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Archaeology is primarily concerned with the recovery, systematic

description and study of material culture in the past. It is essentially a study of
"relict artefacts". Clarke ( 1979 : 100) rightly pointed out that of the full range
of human activity patterns and social and environmental processes that
occurred in the past, archaeologists have access only to a sample of associated
material remains, that in turn have been deposited in the archaeological
record, survive to be recovered and have actually been recovered. And it is on
the basis of this limited, "static", surviving record that we have to reconstruct
the once "dynamic past" (Patrick 1985)

In addition, the materials we excavate do not come out of the ground

with labels attached. We have to assign meanings to them and read
interpretations into them The past material cultural 'text' has no words,
grammer or structure accessible to our contemporary verbal language.
Herein comes the importance of contextual archaeology. To understand
the meaning of an object it is essential to understand its context.
The significance of the objects is always relative to its context (which
implies more than fortuitous juxtaposition). The object signifies itself through

.. L. Patrick. "Is there an archaeological record ?" Advances in Archaeological Method and
Theorys 8 (1985): pp. 27-62.

What we produce is an interpretation which is not of the past but which we think stands for the
past (Ricoeur 1984). What we infer about the past on the basis of artefactual material is
dependent on the questions we ask and the methods we use. Interpretation of material culture,
thus belongs to the present rather than the past, and hence, must be seen as partial and situated
(Shanks and Tilley 1984: 4).

a "web of relations" with other things which make up a context, a signifying
field, the material equipment of a language (Thomas : 60). Therefore a study
of the kind of stratigraphic deposit -- floors, house collapse, refuse pit or
burial chamber is important in the interpretation of meaning content as we
shall shortly discuss.
We must be careful not to think of material items as abstracted things,
existing outside of a social world. A material complex would most certainly
have been integral to a past social tradition. As Thomas (1989 : 159) rightly
says : "Each of the 'complex artefacts' ... then, was a concrete manifestation of
a series of networks of significance, involving personal histories of people,
substances, skill and symbolic references ... these items never existed outside
of a social world : they were constantly engaged".
I propose to discuss the various classes of artefacts in Vidarbha, in
terms of their context i.e, those found in the burial areas and those found at
the habitation sites. It would I think prove useful to contrast deliberate if not
meaningful/symbolic internment of body and artefacts in stone circles, on the
one hand with residues in the habitation mounds, on the other. The latter
constitutes lost, discarded, curated items or lost or broken things which cannot
be reused. Objects in stone circles would represent only one or two specific or
discontinous acts of disposal whereas habitation places would have a
continous process of artefacts being lost or discarded

The significance of grave goods is that tomb offerings rarely represent

a random sample of the relevant material culture. They are selected and
deliberately interred. The interment is probably a public/social statement,
whereas the breaking of a necklace, from which beads roll off, is not.
Even the absence of certain objects in burials would be deliberate, say due
to their utility as everyday equipment or their being considered inappropriate

'Here we can go back to Geertz's nation of culture as context i.e., within which all social events,
b4haviour, institutions and processes can be "thickly described".

The oft repeated criticism, that of scarity of archaeological material for comparison purposes
from Vidarbhan habitationallayers is, therefore, not very valid.

in a place for the dead. In habitation debris, except in the case of hoards or in
the case of very quickly destroyed or abruptly abandoned sites, the objects
found are those which have been discarded/lost/curated.
Because of this difference we will not dwell on a false dichotomy of
the "richness" of grave sites in contrast to habitation sites or vice versa, but
restrict our comparison to the presence and absence of elements in these two
contexts and point out which artefacts are unique to the one or the other. We
will examine what is similar between Vidarbhan megaliths and habitations
artefactually and suggest what is implied by presence or absence.
Amongst the various artefacts proposed to the studied are :
(a) Pottery
(b) Iron Objects
(c) Copper Objects
(d) Gold Objects
(e) Beads
(f) Stone Objects

(a) Pottery_:
At the various habitation cum burial sites of Vidarbha, we come across
Red, Black, Black-and-Red and Micaceous Red wares. Dark Grey Blotchy
ware is also encountered at some sites. Throughout the Vidarbha region, the
Micacous Red ware pottery is the most profuse. Painted pottery has also been
reported from a majority of the sites but the quantity is limited

The majority of the ceramics found in the Vidarbhan habitation and

burial sites are wheelmade. Handmade pottery, though not very frequent, is
not altogether absent in the megalithic burials.
For the prepration of pottery, suitable clay was selected and sometimes
mixed with mica, lime, sand or straw to give the clay the requisite coarseness.

