12,000 years ago, giraffe in Telangana

Rock paintings depict a range of wild animals like bison, elephant

Hyderabad: Rock paintings found in Telangana reveal the love humans had for art and nature as long ago as 10,000 BCE. These paintings also reveal that a plethora of wild animals existed across the length and breadth of the state once upon a time.

A shocking rock painting is that of a giraffe at Pandavulagutta in Warangal, as in the present world giraffes are found only in Africa. One can get a glimpse into the prehistoric man’s mind by looking at rock art which exists on walls and ceilings of caves, rock shelters and isolated boulders.

Most of the paintings depict a range of wild animals like bison, antelope, elephant, tiger, leopard, horse, crocodile, scorpion, crab, fishes, porcupine, insects, tortoise, lizard, langur, vultures, eagle, crane, peacock and butterfly. Everyday activities in paintings include hunting, honey collection, riding, rituals and even fighting. An interesting observation is that dancing is also depicted in a few paintings.

Symbol of the swastika, geometric shapes like circles and squares, icons for hut, fence, sun and honey combs, weapons like bows, arrows, sword and lancer are also present in the paintings. A line is drawn between legs to differentiate between males and females in stick paintings of humans.

One way archaeologists get to know about sites harbouring rock paintings is by their names as villagers name the hillocks bearing rock paintings depending on some dominant element. Some examples are Pulikonda-which has the image of a tiger and Pandikonda has the image of a wild pig. Pandavulakonda in Warangal was the first site explored by the Department of Archaeology and Museums.

It is underway to become a major tourist spot, said Sunita M. Bhagwat, director. It was discovered in 1990 under archaeologists Ramakrishna Rao and S. S. Rangacharyulu. At many rock painting sites, there exist layers of paintings traversing different ages indicating that at these sites, humans from the Mesolithic age to as early as 13th century BC used the same rock as canvas by applying white wash over an earlier painting.

( Source : dc )
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