Narmeta, Siddipet

Excavation at Narmeta sets back region’s history to 3,500 years

Beads made of bones and used as ornaments and two conches found

The ongoing excavation at Narmeta and Palamakula villages in Nanganur mandal of Siddipet district may set back the history of the region to at least 3,500 years as the excavation site belongs to Megalithic period.

Burial site

The Department of Archaeology and Museums has taken up excavation at Menhir burial site at Narmeta, located between Siddipet and Husnabad. Two burial sites – a Menhir and a Cairn burial –were selected for excavation. The sites were named Meg-I and Meg-II.

The excavation at Meg-I was done adopting quadrangular method. This Menhir burial has double circles of boulders.

The diameter of Meg-I is 14 metres and it has 24 boulders forming the inner circle and six boulders on the outer circle. It has the Menhir planted on the northern side, which measures 2.9 metres in height and 95 cm in width. A capstone found at this site measures 6m long, 4m wide and 65cm deep.

Beads made of bones and used as ornaments were found at the burial site. Similarly, four fire stands and two conches were also found during the excavation. The officials believe this would help throw some light on the culture of that period.

Cultural phase

According to the officials of Archaeology Department, Megalithic excavations are marked by a tomb, built of huge stones either dressed or undressed.

These tombs built in south India represent a distinctive cultural phase which succeeded the primitive Neolithic culture.

Also know as Iron Age, the Megalithic period is dated between 1,000 BC and second century AD.

Interesting artifacts

“The Meg-II is located on the northern side of Meg-I and has diameter of 10m. There are no boulders at this site. At a depth of 1.3 metres, we found an oval shape pit with loose soil. We were able to collect redware pots, pointed-shape iron arrowheads and conches,” Assistant Director (Archaeology) P. Nagaraju toldThe Hindu .

“The excavation that took place at Pullur banda indicates that it belongs to 500 BC and people might have migrated from north west of India. Eleswaram in Nalgonda district dated back to 1,200 years and we believe that this site may belong to 1,500 BC. However, the actual date can be ascertained only after carbon-dating,” said Niraj Rai, a senior scientist from the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB).

A capstone in the shape of a human body was excavated at Narmeta village,  This is the largest capstone ever discovered by the department in its 100-year history. It was excavated near an ancient human burial site and is said to be at least 2,750 years old.

Though there was initial euphoria that it was the world’s largest capstone, director of department NR Visalatchy said that it would be premature to say so.

“This capstone is 6.7 metres in length. Usually, they are half or one-third of its size. Only one stone was used for the entire body and another one to cover the head,” Visalatchy said.