Prehistoric rock paintings found in Telangana, history enthusiasts believe they date back 10k-30k years

History enthusiasts in Telangana have discovered a prehistoric rock paintings site, dating back at least 10,000 to 30,000 years, at Kasipeta in Yadadri Bhuvanagiri district.

The mesolithic age rock art site, located on a small hillock on a private land, was discovered by the members of Kotha Telangana Charitha Brundam, who then verified and cross-checked the paintings with research articles and published books.

The mesolithic age rock art site, located on a small hillock on a private land, was discovered by the members of Kotha Telangana Charitha Brundam. (Express Photo)

On the inner side of a hood rock shelter on the hillock, the group found several paintings in red ochre. A nearby cave is worshipped as Lord Venkateswara temple. “It is private land. There is no idol or temple. It is a hood rock cave and on the lower side and inside there are paintings that resemble what we have seen at Edathunoor in Sangareddy district. Those paintings are well documented and established in history books,” said Sriramoju Haragopal, a retired headmaster and the group’s convenor.

The group identified four bisons, two men, and an animal resembling a horse. The human figure standing behind the four bisons was drawn using the X pattern. The painting of the other man standing near the bison is similar to the petroglyph of a man with a weapon at the Regonda site. The group believes that many rock paintings were lost due to the lime coating applied by local villagers.

Archaeologist Dr E Shivanagi Reddy confirmed that the rock paintings were authentic and discovered for the first time in the region. (Express Photo)

They found microlith rock tools on the downside of the hillock, apart from a cairn cyst and a menhir identified in the vicinity. They have also found evidence of pre-historic iron melting in a nearby cave in the form of iron slag and iron pieces, according to Haragopal. The microlithic tools, rock art style, and the items and bisons in the paintings indicate that the rock art site belongs to the microlithic age. The painting of the man with the weapon might be of a later historical period.

The paintings were examined and verified by Bandi Muralidhar Reddy, an expert on prehistoric rock art. A member and advisor to the group, Reddy was a student of Vishnu Wakankar who is considered the father of Indian rock art studies.

The mesolithic age rock art site is located at Kasipeta in Yadadri Bhuvanagiri district. (Express Photo)

Archaeologist Dr E Shivanagi Reddy confirmed that the rock paintings were authentic and discovered for the first time in the region. “This is a new site that is going to be added to the list of Telangana rock art sites. These rock-art sites are the first documentation of experiences man encountered as a hunter-gatherer. The purpose was to disseminate information for the future. From the Mesolithic age, this continued till the Neolithic and the Iron age,” he told indianexpress.com.

Haragopal said that 35 of the total 70 rock art paintings and carvings documented so far in Telangana are identified by members of Kotha Telangana Charitha Brundam, which translates to the New Telangana History Group.

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