We do not come across any evidence of Painted Grey Ware (PGW) in the Vidarbha region.

At many of the Vidarbhan sites there are mica flakes found nor only on the
surface but the core. For example, as in the Micaceous red pottery at Naikund
(Deo and Jamkhedkar 1982: 14)

The most prevalent pottery of the entire Peninsular Megaliths is the

Black-and-Red ware 2 However, in Vidarbha, though well represented this
ware was not predominant. For example, at Takalghat and Khapa, the Black-
and-Red ware was the third in quantity. At Mahurjhari too, it stood at the
same position. But at Naikund this ware predominates numerically (it forms
54 percent of the total ceramics collection) in both habitation and burials

At Vidarbha Black-and-Red ware was generally thin sided, highly

burnished but with limited shapes amongst which rimless bowls, stands and
dishes with either convex or double carinated sides predominate. As also
exotic lids or covers with decorated finials in the forms of birds, goats,
bulls or other animals. The available evidence indicates that these exotic
shapes are entirely restricted to megalithic graves and none have so far been
found in habitations. It appears, therefore, that these were essentially funerary
or ritual types, not in formal, everyday use.
4 5
At Takalghat (and Khapa ) graffiti was evidenced on Black-and-
Red ware pottery. Graffiti was found both on the internal and external
surface.They are all linear patterns. At Raipur too graffiti (as also pointed
pottery with black-on-red and white-on-black designs) was noticed but on

The pottery was obviously made from locally available clay as there are abundant quantities of
mice in the clays of the Vidarbha region (Deo and Jamkbedkar 1982: 14).

However the Black-and-Red ware found in Vidarbha is thicker, full of mica and less glossy,
although there is a general similarity in the fabrics found further south.

On the whole, at all the megalithic sites the Black-and-Red ware is more profuse at burial sites rather
than habitation sites with the exception of Naikund ( Deo and Jamkbedkar 1982: 14).

At Takalghat graffiti-bearing potsherds were reported from phase IB, the second phase of
megalithic habitation at the site dated between 550-450 B.C.

s. At Khapa a single sherd of coarse Red ware with incised triangles occured in one circle.

Fine Black Burnished and Grey-Brown wares. The graffiti from the Raipur
stone circles is unique because the incisions in atleast two specimens represent
an almost complete figure of an animal, though it is difficult to identify it.
According to the excavators, "the animal figure at Raipur further adds to our
knowledge about the variation in concept of burial practices between the
different centres of megalithic cultures in Vidarbha" (Deglurkar and Lad
1992: 102). Intrestingly, the graffiti bearing ware (as also the painted pottery)
was restricted exclusively to megaliths 2 and 7, the two chambered megaliths
at Raipur.
Painted Black-on-Red ware (i.e., Painted designs in black on red ware)
was represented at Takalghat, Junapani, Mahurjhari, Khairwada, Naikund and
Bhagi Mahari. However painted pottery is not very profuse, and occurs more
frequently in the context of habitation than stone circle sites. For instance, at
Naikund it forms only 2 per cent of the ceramic collection and was found
present primarily in the habitation mound. The amount of painted pottery
recovered at the Naikund habitational deposits was three times that
encountered in burials (Deo and Jamkhedkar 1992 : 15). And at Takalghat,
though painted pots were recovered, they were completely absent at the
adjacent stone circles of Khapa and Gangapur. It may, therefore, not be wrong
to observe that painted potery was more for everyday use than funerary
Micaceous Red ware is prevalent at all habitation and burial sites in
Vidarbha. Typologically, the Micaceous Red ware found in burials is similar
to that recovered from habitation sites. Throughout the Vidarbha region, the
Micaceous Red ware is the most dominant. At Mahurjhari, it maintained its
numerical superiority uniformily in the stone circles of all the four localities
excavated between 1970-72. As also at the other sites. Naikund, is one of the
exceptions. Here Black-and-Red ware is larger in number. It forms 54 percent
of the total ceramic data, whereas Micaceous ware represents only 32 percent
(Deo and Jamkhedkar 1982 : 14-15). Large storage vessels constitute a major
shape in this type as also a few dishes. Micaceous Red ware at the sites being

considered at Vidarbha, contain mica flakes in the clay in profusion which makes it
brittle. The core is blackish and the surface rough and coarse because of the mica.

