Archeologists have unearthed the largest capstone after excavating a pre-historic Menhir Megalith burial site from the Neremetta village of Naganur mandal in Siddipet district, India.
“The ancient human burial site excavated by Telangana Archaeology in Narmeta village in Nangunuru mandal has led to a stunning discovery of the world’s largest capstone,” said Dr. Ramulu Naik, assistant director, Archaeology Department.
Naik and his team started the exploration one fortnight before the discovery under the supervision of N R Visalatch who was the director of Telangana Archaeology and Museums Department.
The research team led by Dr. Naik took the measurement of the capstone, it was 6.70 meters in length, 65 cm thick and four meters wide. According to Archaeology, the weight of the capstone was about 40 tons.
The effort to lift this massive capstone was coordinated by S S Rangacharyulu, archeology consultant and K Padmanabha, assistant director (museums), as this mission requires great precision and caution. A large crane lifted the huge capstone at the excavation site. It took 4 hours to execute the operation.
Dr Naik said in a statement, “We can’t say it’s the world’s largest as there could be much larger ones. We don’t know, but we can safely say that this is the largest capstone found in South India and one of the largest in the country.”
Researchers also found almost 50 odd megalith burial sites in this area.
The archeological department is all set to undertake DNA testing of various artifacts that have been discovered at this site which will help in tracing the linage of pre-historic humans, their food habits, lifestyle and how their population later became extinct.
Ancient Indian peoples used to cover their graves with capstones to protect the body from predators. They used to believe that soul of dead people leads an afterlife inside the grave. Researchers classified those burials in three categories: Menhir, Cairns, and Dolmens.
Researchers also found skeletons, skull, arm bones and ancient pots from the burial sites. Total five pots found at that place, three of them were red ware and two pots were black and red combined ware. Assistant director P Nagaraju said that there also have an ironware at the bottom of the menhir.
By using radioactive carbon dating process, researchers calculated that the Megalith burial sites were from 1000 BC and the latest one was from 200 AD. However, those bones are still under research. CCMB and the Deccan College of Post Graduate Research, Pune scientists are conducting DNA analysis for deeper understanding.