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Brahmi scripts found on Neolithic axes in Kerala

PTI | Last Updated: Monday, July 28, 2014 - 13:03

Thiruvananthapuram: A senior archaeologist has found engravings and and Brahmi scripts on some artifacts collected from the surroundings of Kottaman Thodu near Kaladi in Ernakulam district belonging to the Neolithic period.

The discovery sheds light on the existence of Megalithic and Neolithic culture in the area.

The stone implements were examined by Dr P Rajendran, UGC Scientist and Archaeologist in the Department of History of the Kerala University on collections of Andeth Ali in Mekkaladi of Ernakulam district.

"I examined a large collection of artifacts collected by Ali from the surroundings of the Kottaman Todu in Kaladi, one of the tributaries of the Periyar river. Collection includes artifacts belonging to the Neolithic and Megalithic cultures," Rajendran told PTI.

Examination of the Neolithic Axes had identified and deciphered Brahmi scripts on three axes among the 18 of them, he said.

Several Brahmi scripts and a few graffiti-like marks were seen incised on three of them, on one surface of each and the opposite side is blank.

The other Neolithic artifacts in the collection include beads made of semi-precious tourmaline rock, saddle querns, and round and cylindrical millers.
Megalithic artifacts in the collection included urn burial potsherds, iron implements such as spear-heads, daggers, arrow-heads and sickle.

Both the Neolithic and Megalithic cultural materials did not suffer much rolling, indicating that the nearby area around Mekkaladi in Kaladi in Ernakulam district in Central Kerala were inhabited by the Neolithic and Megalithic people in the late Holocene period, he said.

Earlier Brahmi scripts were reported from Menalloor temple near Kariavattom in Thiruvananthapuram and Kannur in Kerala, he said.

Such Brahmi scripts and graffiti markings had been reported from the Megalithic context from Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka.

"The wide occurrence of such ancient scripts in South India and Sri Lanka probably show greater antiquity than the evolved Brahmi script of the Asoka period. In this context the discovery of the Brahmi scripts on the Neolithic Axes from Kerala is significant," Rajendran added.

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First Published: Monday, July 28, 2014 - 13:03

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