Nation Current Affairs 14 Mar 2019 Iron Age dolmens vic ...

Iron Age dolmens victim of development in AP

Published Mar 14, 2019, 2:28 am IST
Updated Mar 14, 2019, 3:15 am IST
3,000-year-old tombs pillaged, bulldozed to build bridge.
Archaeologist E. Sivanagi Reddy, and Durga temple trust board member Gudapati Padmasekhar inspect the dolmens at Tangeda village on Wednesday.
 Archaeologist E. Sivanagi Reddy, and Durga temple trust board member Gudapati Padmasekhar inspect the dolmens at Tangeda village on Wednesday.

Vijayawada: A number of dolmens, estimated to be belonging to the Iron Age (Megalithic period), are in danger of being lost forever to the relentless “development” activities at Tangeda village in Dachepalli mandal of Guntur district.

These sites, dating from 1000 BC to 500 BC, are structures build from locally available slabs of Palnadu limestone. They still house the skeletal remains of the dead of the Iron Age.


These monuments were explored by archaeologist and CEO, Cultural Centre Of Vijayawada and Amaravati Dr E. Sivanagi Reddy as part of the heritage awareness programme ‘Preserve Heritage for Posterity ‘launched by the CCVA on Wednesday.

Dr Reddy in his extensive survey on the right side of the river Krishna towards the north-west direction of Tangeda village and lying to the left of Tangeda- Vadapalli bridge built across the river that connects AP and Telangana, noticed 20 Iron Age dolmens.

He was shocked when the local cattle grazers and shepherds informed him that about 80 of such structures were mercilessly bulldozed during the construction of the bridge ten years ago and a few were appropriated as building material by the not not aware of their archaeological importance, for various purposes over a period of time.

Dr Reddy also spotted a few dolmens considerably smaller in size meant for burying the children whereas the larger sized monuments built of four Palnadu limestone slabs measuring 2x1.5x1.5 meters in length, breadth and height above the ground level and arranged in Swastik pattern with each stone interlocking with the other assuring structural stability, over which it is covered by another slab.

The famous archaeologist said that the entire structure was raised on a flat slab that served as floor of the burial on which the skeletal remains were interred except in a few occasions, deposited in a small size stone trough.

Since these Iron Age monuments are located at a distance of 10 km from Dachepalli in Guntur district of AP and about a km from Vadapalli in Telangana, Dr Reddy suggested that the site could be developed as an archaeological or heritage tourist destination by adding a prehistoric theme park with basic amenities.

He appealed to the state government to declare the dolmens protected monuments and for vigilant upkeep of these 3,000 to 2,500 year old archaeological remains for posterity.