MENHIRS...the foreground one is shaped unusually. Wonder why ?

MENHIRS...the foreground one is shaped unusually. Wonder why ?
THARPAKHNA

The word megalith has stemmed from the merger of two Greek terms of "mega" meaning large and "lithic" signifying stone.

Presently the megalithic tribes of India use various structures of stone as burials or memorials of the dead. However in the past megaliths were not only sepulchral/funerary structures but were also used both as memorials of the dead and to commemorate various events of the family and that of the community. Megaliths were found even to be used as boundary markers and also as astronomical structures.


Each passing day numerous ancient megaliths get destroyed in India and we have no record of this disaster. It is sad that no government agencies like the ASI, the State Archaeological Depts and the District Administrations demonstrate any interest in their protection perhaps for their tribal origin and also possibly because megaliths to them do not appear to be significant relics of our land.

In actuality prehistoric megaliths are a significant source of our ancient history and their preservation is imperative as these monuments are evidences that India was indeed a land of the tribals in hoary times. A few of them however suggests that astronomy and geometry was known to the megalithic tribals millennias prior to the emergence of the Brahmanical astronomer/mathematicians. Obliteration of prehistoric megaliths is bound to erase this verity.

To view a few photographs of megaliths of India visit:

http://www.megalithsindia.com/2010/11/images-of-megaliths.html

The photographs and essays from this website may be used for research purposes giving credit to it.

Come let’s celebrate megaliths…

DOLMEN of JHARKHAND

DOLMEN of JHARKHAND
LOHARDAGGA. JHARKHAND

Saturday, 24 November 2012

THE MEGALITHS OF BURZAHOM

by
Subhashis Das

(Megalith of India is indebted to Abhisek Mishra of Srinagar, Kashmir as without his assistance this post would not have been possible)


Photo showing the first excavation of Burzahom megaliths in 1935 by Helmut de Terra. Source: Search Kashmir.org


Boys play a game of cricket near the megaliths


The ruined megalithic site of Burzhaom is situated near a village of the same name about 16 kms from Srinagar in Kashmir.
About the time of Gordon there were five “massive” stones which were standing as written in his “The Prehistory of India”. That would be in the late 50s or in the early 60s. Today only two menhirs stand leaning. However it is difficult to articulate whether they were intended to be inclined (if not this much) or planted erect. 



The panoramic view of the megaliths

Research has shown me that quite a few leaning menhirs in India were deliberately positioned like wise with a purpose.The megalith is so baldy damaged more by humans and lesser by nature that it is very difficult to ascertain its original arrangement. But that the monument formed a semi-circle and the opening was intended to be oriented towards the Due East is yet somewhat apparent to this day. Many menhirs seem to have been broken up and towed away for possible domestic purposes.




Pic showing one fallen menhir with a deep hole and two broken menhirs with their remaining parts which have disappeared.


Many menhirs have holes dug into them...such holed stones found in megaliths all over the world is still a mystery. One recumbent black stone comprise few cupules which are quite deep and large in comparison to the normal cupmarks in Indian megaliths .


Cupmarks



The enormous size of the stones can be ascertained with Abhisek standing in the megalithic complex.

Excavation of the site have shown that the site has been raised on stone rubbles. Excavation has yielded no graves what so whatsoever confirming the megalithic complex to be a non-sepulchral monument. Many scholars have rated the megaliths to be memorials. But the site may possess astronomical inclinations too.


The exposed rubble of stone on which the megalithic complex has been positioned



Excavations have also revealed traces of Birch trees locally known as Burza. This confirms that Birch or Burza trees once grew here. Hence the term Burzhaom stems from the confluence of two words; "Burzameaning Birch trees and "hom" meaning place.
The first excavation of the site was conducted by Helmut deTerra. In 1935 he arrived in Kashmir with T.Patterson as part of the Yale Cambridge University excavation. Burzahom megaliths was also excavated by A.K.Sharma.
Excavation has confirmed the site having Neolithic occupation and has been dated to the first half of the second millennium BC. Pottery finds from the site confirm the possible prevalence of “satbharwan” like bone burying rituals of later times in here. Black and Red Ware, Gritty red wares too have been found from the megalithic site.

The site also houses dwelling and burial pits. These pits square and rectangular in shape have yielded a few human skeletons  and even the remains of a dog. The dwelling pits are oval and circular shaped with narrow tops and wide bases. It is yet not confirmed whether the underground pits were used for habitation purposes by the hunter gatherer folks of the place or for preservation of produce of their rude cultivation. Both the pits were dug into the compact natural soil.
Pre megalithic (Neolithic) pottery of all sorts ranging from gritty red ware, black polished ware to dark buffed coloured ones have been found from the graves. Sadly there is no museum to display the finds from the excavations.



Potsherds from the megalithic site

The Burzhaom megaliths is a tribal creation and as it falls on the migratory route of the Mundas venturing into mainland India, chances are that the primitive monument could have been created by some proto-Mundari tribes. Raj Tarangini too confirms this hypothesis expressing that the original populace of the place were the Pisachas and Nagas who were a constant bother for the later arrived Brahmins.The Mundaric tribes who created numerous megaliths on their journey to Jharkhand are still known as Nagabanshis…



©Subhahsis Das 

4 comments:

Brilliant piece of information.
Thanks Subhasis Das and others and i truly appreciate your efforts.
Abhishek Bose.

Very informative. Is there any information on why the stones would have purposely been set up in a leaning position?
Thank you for your work on this.

Dr.E.Lloyd
Thank you for appreciating the post.We have no information on your querry. There are no doubts the leanings must have had some meaning which the mainstream archaeologists very much ignore.
Enjoy the website and celebrate more megaliths...they need your support.
Subhashis Das

आपकी इस पोस्ट से कुछ नई जानकारियां भी मिलीं. चित्रों को शब्दों के साथ काफी खूबसूरती से संजोया है आपने...

MEGALITHIC ACTIVITIES IN INDIA

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Blog on Brahmagiri megaliths:


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First ever song composed on a megalith in India. Rajat Chandra sings on the fascinating megaliths of Punkri Birwadih:

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Rare megalithic sites discovered in Chattisgarh:

More than 200 megalithic sites found in Dhamtari and Mahasamund districts of Chattisgarh. Visit:http://www.deccanchronicle.com/channels/nation/north/rare-megalithic-sites-discovered-chhattisgarh-778