PRELIMS SNIPPETS – November 16th 2022
Why in News?
- Recently, Andhra Pradesh has the largest anthropomorphic burial site collection in Tirupati district.
- A megalith is a large stone that has been used to construct a prehistoric structure or monument, either alone or together with other stones.
- Anthropomorphic sites are those marked by a representation of human form above the megalithic burials.
- Megaliths were constructed either as burial sites or commemorative (non-sepulchral) memorials.
- The former are sites with actual burial remains, such as dolmenoid cists (box-shaped stone burial chambers), cairn circles (stone circles with defined peripheries) and capstones (distinctive mushroom-shaped burial chambers found mainly in Kerala).
- The urn or the sarcophagus containing the mortal remains was usually made of terracotta. Non-sepulchral megaliths include memorial sites such as menhirs.
- In India, archaeologists trace the majority of the megaliths to the Iron Age (1500 BC to 500 BC), though some sites precede the Iron Age, extending up to 2000 BC.
- Megaliths are spread across the Indian subcontinent. The majority of megalithic sites are found in Peninsular India, concentrated in the states of Maharashtra (mainly in Vidarbha), Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana.