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3,000-year-old megalithic site discovered in Khammam

P. Sridhar

— Photo: G.N. Rao

BACK IN TIME:Students of the Department of History, S R & B G N R Government Degree College, at the site near Padugonigudem village in Khammam district on Thursday.

PADUGONIGUDEM (Khammam Dist.): A megalithic site comprising earliest stone sculptures reportedly dating back to more than 3,000 years has been discovered atop a hill near Padugonigudem village in Gundala mandal, 120 km from the district headquarters.

An exploration undertaken by the Department of History of Khammam-based S R & B G N R Government Degree College under the guidance of K.P. Rao of University of Hyderabad has led to the discovery of the megalithic site of immense archaeological significance.

The team led by Prof. Rao unearthed the site, believed to be an ancient megalithic complex, during their expedition to the spot atop a hill called ‘Rakasi Konda' in the local parlance, which is surrounded by forest a few kilometres from Padugonigudem on Thursday.

They spotted several rare monuments including the megalithic burials and the anthropomorphic statues (human-like statues) at the site.

The team embarked on the expedition sponsored by the District Resource Centre of the College after one of the history students Vuke Susheela, a tribal girl who hails from Padugonigudem, informed the faculty of the department about the ‘Rakasi Gullu' in the adjoining forest area near her village. Guided by Susheela and her family members, the team headed by Prof. Rao traversed through the tough terrain braving scorching sun and reached the site atop Rakasi Konda hillock. The team documented the archaeological monuments with the help of scientific tools. Head of the History Department, Prabhakar Rao, lecturer John Milton accompanied Prof. Rao.

Three types

Speaking to this reporter at the site, Prof. Rao said, “We have found three types of burial monuments at the spot. These include monuments containing a huge cap-stone elevated on three or four boulders, without any vestiges below known as dolmens and monuments consisting of a capstone supported by boulders, but the whole monument is buried partially, which are known as dolmenoid cists besides the third type of monuments featuring trimmed side slabs and stone circle,” he said.

“The statues, carved out of sand stone available abundantly in the region, measure between 4 feet to 10 feet and are planted in front of the dolmenoid cists,” he said elaborating that some monuments have two statues planted together. Some of the statues, which could be dated to 1000 BC, have female features in the form of breasts, which are very rarely found, Prof. Rao said.

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