(b) Iron Objects:

Among the metals, iron, copper and gold are represented at Vidarbha
megalithic sites. Of the metal objects, iron objects are the most numerous and
varied. Infact at many Vidarbha sites, for example Raipur, iron objects
constitute the most numerous artefactual evidence

Iron objects have been found at both habitation and burial sites, though
some are exclusive to one or the other. In Table No. II, I attempt to look at the
various types of iron objects in the context of two habitation and five burial
sites. I have grouped the iron objects under the following headings:
Tools and Implements
Objects of domestic use
Horse Bits
Few objects like horse bits, axes with cross-ring fasteners and iron
lamps are found only at burial sites And interestingly hoes have been found
at more burial sites than habitation mounds [only Naikund habitation site has
given evidence of its presence out of all the Vidarbhan habitation sitest
We would, if we believed Leshnik's hypothesis have expected the reverse
of an agricultural implement.
I have given another Table (No.III) vis-a-vis iron objects but this
one pertains specifically to Raiput I wanted to test Deo's hypothesis that

'At Raipur, an approximate 160 objects of iron were recovered from the eight excavated circles
(Deglurkar and Lad 1992: 40).

.Takalghat habitation mound is the only exception. Here two specimens of iron lamps have
been found (but the number at the nearby Khapa and Gangapur sites is much higher).

The burial sites at which hoes have been discovered are Bhagi Mahari (IAR 1982-83 : 61 ; IAR

1983-84: 58-58), Borgaon (IAR 1980-81 : 40) Mahwjhari (Deo 1973a: 47 ; IAR 1978-79: 71)
Raipur (IAR 1984-85 : 53-55), Kamptee (Rivett-Carnac 1879 : 5).

As reproduced from Deglurkar and Lad eds. Megalithic Raipur 1992: 156.

tools of offense, were amongst the most numerous of iron artefacts ( 1985 :
92). The breakup of the iron objects of Raipur (Table-III) does not
confirm this. Infact, tools and implements like adzes, and objects of
personal use like nail parer are more numerous that weapons so found.
That iron was locally smelted has been evidenced at Naikund. The
site has both habitation and burials. The exact location of the iron-
smelting furnace was located with the help of the Three-Probe Resistivity
Survey 1 It may be pointed out here that Naikund is situated close to a
small the magnaferrous belt (Parshivini). It has been calculated by Gogte
(1978 : 59) "that the megalithic smelters used 10 to 12 kg iron ore in a
single smelting operation producing 3. 0 to 3. 2 Kg. pure iron". It was worth
mentioning that the iron artefacts recovered at the various megalithic sites
of Vidarbha show a very high percentage of pure iron.
Iron objects recovered from the other habitation and burial sites of
the some period in the Vidarbha region show the same composition as
those from Naikund Therefore it can be inferred that the iron objects
were manufactured at the smelting site at Naikund and supplied to the
other megalithic sites in ancient periods. Besides the role of itinerant
blacksmiths as suppliers of iron objects throught this region should also be

(c) Copper obiects:

There is observed a co-occurance of copper and iron objects at all

Vidarbhan megalithic site (habitation or burial) though objects of iron are far
greater in number.
There have also been recovered some objects involving the use of iron
and copper in one piece. For example, domical bells with iron clapper and

V.D. Gogate, Appendix II "Megalithic iron smelting at Naikund, Discovery by Three-Probe


Resisfivity Survey" in S.B. Deo and A.P. Jamkhedkar eds. Naikund Excavation. pp. 52-55.

V.N. Bboraskar, Mabajan, Gogte. "Analysis of ancient Iron objects with 14 Mev Neutron
activation analysis", J.Radioanal. Nuc. Chern. 1985: 73-79.

copper bars with iron rivetting have been discovered at Naikund (Oeo and
Jamkhedkar 1982 : 37 -38).
The range of copper artefacts have been considered under the
following headings in Table-IV :
Horse Gear
Table IV shows that there is a far greater presence of copper objects in
stone circles than the habitation sites. Infact at Naikund, all the copper
artefacts came from the stone circles, with the habitation mound yielding only
corroded pieces of copper (ibid. : 36). And according to the excavator the
workmanship of the objects is noteworthy in as much as several bowls and
dishes as well as horse ornaments have been executed out of a thin sheet of
copper (ibid.).
The large number of copper objects exclusive to burial sites are :
(a) Copper bangles
(b) Copper rings and necklaces
(c) Dishes and bowls with decorative lids
(d) Dishes and bowls sans the decorative lids
(e) Lid finials with bird or bud motifs
(f) Lipped bowls
(g) Globular Pots
(h) Cup with tapering sides and a small handle
(i) Horse face ornaments
(j) Horse bells (or other bells)
(k) Loose components of horse gear.

