Hyderabad: Archaeologists have found a huge capstone, believed to weigh 10 tonnes, that was used to cover a menhir-type prehistoric burial site in Neremetta in Nanganur mandal of Siddipet district.
The capstone was placed over the grave to protect the bodies from predators, as the people at that time believed in rebirth.
An excavation was launched at the site, that is said to date back to between 1000 BC and 200 AD recently under the supervision of archaeology and museums director N.R. Visalatchy.
“We have to remove the capstone to see if there are skeletal remains, hunting tools and other implements that were normally buried along with the body,” Mr P. Nagaraju, assistant director of the department, said. “We have to bring heavy machinery to lift the capstone.”
The burial site is around 5.5 metres long and 3 metre wide.
A stone circle with 22 boulders has been found at the site. Over the burial site, one-metre quartz stone filling was also found.
Following the discovery of megalith burials in Pullurbanda near Siddipet, the department took up excavations in surrounding villages where the prehistoric people were believed to have habitations.
Mr Nagaraju said there were about 50-odd megalithic burial sites, classified into three types — menhirs, cairns and dolmens.
“With a view to understand the culture and traditions of the megalithic communities, we have selected two burial sites for excavation,” he added.
The CCMB and Deccan College of Post Graduate and Research Institute, Pune, will join the study after the capstone is moved from the spot.