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Meghalaya saw Khasi presence since 1200 BC

By The Assam Tribune

SHILLONG, July 13 - Pre-historic megaliths and tools discovered in Meghalaya�s Ri-Bhoi district indicate that Khasi tribe, one of the major tribes in the State, had made the State their home since around 1200 BC.

Archaeologist Marco Mitri and a team of academicians from the North Eastern Hills University excavated the archaeological site near Lummawbuh village in the northern slopes of Sohpetbneng (heaven�s navel) Peak near the NH-40.

Mitri said they found megalithic stone structures, and iron implements which dates back to the prehistoric period in the ridge spreading over 1.5 km.

The excavation at Lumma-wbuh is the first one of a Neolithic site in Meghalaya.

�We had sent over 20 tools and implements including grains to Beta Analytic, a Miami-based laboratory for radiocarbon dating to confirm their age. The tests confirmed that these were dated to 12th century BC,� Mitri said.

The megalithic structures are used in the traditional mortuary practice which was popular among the tribesmen till a few decades ago.

�These Neolithic structures were first discovered in 2004 and it took at least a decade to confirm the existence of a settlement in the area till about 200 years ago,� Mitri said.

The British Archaeological Reports had in 2009 published Mitri�s work � �Outline of Neolithic Culture of Khasi and Jaintia Hills� and the archaeologist had also edited a book titled �Cultural-Historical Interaction and the Tribes of North East India� published in 2010. � PTI

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