In a recent archaeological explorations conducted in the Megalithic Dolmen site at Mudukonaje near famous Jaina centre Mudubidare in D.K. district of Karnataka, we noticed unique terracotta figurines in diffrent status of preservation, along with bone and iron pieces, says Prof. Murugeshi, T., (Rtd) associate professor in Ancient History and Archaeology of Mulki Sunder Ram Shetty College, Shirva, in his press release here today.
Mudukonaje Megalithic site was discovered and reported by Dr. Pundikay Ganapayya Bhat (Rtd) in 1980’s. The site located on the left side of Mudubidare and Shirthdy road, and about 8 km from Mudubidare. Mudukonaje has an outcrop of a geneiss and had an elevation about 25-30 feet from the surroundings. It was a biggest Megalithic Dolmen site consisted 19 Dolmens on the slope of stone hill, but, only two dolmens are in intact and rest of the burials are in ruind.
What is Dolmen:
Megalithic Culture is known by its different types of burials and use of iron in India. Dolmen is one among them. Huge stone slabs known as orthostats erect in clockwise order, which creats a squre room. This squre chamber closed by an anthor huge stone slab as a cap stone. Generally, on the eastern slab a round or U shaped entrence known as port-hole was created. It was known by different names in South India like Kalmane, Pandavara Mane, Moriyara Mane, Moriyara betta, Panara Arekallu, Madmal Gunda, Kandi Kone, Kottya, Toonth Kal, Pandavara Kal and so on shows its popularity among the common people.
Terracotta Figurines: Eight terracotta figurines found in the Megalithic Dolmens of MuduKonaje. Out of eight two are Cow Bovines, one mother goddess, two peacocks, a horse? a hand of a mother goddess and a unknown object.
Description of figurines:
1. Cow Bovine: A solid hand made human body with bull head is about 9cm in hight and 5cm in width. It has a clear snout of a bull and Its feminity is well attested by two breast attached by applique method. A thin line of grove created from below the right arm till the left side of the neck. It has two arms but hands are broken, left arm shown turned towards the front. Flotten wide belley and a round section below the belley is shown. Indication of two legs is clearly found. elongated round bun at the back of the head as head gear is Shown.
2. Cow Bovine: It is another solid hand made figurine about 7.5cm in hight and 4cm in width. It has a bovine snout and an arch type head gear. It has applique ornamentation round the neck and bellow the belley. At the bottem thereis no legs but a prop to stand the image.
3. Third one is a solid Peacock about 11 cm hight and 7cm width. it was dipped into red ochre and its fethers down towards the earth.
4. Fourth one is also a Peacock but the elongated head created saparetly, which can insertable into a shallow body. The body is missing, the fethers designed upwards.
5. Torso of a mother goddess. No head, hands and legs.
Terracotta figurines found at Mudukonaje in a Megalithic context are a rare findings of India. They found inside surface of Dolmens, which was disturbed by tresure hunters. It was first time in India Cow Bovids found in the Dolmens and help’s to determine the chronology of the Dolmens. Terracotta’s found in the Megalithic burial is provides a solid ground for the study of the Boota Cult or Daiva Aradhane of Coastal Karnataka. Cow Bovin or Cow goddess had its parallals in Malampuzha Megalithic terracotta figurines of Kerala and Egypt. Mudukonaje terracotta figurines were datable to 800-700 B.C.
Prof. T. Murugeshi thankful to Shreyas Manipal, Gowtham Belman, Shreyas Bantakal, Ravindra Kushwa II B.A. Karthik III B.A. Kum. Prathijna and Akshatha II B.A. for their tireless efforts.