Megalithic burial site discovered at Thorenoor

A megalithic site, consisting of ‘Menhir’, ‘Dolmens’, stone circles and cists, has been discovered along with the pots during a recent archaeological exploration at Siddalingapura- Arasinakuppe at Thorenoor village of Somwarpet taluk.

The exploration was made by Prof T Murugeshi of the Department of Ancient History and Archaeology, MSRS College, Shirva, at the behest of Manjunatha Devalaya Samithi, Belthangady Arya Prathishtana and Yogeeshwara Siddamutt.

Prof Murugeshi said the upright huge stone on or near the burial site is generally described as ‘Menhir’. They are slightly bent towards some direction. The Menhir discovered at the spot is 3.15 metre in height and one metre in width. This stone is roughly conical and sharp at the top. It is slightly bent towards the earth and oriented to the west, he added.  Another type of megalithic burial site discovered is ‘Dolmen’. They are commonly found in South India, including Karnataka.

The district is a home of Dolmens. The Dolmen is a square stone house, constructed by four huge stone slabs and covered by a mega capstone. It has a port hole of about two feet on any one of four huge stone slabs. They containe primary or secondary bone remains with potteries, he said.

At Siddalingapura-Arasinakuppe, the team noticed a complex of dolmens buried in the soil, with each one having their own stone circles. There are eight dolmens, one dolmen already is damaged by the locals and they have already made it their dustbin.

When the work on Manjunatha Swamy temple at  Siddalingapura-Arasinakuppe was in progress, the labourers accidentally spotted the megalithic stone slabs and potteries. The potteries included, wide opening globular pots of red ware, miniature red ware, black and red ware and pyriform black jar. The findings at the sight clearly indicate that the site is a Megalithic one and needs a systematic digging to understand the cultural and material things of the site in a proper way. The Department of Ancient History and Archaeology, MSRS College, Shirva, intends to excavate the site with the permission by the Archaeological survey of India, Prof Murugeshi said.

Previous research

The discovery of megalithic stones are not new to Kodagu.

Moegling, as early as 1856, reported and excavated the Dolmens at Arameri villege near Alamanda house of Virajpet taluk. In 1867, Col Mackenzie excavated some dolmens located to the west of Virajpet. In 1869, Capt Cole excavated four megaliths near Ramaswamikanive. After independence, K K Subbayya had traced about 1,000 megalithic burials at Heggadehalli of Somwarpet taluk. He excavated four megalithic dolmens at Heggadehalli in 1971. In 1975, the Department of Ancient History and Archaeology, University of Mysore, excavated six megalithic dolmens at the same site. The Directorate of Archaeology and Museums in Karnataka excavated 11 megalithic burial sites at Heggadehalli in 1995-96.

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