mtrs. in height and 95 cms. in width. At a depth of 45 cms., anthropomorphic shaped capstone in North - South orientation is noticied. The capstone measures 6.70 mtrs. in length, 4 mtrs. in width and 65 cms. in thickness. This capstone appears to be the largest in size so far exposed by the department in the past. When the capstone was lifted, compact black cotton soil tightly rammed appearing to be a floor/roof is noticed. The central portion of this floor / roof is disturbed by the roots of tree and noticed loose soil in circular shape. At a depth of 1 mtr. oval shaped pit measuring 6.79 mtrs. in length and 4 mtrs. in width is noticed. Two iron objects i.e. knife, knife with handle, bone ornament and iron hook were recorded at the depth of 1.95 mtrs. Fragments of skull and bone pieces were noticed on the northern side of pit along with broken red ware storage jars at a depth of 1.98 mtrs.

Meg-II:

The Meg-II is located on the northern side of Meg-I. The dia of this Meg-II is 8 mtrs. without boulders. At a depth of 1.30 mtrs., exposed an oval shape pit with very loose soil. From this pit, red ware pots, black and red ware bowls, black ware, deep bowl, fire stands (4), three legged miniature red ware bowl and conches are collected.

Highlights:

  • Biggest cap stone (6.70 x 4.00 x 0.65 mtrs.) in anthropomorphic shape has been exposed at site is rare and unique. The cap stone is big in size in South India
  • Unique red ware fire stands with perforations were recovered from this meg probably used for funeral purpose not reported in any megalithic burial except in the State.
  • Graffiti marks which are common on pottery are also reported from this site.
  • Three legged red ware miniature pot is also rare find from this site.
  • Antiquities: Diamond shaped bone ornaments is reported for the first time in megalithic context in this region along with iron knife and iron hook.