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Menhir and megalithic burial sites


Source: TH

 Context: The TN Department of Archaeology has declared five ‘menhir’ (single stone) and megalithic burial sites at Kodumanal in Erode district as protected monuments.



  • Kodumanal, located on the northern banks of the Noyyal, made it to the archaeology map in 1961 when the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) started the first dig.
  • In the 2021 Budget, the State government announced that Kodumanal would be declared a protected archaeological site.


What are megaliths?

  • A megalith is a large stone that has been used to construct (burial sites/ commemorative memorials) a prehistoric structure or monument, either alone or together with other stones.
  • The majority of the megaliths in India are dated by archaeologists to the Iron Age (1500 BC to 500 BC), while some sites date back as far as 2000 BC.
  • Megaliths are spread across the Indian subcontinent. However, the majority of megalithic sites are found in Peninsular India.


Types of megalithic structures: Stone circles, Dolmen (placing a large capstone on two or more support stones), Cist (coffin-like box), Monolith (menhir), etc.