Takalghat is the only habitation site to have so far reported copper bangles and that too
only two in number. I am not sure about their prevalance at the habitation sites of Bhagi
Mabari and Khairwada as their excavation reports are not so far available.


Let us take a brief look at the copper artefacts recovered from the
burial sites.

Bangles: Bangles at Raipur and Mahurjhari [for which more details

available] have a diameter ranging between 3.0 - 7.5 ems. and thickness
between 0.5-1 - 3 ems. The bigger and thicker varieties must have been worn
either on the forearms, the upper arm or the feet. The lighter and thinner
varieties (which are less numerous at Raipur) must have been worn around the
wrists of forearms 1
Bangles at many-a-circle were found in clusters of four, six, seven,
eight or nine. In some megaliths they were found in association with human
skeletal remains. In fact at Mahurjhari, (Meg 1, loc. IV) a group of four
bangles were found around a piece of bone identified as a fragment of human
femur. And at Raipur (megalith I) fragments of an armbone were found
sticking to a group of three bangles. But more often the bangles, though an
item of personal use, do not occur in those megaliths which contain human
skeletal remains. For example, at Raipur 14 bangles of both the larger heavier
and the smaller varieties came from megalith 2, which is devoid of human
skeletal remains.
An analysis of a copper bangle from Khapa (Munshi and Sarin 1970 :
78) was found to contain copper 88%, iron 3% and tin 8.5%. Therefore the
bangle seems to have been made of an alloy which can be called bronze (ibid.:
The Bangles are mostly well made, hammered out of copper bars. The
thick and big sized bangles have open terminals decorated with etched
chevron designs. According to Deo, "... besides the decoration, it appears that
the makers had taken extreme care regarding the finish of these bangles as it is
clear from the perfect faceting of the sides" (1973 : 39).

'The IAR report (1961-62 : 33-34) concerning Junapani refers to 'anklets' and not bangles.

What we can deduce is that copper bangles had a strong association

with burials with or without human skeletal remains. More so with those
which did not have andy skeletal remains, thus implying that they might have
had some thing to do with funerary rituals rather than simply as personal
Rings : Two small rings ('nose' and 'finger' rings according to the
excavators [Deglurkar and Lad 1992 : 26]) were found at Raipur in megaliths
7 and 2 respectively.
Chains : Three fragmented pieces of thin copper chains, with interlocked
circlets were found at Raipur megaliths 1 and 3 respectively. In megalith 1,
the necklace has been found associated with the very same skeletal remains,
probably those of a sub-adult of female sex (ibid. 146) associated with light-
weight small bangles.

Dishes with decorative lids : These particular dishes had tin convex sides
with more-or-less rounded and inturned rims (the two Khapa specimens
thicken at the centre of the base), with conical lids of thin copper sheets
capped by finials with bird and bud molifs. The finials were attached to the
lids with rivetted clasps. The rivetting of finials/knobs over a copper sheet
usually with iron pins bespeaks the mastery of these people over metal
technology. Copper knobs were also fitted in the same manner over copper
face-sheets for horses.

Horse Gear:
Face ornament: Horse face ornaments have been found at some of the
burials associated with the skeletal remains of the horse. For example, (1) the
piece at Khapa (megalith 6) was found over the mouth portion of a horse
skeleton (though badly disturbed). (2) The 41-part head ornament of a horse
in megalith 2 of Raipur was also found in association with fragmented skeletal
remains of the horse. However such ornaments at Mahurjhari were not

necessarily found associated with horse skeletal remains. For example, the
most intact ornament, in Loc. III, Megalith 8. This ornament was found along
with remains of iron bits buried close to the south of twin human skeletons.
By far the most elaborate and artistic expression of copper working is
the 41-part horse head gear in megalith 2 at Raipur. It consists of 13 hollow
tubular pipes (serving as spacers according to the excavators), 12 leaf-shaped
pendants, 11 rounded buttons with clasps, 3 conical bells with loops for
suspension and 2 pendants (one cresent shaped and the other the shape of a
tortoise). In the same circle, according to the excavators, in an adjacent area
were recovered a copper tubular spacer and 2 copper ornamental axe-shaped
pieces of horse gear, along with two iron horse-bits. "The circle is, thus, well
stocked with 'horse' paraphernalia and what is more with actual remains of a
horse, which were recovered from the same area as the head-gear, in the
eastern half of the circle" (Deglurkar and Lad 1992 : 147).

