Megalith: Assam – Today Current Affairs
- Recently, archaeologists have identified 65 large sandstone urns (megaliths) believed to be used for rituals at four sites in Hasao district of Assam.
- Earlier in the year 2020, the State Department of Archaeology, Chennai had identified 250 Cairn-Circles from the Kodumanal excavation site in Erode district of Tamil Nadu.
Today Current Affairs
Megaliths of Assam:
- Some jars are long and cylindrical, while others are partially or completely buried in the ground.
- Some of them were up to three meters high and two meters wide. Some of the urns have carvings for decoration, while others are plain.
History of Megaliths in Assam : The Hindu Analysis
- For the first time in Assam in 1929 by British civil servants James Philip Mills and John Henry Hutton at six sites in Dima Hasao, Derebor (now Hojai Dobongling), Kobak, Kartong, Molongpa (now Melange Puram), Ndunglo and Bolasan (now Nuchubanglo). The vase was seen.
- Two more sites were discovered in the year 2016. In the year 2020, four more sites were discovered by the Department of History and Archeology at North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong, Meghalaya.
- 546 urns were found at one site, Nuchubanglo, which was the largest such site in the world.
Significance of the findings : The Hindu Analysis
- Although the ‘Jars’ are yet to be dated scientifically, researchers said that the stone ‘Kalash’ found in Laos and Indonesia can be seen together.
- There are typological and morphological similarities between the ‘Kalash’ found at all three sites.
- It has not been observed anywhere else in India except in the Northeast, pointing to the fact that at one time a group of people with similar cultural practices dominated the same geographical area between Laos and Northeast India. The Hindu Analysis
- Analysis done at the Laos site shows that ‘Kalash’ sites were located at the end of the second millennium BC.
- Researchers in Laos said there was a “strong connection” between stone ‘urns’ and mortuary practices, in which human skeletal remains were found buried around ‘urns’.
- The function of the ‘urn’ in Indonesia is unclear, although some scholars suggest a similar role for the morgue.
- More research is needed to understand the ‘potential cultural link’ between Assam and Laos and Indonesia.
Megaliths / Megaliths : The Hindu Analysis
- A megalith or ‘megalith’ is a large prehistoric stone that has been used either alone or in combination with other stones to build structures or monuments. Today Current Affairs
- Megaliths were built as burial sites or memorial sites.
- Formerly sites with actual burial remains such as dolmenoid cysts (box-shaped stone burial chambers), cairn circles (stone circles with defined perimeters) and capstones (distinctive mushroom-shaped burials found mainly in Kerala).
- The urn or coffin containing mortal remains was usually made of terracotta and megaliths include monuments such as menhirs. Today Current Affairs
- Archaeologists in India have unearthed most of the megaliths in the Iron Age (1500 BC to 500 BC), although some sites date back to 2000 BC before the Iron Age.
- Megaliths are spread across the Indian subcontinent. Most of the megalithic sites are found in peninsular India, concentrated in the states of Maharashtra (mainly in Vidarbha), Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.