New prehistoric rock art site found in Kerala

A new prehistoric rock art site has been discovered at Kappikunnu near Pulppally in Wayanad district, the others being the Edakkal caves and Thovarimala, all in Kerala.

New prehistoric rock art site found in Kerala
A rock engraving discovered from the new site that similar to one in Edakkal cave [Credit: The Hindu]
The petroglyphs (rock engravings) bear a close resemblance to those on the walls of the Edakkal caves on Ambukuthy hills. Four figures — one of two deer facing each other, and three abstract ones — have been found engraved on a huge chunk of rock. Other lines on a smaller rock that could have dislodged itself from the main rock, resemble a headgear. The rocks were found in the precincts of the Sree Veliyambam Kotta Siva temple, an apsidal temple (semicircular or polygonal in shape) believed to have been built in the 12th century AD, inside the South Wayanad Forest Division.

The petroglyphs probably date back to the Neolithic period, Gira Gratier, a scholar from Belgium, told The Hindu. Ms. Gratier, who was here as a part of her research project on the tribesmen of South India, visited the site after she was told of it by the local people. The site might be a ‘cosmic area’ where ancient people performed rites, she said.

The rock engravings might have been part of a huge structure in the past, she said. A recent exploration by the State Archaeology Department yielded a Neolithic celt from the area, K. Krishnaraj, Archaeology Department’s Officer in-charge of the Edakkal Caves, said.

The style of depiction of the anthropomorphic figure and some other figures at Edakkal resemble the figures at the new site, he said.

He also said that a stone inscription from the 9-10 century AD related to the Jain faith was discovered from the area some years ago.

Author: E. M. Manoj | Source: The Hindu [January 13, 2013]

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