Prehistory of Kerala

A Dolmen in Mayaroor (Kerala)
A Dolmen in Mayaroor (Kerala) - Prehistory of Kerala - Image Source: Sanandkarunakaran
There are several pre-historic and historic sites found in Kerala. One can trace the history of Kerala to the paleolithic age and its relationship with other cultural formations such as Indus Valley Civilization during the Bronze and early Iron age.

The findings have been classified into Laterite rock-cut caves (Chenkallara), Hood stones (Kudakkallu), Hat stones (Toppikallu), Dolmenoid cists (Kalvrtham), Urn burials (Nannangadi) and Menhirs (Pulachikallu).

In 1974, first paleolithic sites were discovered in North Kerala (ie. districts of Kannur, Wayanad, Calicut, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kottayam and Thiruvananthapuram). The Paleolithic man used small pebbles as tools for hunting purpose. Later stone tools were excavated at Kanjirapuzha, Nilambur and Thenkara.

Though there are no major Neolithic site found anywhere in Kerala. There are few minor evidence of Neolithic man activity found in Marayoor and Edakkal. Dolmens found in Marayoor regions, are locally known as muniyara, derieved from the combination of muni (sage) and ara (dolmen). Similarly "A man with jar cup" engraving connect Kerala with Indus Valley Civilization.

Iron Age/Megalithic Culture in Kerala

The Megalithic Culture of Kerala or South India is represented by burial monuments (Megaliths). Since the use of iron coincides with this period, it is also known as the Iron Age culture. Different types of material remains of this age have been reported in various parts of Kerala. These are artifacts made of terracotta and metals such as iron, copper, bronze and gold.

The Iron Age culture in Kerala has been broadly dated from 1000 BC to 100 AD based on the dates at one of major Iron age site in Kerala (Mangad). However, the Iron age sites are spread throughout the present state of Kerala.

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