Ooty: Discovery of Petroglyph (rock carvings) deep inside the jungles in Kotagiri slopes, second such discovery in the Nilgiris, points to the possible presence of an ancient human culture in Kotagiri limits in the pre-historic period, about 4,500 years ago.
R. Kannan, an engineer in Kottacombai area in Kotagiri, discovered the petroglyph in Keezhkondi jungles in Kotagiri. Mr. Kannan, whose interest in rock art and anthropological studies, made him to work on a documentary on the rock art in the Nilgiris, said that the Nilgiris has a treasure of historically significant sites and artifacts which includes Neolithic cave art , hero stones , statues, ancestor worship ground and many monuments of interest to scholars of anthropology, archaeology and ancient history.
Many researchers indulged in pre-historic study sites from India as well as from different parts of the world visited the Nilgiris in the past for their studies and still continue to visit, making Nilgiris as their research ground.
“Millenniums ago, before the advent of written or scripted language the ancient humans used paintings as their medium/tool to communicate.
They used stone tools to scratch or carve or engrave on to the cave walls or rock surfaces. They used wild flowers and coloured stones and all that nature could offer as pigments to paint. Thus the early humans documented their culture through the art form,” he pointed out.
Already, petroglyph site was discovered in 2004 at Thalamokkai Airbedu near Konvakarai in Kotagiri, by other researchers, wherein petroglyph of trees, animals , mountains and a warrior with shield and sword was found. Now, another petroglyph site has been found at Keezhkondi, which lies deep inside the jungles between the tribal villages Semmanarai and Vanangapanai. The art here showed that this is much older than the Airbedu site, he added.
On how he made it to this new site, Mr. Kannan explained that he had been in touch with tribal folks who frequent the jungles for honey gathering. “Recently, one Nataraj, a tribal youth, took shelter near a rock in Keezhkondi. To his astonishment he found petroglyph in a rock and informed me about it. I then proceeded to the site with Nataraj, in the challenging terrain, along with Mahendran, Sudakar and Kumaravel, who are interested in rock art. The petroglyph in this site can be considered as Neolithic period one. The petroglyph of tree, human face, face of animals and box shaped images are found on the rock there,” Mr Kannan added.
“The discovery of this petroglyph site in this millennium would help research further on the presence of human population in the Kotagiri slopes 4,500 years ago, their culture, tradition and other related factors.” he noted....