Page:Pre-Aryan Tamil Culture.djvu/12

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yet known in Southern India.' In the graves have been found articles of gold, bronze and iron and pottery. Among them were diadems of gold of various sizes and oval shape. "Some have a strip extending beyond the two extremities with a small hole for a wire or string at each end. They are thin plates ornamented with triangular and linear dotted design. Of iron, many implements were found (Mr. Rea's list of them numbers 3,940), always placed point downwards, as if they had been thrust into the surrounding earth by the attendant mourners. There are no implements or weapons in bronze, all articles in this metal being vessels of varied shape, personal ornaments such as rings, bangles and bracelets, or ornaments which have been attached to the bases and lids of vases, such as buffaloes with wide curved horns. The domestic animals represented in bronze are the buffalo, goat or sheep and cock; and the wild animals are the tiger, antelope and elephant. There are also representations of flying birds. There are sieves in bronze in the form of perforated cups fitted into small basins, the metal of these cups being extremely thin, and the basins only a little thicker. The perforations in the cup are in the form of dots arranged in a variety of designs, chiefly concentric circles around the bottom, and concentric semi-circles sometimes interlying around the rim. There is no evidence of cremation at the place; this assures the great antiquity of the remains, for the custom of burning corpses spread in Southern India along with the Aryan cult from North India.

In the Pudukottah territory I have found rows of early iron age graves several miles long. The one near the village of Annavāśal, ten miles from Pudukottah, is the most notable of these burial sites. The graves are of oblong shape, each oblong consisting of a double square, the side of the square being two cubits in length. It is lined throughout with well-polished stone slabs and the two compartments are separated by another similar slab forming a wall between the two. In one of the squares was probably buried in an urn a chieftain or other ancient nobleman and in the other his wife. There is a circular hole in the middle of the slab separating the compartments, probably to allow the ghosts of the buried persons to communicate with each other. In a niche in the recess in each compartment, a stone lamp was placed which was probably lighted when the person was let into the grave. Inside the urns, as in the graves of the previous age, were placed the ornaments and implements of the dead person, and a tray full of foodstuff. The tools found in these graves are both of stone and iron; proving that the older stone tools continued to be used, more especially, for religious purposes.

A new fashion of tombs called megalithic, because they were built of big blocks of stone, was introduced in the end of the neolithic or the beginning of the iron age. Modern anthropologists are of opinion that the fashion began in the Nile Valley and spread in the wake of an ancient Egyptian sun cult. This shows that there was much intercourse, cultural and commercial, between ancient India and Egypt.

Mr. Longhurst gives the following description of a megalithic tomb he found in Gajjalakonda, in Kurnul District. 'The tomb consists of a large rectangular chamber about 10 feet in length, 5 1/2 feet in width and 7 feet in depth with a small entrance passage on the south side, 4 1/2 feet in length, 1 1/2 feet in width, and 3 feet high. The sides