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Steps to preserve megalithic burial site

Staff Reporter

It is 2000 years old and one of the largest spots


  • More than 200 dolmens found
  • Paintings adorn the dolmens
  • Locals damaged a few

    — Photo:N. Bashkaran

    ARCHAEOLOGIST'S DELIGHT: The megalithic burial site at Mallachaniram near Krishnagiri.

    KRISHNAGIRI: The Archaeology department has taken steps to preserve a 2000-year-old megalithic burial site — reckoned to be the largest in the State — at Mallachandiram, 19 km from here.

    More than 200 dolmens (tombs) of four types, dating back to the megalithic period (3 BC-3 Common Era), are found in the village. These include Cairn circles and tombs of nomadic tribes.

    A majority of the dolmens were built of vertical slabs with portholes on the eastern side. Rectangular slabs, similar to railings, encircle these structures, which have passages made out of small rectangular slabs.

    Inside the dolmens are paintings portraying human figures, bows and arrows, animals and symbols.

    Department sources say the locals, unaware of their archaeological significance, dismantled a few dolmens. The damaged slabs would be rebuilt. Chemists from the department will be involved in preserving the paintings.

    This burial site provides sufficient proof for the vestiges of a megalithic civilisation in a radius of 50 km in and around Mallachandiram.

    A similar megalithic burial site was discovered at Irulabanda village in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh.

    Paintings to be documented

    Collector Santhosh Babu said a plan was being worked out to document and preserve the pre-historic paintings and dolmens at Kuruvinayanapalli and Thalapallam, hero stones at Nagundapalayam and the megalithic habitation sites at Mallapadi and Maharajakadai.

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