Rock Carvings (Petroglyphs) of Ratnagiri
- Recently, the proposed site for the Ratnagiri Oil Refinery and Petrochemical Complex in Barsu village in Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra has been at the center of a controversy.
- Some experts have raised concerns that the project could damage ancient rock carvings found in the region. Because of which experts have rejected the proposed mega oil refinery project in Ratnagiri.
- The rock art, or petroglyphs/geoglyphs, are estimated to be 20,000 years old and are classified as protected monuments by the State Archaeological Department and the Archaeological Survey of India.
- These rock artifacts are classified as protected monuments. These have been included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
- The petroglyphs are spread over several villages such as Barsu, Rundhe, Devihsol, Devache Gothne, Ukshi, Chawe and Kasheli. There are more than 62 geoglyphs in the Plateau of Barsu.
- This is the largest group of geoglyphs in the coastal region of Konkan. One of them has a large carving of a man and two tigers.
- Geoglyphs are rock art created by either positioning rocks, rock blocks on the ground. These rock carvings have been made during prehistoric times on hard lateritic rock.
- Petroglyphs are drawn by cutting, lifting, carving, or abrading part of a rock surface.
- Ratnagiri district has over 1,500 petroglyphs, also known as katal shilpa, spread over 70 sites. The carvings are in the shape of human figures, birds, animals and geometrical forms, although they differ in shape.
- Unlike the Bhimbetka and Mirzapur carvings, no animal hunting scenes are depicted here.
Source – Indian Express