(d) Gold Objects:

A glance at Table V indicates that gold objects were only found in the
context of cemetries. But gold is not something we just discard. Therefore it is
unlikely to occur often in habitation debris.

(e) Beads:

The occurrance of beads made of semi precious stones is frequent in

the megaliths of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh upto Mahabubnagar
districe. Beads are found at occurring both at habitation and stone circle
The minerals used varied and include beads of agate, chalcedony,
carnelian, shall jasper, crystal and glass. The most profuse are the
ones made of carnelian followed by beads of agate. Out of the 392 beads

'K.P. Rao Deccan Megaliths, (Delhi., 1988) p. 106.


recovered from Mahurjhari, 312 are made of carnelian (both etched and non-
etched). Out of 123 beads from Khapa and Gangapur, carnelian and jasper
beads alone constitute 101 beads. At Borgaon 300 etched and non etched
beads have been recovered, out of which a majority are made of carnelian and
jasper. Instances of glass beads, however are very isolated (and that too at
only the stone circle sites of Mahurjhari and Khapa). There is also no
evidence of local glass making available so far. So in all probability these
beads were from outside the region.
Etched beads are found decorated with a white pattern on the surface
of the carnelian/agate by treatment of an alkali like soda. The shapes and
decorative patterns of etched beads have parallels at other megalithic sites

As far as the manufacture of this extensive profusion of beads is

concerned, local bead making has been suggested at Mahurjhari by the
excavator (Deo 1972 : 32-33). According to Deo, the unfinished state of some
beads indicates that it was a bead making centre. No beads from the other sites
were found in an unfinished state.
Table VI indicates that the beads exclusive to burials are those made of
either glass or green jasper. Shell and terrecotta beads are restricted to
habitation sites. The rest are common to both habitation and burial sites.

(f) Stone Objects :

Stone objects which can be identified as pounders or pestles have

occasionally been found in stone circles. The muller stone is also found
associated with a stone circle at Raipur. Infact it was the sole object found in
one of the rare 'chambered' megaliths at Raipur (megdalith 7). The exact
purpose for the internment of these stones in megalithic graves is unknown.
Pounder stones have also been reported from Naikund ( Deo and Jamkhedkar

.. M. Dikshit, Etched Beads in India (Poona, 1949).


1982 : 39), Takalghat, Khapa (Deo 1970 : 55) and Mahurjhari (Deo 1973 : 57-
58( And a Muller stone from Borgaon (IAR 1980-81 : 40). At Borgaon were
also recovered legged querns.
Stone objects found are made of local stone, i.e., basalt and red
sandstone though a few stone objects at Naikund were exceptions. For
example, the polished stone axe of Naikund was made of tremolite schist not
available in the nearby area Thus it is possible that the axe came to
Naikund possibly through some contact.

Discussion :
When comparing deliberately interred stone circle artefacts with
residues in habitation mounds we come across certain artefacts which are
common to both and certain which are exclusive to stone circles like certain
types of pottery, iron objects (e.g. axe with cross ring fasteners), a wide
variety of copper objects and stone objects (like muller stone).
At Raipur, megalith 2 and 7 , the two chambered megaliths revealed a
wide range of exclusive items. These were :
(a) Pottery with particular graffiti design as well as painted pottery.
(b) A variety of objects of iron, with megalith 7 being the richest in
the haul of iron objects. A conspicuous presence is that of iron
lamps at this stone circle besides those at Meg. 2 and 3.
(c) Copper objects like bangles (exclusive to megalith 1,2,3,7),
chains, globules pots with decorative lids, bells and horse head-
gear. Megalith 2 has revealed a 41-ornamental horse head-gear.

'Their "freshness" at Maburjbari bas led to the surmise by the excavator that they were possibly
kept ready for burial ritual (Deo 1973 : 58).

