Giant megalithic site in Kerala
Recently the Kerala State Archaeological Department has found a large number of megalithic ‘hat stones’ from a single site during the archaeological excavations carried out at ‘Nagaparamba’ in Kuttipuram village near Tirunavaya.
- The team found several megalithic burial sites and remains during pipeline work, including a unique rock-cut laterite burial chamber, which inspired the excavation.
- A large number of pottery vessels and distinctive iron tools have been recovered from the site, which throw light on the culture and life of the people who lived in the region 2,000 years ago.
- Ashes were discovered within urns and under cap stones, which is distinct from the more common occurrence of cremated bones. This suggests unique mortuary practices at this site.
Hat Stone (Thoppikkallu)
- Hat stones, called ‘thoppikallu’ in Malayalam, are hemispherical laterite stones that were used as lids on burial urns during the megalithic period.
- Archaeologists say it may be arguably the largest number of hat stones at any unprotected site in the state.
- It is feared that several Hat Stones have been inadvertently destroyed by local people in recent times. Some local people say that they had no idea of the Hat Stones’ archaeological significance, and that many of them were destroyed when they cleared their land for house construction.
- It should be known that in Kerala, hat stones were kept in many ways to cover the Kalash Shavadhan.
- Kudakkallu, commonly seen throughout the state of Kerala, consists of curved blocks on the ground. There is a hollow in the middle, and on top is an umbrella-shaped rock called the Hat Stone.
- On the other hand in Thoppikallu cremation process, an umbrella shaped rock is placed above the ground.
- ‘Muthummakthazhi’ or ‘Nannangadi’ (funeral urn) is another form of megalithic funerary monument, in which the body is buried in a large urn. These urns have been found in many coastal areas of Kerala.
Source – The Hindu