Cave dating back to Iron Age found at Chelannur

Cave dating back to Iron Age found at Chelannur
Officials from the Krishna Menon Memorial Museum inspecting the cave.
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Kozhikode: The chances of unearthing more relics or other structural remains from the laterite rock-cut cave found at a private property adjacent to Echannur AUP School, near Chelannur, are bleak, according to officials attached to the Department of Archaeology.

A possible Iron Age structure, the cave was believed to be used by local people until at least fifty years ago after discovering it during the last century.

The discovery, however, was archaeologically significant as the rock-cut architecture date backs to the Iron Age, the experts said.

The excavation has so far yielded several utensils that are relatively modern. Analysis of soil collected from the site did not provide archaeological evidence of ancient life.

The officials presume that the cave might have been cleaned up by the latter-day inhabitants, thus destroying the evidence of earlier people’s lives which it had contained. Corroborating their claims, local residents stated that the previous occupants of the cave might have abandoned it due to infestation. The structure might have disappeared beneath the surface after its mouth got filled with soil with the passage of time, they added.

However, the current occupants of the property where the site is located are unaware of the cave’s history.

The stone seat and the model of the fire-hearth found during the excavation threw light on the fact that the cave belonged to the late Iron Age. It might have used as a vault to store skeletons of the dead as well as tools and pottery. The secondary occupants might have unintentionally destroyed all such evidence while cleaning up the structure for their use, the experts opined.

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The cave is now filled with debris and plastic waste. They were possibly trickled down through the layers of soil along with water.

Braving poor lighting and ventilation, the scientists are continuing with excavation and soil analysis inside the cave dwelling.

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