Megalithic Sword Unearthed in Kozhikode
- 05 Sep 2019
- 3 min read
The State Archaeology Department in Kozhikode recently has unearthed a Megalithic era iron sword, a chisel and a few decorated pottery from a rock-cut cave at Pothuvachery in Kannur district of Kerala.
- The sword is 105 cm long, & is said to be 2,500 years old.
- The recovery of the implements revealed the technological advancement of the Megalithic people.
- Megaliths refer to large stone structures that were constructed either as burial sites or as commemorative sites.
- The burial sites are the sites with actual burial remains, such as dolmenoid cists (box-shaped stone burial chambers), cairn circles (stone circles with defined peripheries), and capstones (distinctive mushroom-shaped burial chambers found mainly in Kerala).
- Commemorative megaliths include memorial sites.
- In India, archaeologists trace the majority of the megaliths to the Iron Age (1500 BC to 500 BC), though some sites precede the Iron Age, extending up to 2000 BC.
- Megaliths are spread across the Indian subcontinent.
- The majority of megalithic sites are found in Peninsular India, concentrated in the states of Maharashtra (mainly in Vidarbha), Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana.
- Natural caves were the earliest caves used by local inhabitants.
- Most of the rock-cut structures were closely associated with various religions and religious activities.
- As manifested by archaeological evidence, the Mesolithic period (c. 6000 BC) marked the first use and modifications of the early caves.
- The overhanging rocks embellished with petroglyphs or the rock-cut designs that were created by carving, chiselling and abrading part of rock surfaces forms the early instances of such rock caves.
- The Bhimbetka rock shelters inside the tiger reserve ‘Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary’ exemplifies the settlement of human life in these rock shelters during the Stone Age in India.
- In the beginning, remarkable Buddhist and Jain rock-cut structures were excavated by the Buddhist monks for prayer and residence purposes. The best example of this is Chaityas (prayer halls) and Viharas (monasteries).