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Siruthavoor: An Iron Age-Early Historical burial site, Tamil Nadu, South India
Author: Smriti Haricharan. x+92 pages; illustrated throughout in colour and black & white. 269 2016. Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781784914356. Epublication ISBN 9781784914363.
Book contents page
Archaeological artifacts such as stone tools, ceramics, coins, metal implements, and ornaments like beads, are generally used to evaluate and understand the history of humans. These artifacts are especially important for the study of periods that lack concrete literary evidence. Intangible aspects such as spiritual beliefs and ceremonies, as well as tangible but perishable objects, are lost in the passage of time but artifacts are more likely to survive the vicissitudes of time. Pollen analysis, plant ecology and not least prehistoric archaeology have contributed to the recognition of the transitional zone between uncontaminated nature and what eventually became known as a cultural landscape. Cultural landscapes are looked upon not only as products of human intervention, but also and in particular as the result of human desire to leave an imprint of control and power, often associated with territoriality and religious or political ambitions. Megalithic burials, which are found in vast numbers in southern and central India, are a well-known global phenomenon and their builders have left behind a landscape altered by their funereal remains.

This study aims at using and understanding man-land relationships in order to better comprehend the megalithic burials of Tamil Nadu. Funereal remains are one of the most important lingering means of understanding society, customs and religion of pre and proto historic periods. Many questions remain unanswered for the Iron Age of south India, and the megalithic burials are an important piece of this puzzle. This site specific study helps us better understand some aspects such as spatial distribution, chronology and post depositional changes of the burials at Siruthavoor.



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