(Last Updated on : 19-01-2010)
South India a land that has a magnificent history is also a territory that attracts thousands of archaeologists. Beneath the fertile land of the deccan, anthropologists have discovered tools, utensils and also burial sites of prehistoric man. Mangadu, in Kerala is a newly discovered prehistoric site where megaliths are found in large numbers. The date of the Mangadu megaliths is approximately from 1000 B.C. to 100 B.C.
Shaped like a hat or a an umbrella these megaliths found in various parts of Kerala, including Mangadu are known as topikals meaning 'hat stone' and as kudaikals which mean 'umbrella stone' because of their shape. The stones used in these megaliths were laterite and it was available close by this site. The topikals were prepared by first digging a pit and placing four stones vertically in it and then covering it with a circular stone, thus making it look like a cap or hat. The burial urns were kept beneath in an underground hole. The kudikals were also made in a similar manner, but with the small difference that the stone, which was kept on top, was big which resulted in an umbrella-like appearance.
In addition to the topikals and the kudikals, there are some rare kinds of megaliths found in Mangadu. Some of these unique features are stones, which are kept in circles, which intersect each other, many burial urns kept together and also a burial roofed by several capstones.
Like other Stone Age sites across the country, the findings at Mangadu reveal a lot about the prehistoric men who lived at this place. The jars and other earthenware, which have been found here, show the kind of pottery they used and the techniques employed to make them. Some of the objects were handmade while others were created on the potter's wheel. Interestingly, the discovery of iron implements here such as sickles, knives, etc. and iron slag, reveal people living in Mangadu used iron in manufacturing things and even prepared iron metal. The metal artifacts reveal that the people of Mangadu were essentially farmers who practiced agriculture.