. A reconnaissance survey of bard rock geology around Naikund by Rajaguru (1982: 64) did not
reveal the presence of tremolite schist in an area1about 25 Sq. Km. around Naikund.

). Megalith 3 (which bas on inner cist) also bas some exclusive items.

(d) Beads occur in profusion in megalith 2 and 3 with clusters of

135 and 80 beads respectively

(e) Gold rings were recovered from megalith 1 and 2.

I wonder it would be worth investigating if the above artefacts (no

doubt restricted in their circulation) recovered from megaliths 2 and 7 at

Raipur could be associated with social position in society? However, it must

be remembered that the search for rank in prehistoric societies is a complex

problem (Brown 1981 : 36-37) Moreover, symbols of authority/status/rank

are not so easily identifiable in the archaeological record. 'Rich graves' are not
accessarity reflective of the high status of the deceased (Ucko 1969) An

archaeologist examining graves needs to be alert to the possibility that the

identity of the living may have been disguised or inverted in death (Okeley
1971 : 86)

I agree with Burger (1992 : 206) who in his discussion of the Chavin

cult remarks that while grave goods have much to tell us about "differential

patterns of consumption and unequal distribution of wealth in the past

societies, the inclusion of these objects was ultimately an aspect of funerary

rituals which was intended to convey public messages to the living.

Consequently they do not always mirror the social realities of the past."

'Megalith 7 however does not have beads (except one or two stray carnelian beads).

J.A. Brown 1981. "The search for rank in prehistorical burials" in Robert Chapman (ed) The
Archaeology of death. (Cambridge, 1981) pp. 26-37.

P.J. Ucko, "Ethnography and archaeological interpretation of funerary remains" World
Archaeology 1 (1969) : 262-80.

1. Okeley "An anthropological contribution to the history and archaeology of the ethnic group"
in B.C. Burnham and J. Kingsbury (ed.) Space. Hierarchy and Society British. Archaeological
Reports S59 (Oxford, 1979).

Thus, two entirely different kinds of archaeological processes as

represented by habitation and burial sites did not produce entirely different

patterns in terms of presence/absence of artefact types. Most of the artefact

types known in burials also occur in discard context in habitations. A few

types were found exclusive to the stone circles. This is not surprising

considering the funerary nature of the site where these items were deliberately

being interred, obviously as a part of some kind of funerary ritual. However,

all the stone circle sites did not reproduce the same combination of object

types as, say at megalith 7 at Raipur. What therefore, distinguishes burials at

one site and across sites (and also burials and habitation sites) was a

"diagnostic combination of objects and materials" (Thomas 1996 : 166).


Habitation Sites Burial Sites

Takalghat Naikund Khapa Gangapur Mahurjhari Naikund Raipur

Micaceous Red
ware (thick and
~ ~ ~ '
~ ~ ~
brittle variety)
Medium thin, mica
coated Red ware ?
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
ware ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Burnished Black
ware ~ ~ ~ ? ~ ~ ~
Fine Grey-Brown
ware X X X X X X ~
Blotchy Grey-Black
ware X ~ X X X X X
Tan slipped ware
~ X ~ ~ X X X

Habitation Sites Burial Sites

Takalghat Naikund Khapa Gangapur Mahurjhari Naikund Raipur


Painted Black-on-Red
~ ~ X X ~ ~ ~

Animal Graffiti on
Fine Black Burnished
and Grey-Brown wares X X X X X X ~

Habitation Sites Burial Sites

Takalghat Naikund Khapa Gangapur Mahurjhari Naikund Raipur

DAGGERS --1 ? --1 X --1 ? --1
Fragmentary Fragmentary
knife or a knife or a dagger
daqqer blade blade
BLADES --1 X X --1 --1 X --1
Fragment Blade Fragment with
ARROWHEADS --/3 X --/4 --11 --/3 X --/7
Arrowhead with Tanged Arrowhead Tanged Arrowhead Tanged
barbed blade Arrowhead
restricted to Tak
SPEARHEADS X ?2 --11 --12 X X --/4
Spearhead or Spike Spearhead or Spike
?*T. X X X X
Sword according to the
excavator but according to
me it could also have been a
KNIVES X --1? X X X --1? --1
*1 Single speciman found at Meg. 1. Khapa. Its length made it distinctive as also the sections of its long tang blade. The balde showed one sharp edge.

