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Ancient India: Unveiling the Mystique of Timeless Wisdom.



  Oct 20, 2023

Ancient India



Megalithic Cairn Circles: An Overview

Megalithic Culture:

Megaliths are large stone structures that were constructed as burial sites. The term 'megalith' is derived from two Greek words: 'mega' meaning large and 'lithos' meaning stone. These burials are prevalent in several parts of the world, including Europe, Africa, and Asia.

Cairn Circles:

Cairn circles are a specific type of megalithic burial. They consist of a circular or quasi-circular arrangement of stones, with a central cist or burial chamber made up of vertically placed stone slabs. This chamber often contained the remains of the deceased, along with grave goods such as pottery, tools, and beads.

Distribution in India:

In India, megalithic burials, including cairn circles, are primarily found in the Deccan plateau region, covering states like Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana. They are also found in parts of the northeast, central India, and the northern regions.

Dating and Significance:

The cairn circles in India are believed to date back to around 1000 BCE, though some might be even older. These burials provide crucial insights into the socio-cultural and ritualistic practices of the communities that built them.
The presence of grave goods suggests beliefs in the afterlife and the importance of equipping the dead for their journey to the next world.

Archaeological Finds:

Excavations at megalithic sites have yielded a variety of artifacts, including black and red ware pottery, iron tools, weapons, beads made of semi-precious stones, and terracotta figurines. These finds help archaeologists understand the technological advancements, trade networks, and cultural practices of the time.

Conclusion:

Megalithic burials, especially cairn circles, are an integral part of India's prehistoric archaeological record. They offer a glimpse into the lives, beliefs, and practices of ancient communities, emphasizing the continuity and changes in cultural traditions over millennia.


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