Situating megalithic burials in the Iron Age-Early Historic landscape of southern India

Publication Type:

Journal Articles


Antiquity, Antiquity Publishing Ltd, Volume 87, Number 336, p.488–502 (2013)



cairns, cists, dolmens, first millennium AD, first millennium BC, Iron Age-Early historic, OSL, Siruthavoor, South India, stone circles, Tamilnadu, urn burial


The megalithic burials of southern India?a wonderfully varied set of monuments?have long needed a chronology and a context. Broadly contemporary with the Roman and Sasanian empires, these dolmens, cairns and cists have continually raised contradictions with their material contents. The authors attack the problem using luminescence applied to pottery at the site of Siruthavoor in north-east Tamilnadu. Although sharing material culture, this first pilot project gave dates ranging from 300 BC to AD 600, so exposing the problem and perhaps, in OSL, its long-term solution.


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