*2 These are long pieces with longish leaf-shaped blades and long squarish tangs which end generally in a knob. Rea (1915) has termed such pieces recovered at
Adichanalfur as~. According to Deo (1970 : 48) they are fairly abundant in the stone circles at Mahurjhari (locality Ill) and could have been used as throw-
missiles in hunting fast-moving game etc.

Habitation Sites Burial Sites

Takalghat Naikund Khapa Gangapur Mahurjhari Naikund Raipur

AXES WITH X X -v -v -v X -Y4
-v -v -v -v -v -v -Y2
WITHOUT* 3 or more
HOES X -v X X -v -v X
ADZES -Y2 -v .V15 .V9 -v -v -v
large no. 12 in Meg. 7
CHISELS .V1 -Y4 .V6 .Vs or more -Y2 .Vs
HOOKS X X .V Fish hooks according to X X -v X
the exacavator (Deo) but
look more like parts of an
iron lamps/ladles*2
* The Takalghat axe was different from the burial ones. It had an elongated body with a thin rectangular convex butt end and a straight and broad working end.
The one in burials have a thick broad body convex but flat butt end and working end bevelled to a sharp convex line with or without the cross ring band fastners
(but more often with). The Naikund habitation axes are more or less like the Takalghat one with a convex butt ent, straight cutting edge and cross fasteners
* Compare Figures 26,27,28,29 [Deo 1970] with Figures 42,43 [ibid]. The former figures are of iron lamps and the latter supposedly of fish hooks. The latter look
more like parts of an iron lamp to me.

Habitation Sites *Burial Sites* 1

Takalghat Naikund Khapa Gangapur Mahurjhari Naikund Raipur


HOOKED LAMPS* 2 -12 X -la -17 -115 X -11

NAIL PARERS X -11 -la -17 -122 X -la

Fragmentary nail parer

IRON CAULDRON X -11 X X ,; -11 -11

Much broken but similar to Fragment of a dish with a flat
the one in the burial area. base and with raised straight

* At Kamptee too a lamp was found" ... comparable to types in Parthian Taxila and probably also matched by the badly corroded specimen found in the recent
Junapani excavation (fig 2). But an alternative identification might be that of a spoon lamp, such as, as found by Meadows Taylor (1941 : 102) in a Hyderbad
Pandukal burial" (Leshnik 1970 : 507).

* Hooked lamps have also been identified as ladles elsewhere (Deo 1970 : 45). The absence of a channel or a pinched border for holding the wick is argued
against identification as lamps. However they look more like lamps to me. The long handle of the lamps is sometimes curved out to facilitate better hold.
Such a lamp /ladle has also been recovered from Junapani (IAR: 1961-62 :91; Pl. LVA). Rea in Catalogue of Prehistoric Antiquities from Adichanallur and
Perumbair (1915) refers to hanging iron saucer-lamps (p. 19,20) and iron-pendants which may have been used for suspending such saucer-lamps (p. 21 ).

Habitation Sites Burial Sites

Takalghat Naikund Khapa Gangapur Mahurjhari Naikund Raipur

or iron objects
associated with X X .J .J .J .J .J
horse gear

IRON OBJECTS Meg 1 Meg 2 Meg 3 Meg 4 Meg 5 Meg 6 Meg 7 Meg 8


(I) Dagger X X X X X -../(1) X X

(ii) Spear-heads X -../(1) -../(2) X X X X X

(iii) Arrow-heads X X X X X X -../(7) X


(i) Axes X -../(2) -../(2) -../(2) X X -../(1) X

(ii) Chisels X -../(3) -.J (1) X -../(1) X X X

(iii) Bar Chisels -../(1) X X X X X -../(4) X

(iv) Adzes -../(4) -../(7) -../(11) -.J (1) X -../(1) -../(18) -.J (2)
(v) Knives X X X X X -.J (1) X -.J (1)
(i) Nail-Parer -../(8) -../(6) -../(7) -../(1) X -../(4) -../(12) -../(3)
(ii) Lamp -.J (2) -../(4) -../(5) X -.J (1) -.J (2) -../(1) X

(iii) Utensils -../(an iron X X X X X X X

HORSE GEAR X -../(6) -../(4) X X X X X

Habitation Sites Burial Sites

Takalghat Naikund Khapa Gangapur Mahurjhari Naikund Raipur

Bangles* 1 -..J2 X -..J-24--..J -..J87 X -..J46
Rings X X X X X X -..J2
Charm necklaces
X X X X X X -..J3

