The cradle of civilisation - many cultures want to lay claims to this tag. When these claims are not backed by strong evidence, they step back to folklore, mythical storms, lost lands and sea incursions that magically wipe out all traces of civilisation, yet leave intact the memories. While we wait for more technological advances to enable more clear dating techniques, under water explorations etc etc, maybe in the near or distant future, i may be proved wrong on what i propose in today’s post.
Many cultures pride themselves on their antiquity and there is a conscious effort to push back the time frames to gain that extra yardage in terms of publicity. This is prevalent across all cultures and across continents. There is something that makes `yours’ special that you want to feed on it - that you are special and above the rest and want to prove that yours is the most ancient, technologically advanced etc etc. But then, there are certain events, that kind of make you sit up and realise reality - reasoning between the logical thinking of your brain and the vanity that still resides in your heart. Today’s post is one such.
On one side you have the reasoning like above, but on the other side you have things that completely baffle you, logically impossible coincidences. What we are going to see is one such. Stone Circles.
We were driving down a mud road enroute to Malaiyadipatti, inside pudukkottai district, when we chanced on a familiar blue board, albiet in a very shockingly sad condition.
Yes, an ASI warning signboard - but we were a bit perplexed that there were no temples or ruins around. So, i stepped down to investigate.
On closer scrutiny, we realised that this was where it all began…this was a stone circle. Dated to between 1000 to 300 BCE, these marked grave sites. Large urns, containing collected bones were buried in a small pit, and these stones mark the periphery.
The beauty of this is that, this was no random stones bunched together, but these were stones made of laterite - material which is not available in the near vicinity, but in some cases as far away as 10 - 20 kms away. So this was part of some definitive ancestral worship ritual.
The beauty to me lay in their perfect geometry and how they have lasted so many years.
But on the same side, i did realise that they were pretty rudimentary, no markings, no stone workings, no sculptures etc. True the contents of the cists were interesting and even recently the potsherds had a very scripts, Yet…
This comes to where we started with a few questions. True, there are definite accounts of atleast two major sea incursions in South India, destroying and permanently submerging vast tracts of land, swallowing advanced cultures - but even after providing for all those, would you return back to a iron age lifestyle - for this is not an isolated find, scroll through the ASI site and search for megalithic !!
The puzzle gets more interesting if you google for stone circles and find them all over the world.
But what i wanted to say in the post, would maybe not go down well with even a few of my friends - the Great Pyramids of Egypt had been standing already for 2000 years when our great great forefathers made these stone circles in Pudukkottai.