Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Stone Circles and Lines - Ghosts of our Past


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From modernity let's take a giant somersault back many thousand years!

Goa has many sites of Stone Age rock art, notably at Pansaimol, Kajur and Mauxi. The photo above is of a geometric design of concentric circles at the Pansaimol rock art site near Rivona in South Goa. There are over a hundred carvings in the lateritic rock bed there, which were buried under almost a metre of silt. They date back to 3000 to 5000 years BC! The shadows on the petroglyph (Petroglyphs are images created by removing part of a rock surfaces by incising, pecking, carving or abrading) are Alexander Henn, a German anthropologist and his wife. The brilliant photo is by me! And check out a similar design in England!





Travelling through Bali (also in Quepem taluka), I observed an interesting stone structure near a primary school. It is a megalith composed of three vertical stones with a horizontal stone beam. 'A megalith is a large stone which has been used to construct a structure or monument, either alone or together with other stones. Megalithic means structures made of such large stones, utilizing an interlocking system without the use of mortar or cement.' http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megaliths
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But megaliths (usually in the shape of a dolmen) have a flatter stone slab at the top and such structures were used as burial sites. This capstone seems trabeate (horizontal beam) in nature and may have had some other ceremonial purpose. The locals said it was for some ancient 'devosponn' (religious rituals). I'm just happy it has survived for so long. I must inquire with the Archaeological Survey experts and find out more about this megalithic dolmen.


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It is certainly not a 'dovornem'. A dovornem was a masonry platform built on forest pathways to rest the basket of trading goods carried by travellers. A single traveller would not be able to haul up the heavy basket he laid down on the ground. It was much easier to rest it and haul it off a higher platform or pillar. 'Dovor' means 'to keep' in our Konkani language.

Palaeolithic and Mesolithic art and architecture is intriguing, I must say!
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(Photo of petroglyph in England from Wikipedia)
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2 comments:

Megaliths of India said...

Jose,
The petroglyph is indeed excellent. Such unexplainable icons has been found in every part of the world, which definitely has origins in the fecundity cult of the now obsolete Mother Goddess religions once prevalent all over the world.
These Great Goddesses had inspired the megaliths makers to erect such startling and varied megalithic architectures all over the world.

Thank you Jose for such a wonderful information and and an equally brilliant snap.
Subhashis Das

jose said...

Thanks, Subhashis. Your blog is really educative. Learnt a lot from browsing there.

Regards
Jose