Dishes and bowls with

decorative lids.-3 X X -..J2 or more X -..J2 intact -..J3 -..J3
Dishes and bowls sans the
decorative lids ?-.4
X X X -..J -..J -..J

Lipped bowls X X X X X -..J1 X

Lid finials with bird or bud
motif X X X X -..J X -..J

* Bangles have also been reported from the habitation sites of Bhagi Mahari (IAR 1982-83: 62) and Khairwada (IAR 1981-82: 52) and the burial sites
of Bhagi Mahari (ibid), Khairwada (ibid) and Junapani (IAR 1961-62: 33-34).
* All the copper utensils were found to contain nothing but earth. It is only in one case at Mahurjhari (Locality Ill) fragments of human teeth were
found kept inside .

..3copper lids with birds or animal molifs have been reported from Adichannalur (Rea, catalogue 1871 : Pl.11, Nos 16-17, 21-29) and other South
Indian megalithic sites. However today no tribe from Vidarbha or Madhya Pradesh, is reported to use such lids in any material (Deo 1970 : 53) .

.-4_ The excavation report (Deo 1970 :51-53) is not very clear about the presence of dishes and bowls without decorative lids.

Habitation Sites Burial Sites

Takalghat Naikund Khapa Gangapur Mahurjhari Naikund Raipur

Globular Pots X X X X X --J2 -v
Cup with tapering sides and X X X X X --J1 X
a side handle. *
Face ornaments
X X -v X -v -v -v
Domical bells with
? (a small size, X --J 7 or 8 X -v --J3 -vs
squattish hollow cover
with a ring hold, no (2 domical +3 conical).
perforation) The conical ones found
with the horse head gear
of Meg 2.
Loose components of horse
X X ? X -v -v -v
[snaffle etc.]

* It is interesting to note that this kind of an object as well as copper lipped bowls have not been noticed from any other megalithic site in India
(Deo and Jamkhedkar 1982 : 36).

* Some of these bells, like at Khapa, were found to contain bone pieces (Deo 1970: 52). It is therefore quite possible that they served as bells
around the neck of a horse.

Habitation Sites Burial Sites

Takalghat Naikund Khapa Gangapur Mahurjhari * Naikund Raipur
Rings* X X X X --.) --.11 --.12

Earrings X X X X --.) X X

Gold leafs X X X X --.) --.) X

Necklaces .-3 X X X X --.12 X X

* Mahurjhari is the richest site in terms of recovery of gold objects.

*2 Mahurjhari reports both circular and spirralled rings. Deo (1973 : 55) and Raipur reports one of each (Deglurkar and Lad 1992 : 24) .

.-3. Two necklaces have been found at Mahurjhari. One, a necklace of four cabled strips of gold with thin wire hooks at the end; with the lower end
endowed with possibly a rectangular pendant of gold leaf bearing a series of vertically dotted shallow channels and probably fixed in a lacquer
base. Two, a complete size necklace made of gold wire, squarish in section, with hooked ends, the wire having three spirals of gold wire
inserted in it. These gold ornaments from Mahurjhari, have so far no parallels anywhere.

Habitation Sites Burial Sites

Takalghat Naikund Khapa Gangapur Mahurjhari Naikund Raipur

CARNELIAN --1 X --1 --1 --1 X --1

JASPER. --1 X --1 X --1 X --1

AGATE --1 X --1 X --1 X --1

CHALCEDONY --1 X --1 X --1 X X

RED JASPER --1 X X X --1 X X



GLASS X X --1 X --1 X X

CRYSTAL --1 X --1 X --1 X --1


Habitation Sites Burial Sites

Takalghat Naikund Khapa Gangapur Mahurjhari Naikund Raipur

Stone Axe X .-.; X X X X X

Mace Heads X .-.; X X X X X

Pounders .-.; .-.; .-.; .-.; --./s X --./1

Muller Stone X X X X X X --./1


Habitation Sites Burial Sites

Takalghat Naikund Khapa Gangapur Mahurjhari Naikund Raipur

Net Sinkers ..J Similarto X X X X X X

annular beads but
larger in size

Pottery Discs ..J Whorls? X X X X X X

Crucible* 1 --.) X X X X X X

*' A complete crucible, cylindrical in shape with an irregular mouth and glass-coated surface was recovered from phase 1 Bat Takalghat. According to the excavator it
was probably used for gold working (Deo 1970: 54).