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Megalithic site in Kerala
News: Recently, a large number of megalithic hat stones were discovered from a single site at Nagaparamba in Kuttippuram village, near Tirunavaya, in Kerala. This site is believed to be one of the largest unprotected megalithic sites in the state.
What are Megalithic Hat stones?
• Megalithic hat stones are ancient artifacts that were used as lids for burial urns during the megalithic period, which spanned from around 1500 BC to 500 BC in India. They are hemispherical in shape and made of laterite, a type of rock that is rich in iron and aluminum.
• They are also known as Thoppikkallu in Malayalam, the language spoken in Kerala, where many of these stones have been found.
What are the types of Megaliths?
• Some of the other types of megaliths include dolmenoid cists, cairn circles, capstones, and menhirs.
What do they reflect?
• Megaliths were not built for commoners. They signify the emergence of a ruling class or elite who presided over a surplus economy.
• Megalithic hat stones provide valuable insights into the life and beliefs of the people who lived in those times, as they reflect their customs, rituals, and artistic skills.
• They also indicate the presence of trade and cultural contacts between different regions, as some of the hat stones have been found to contain foreign objects such as Roman coins and beads.
What is their Geographical spread in India?
• Megaliths are spread across the Indian subcontinent, though the bulk of them are found in peninsular India, concentrated in the states of Maharashtra (mainly in Vidarbha), Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
• Even today, a living megalithic culture endures among some tribes such as the Gonds of central India and the Khasis of Meghalaya.