Nov 15, 2014

Prehistoric stone tools factory of Hiregudda, Sanganakallu - 2

continued from Prehistoric stone tools factory of Hiregudda, Sanganakallu - 1.

We are exploring the western side of Hiregudda, i.e. behind Peacock hill. The eastern face was a tools manufacturing factory.. raw material quarry, shaping the tools, polishing them and also trading them - Rama Dasa says that all these activities had happened here. We are looking out for evidences of such activities- sources of raw material, semi-finished tools, chips, grinding stones, etc.

December 22, 2013
A layer of grey powdery stuff caught my attention.. I felt it was ash, probably prehistoric ash. When I mentioned it to Rama Dasa (my guide) he said it wasn't ash, it's soil. I tested the powder between my finger tips.. the powder stuck to my skin.. I felt it was ash. The presence of pottery pieces strengthened my opinion but I cannot be sure.

Close to the ash patch was this exposed section filled with stone chips from tool manufacturing. I felt this is a beautiful example of collection of waste material generated by manufacturing activity. These pieces of similar size must have been embedded at this spot for centuries with being disturbed.

These stones originally one stone, are relatively heavier and harder. A polished surface can be seen.. a polishing stone.

We come to a rock bed with three man-made concave surfaces.. marked A, B and  C. There were few more such pits on other boulders in the vicinity. They were either created by grinding cereals or stone tools.

The pits are shaped like mid-section profile of a chicken egg.. about 4½' and 2½' at its longest and widest points and 7" deep.

This is probably the cleanest pit we found. The black circle is dried lichen. Notice how smoothly the surface is polished.

One more polishing stone.. this was specially used to sharpen pointed edges like spearheads or axe-heads. This stone's unpolished surface is gritty, granular bits embedded in the stone form a rough surface.

Rama Dasa explains finds a good sample to explain how pointed  stones were created or how edges were sharpened.

These ridges were created while sharpening edges.

And the pits were used to sharpen pointed edges by twirling the piece.

A series of shallow circular pits form a square with two intersecting dividers.

Converging ridges created by sharpening edges. Wonder why grind only at this spot on such a large stone..

One of the smaller polishing pits.

A collection of semi-finished stone tools. A- axe heads. B - grain grinding stone.

Shallow circular pits arranged in a circle with a pair of perpendicular diametric lines.

A line of pits with a pair of zigzag lines. Rama Dasa says the zigzag lines represent a pair of intertwined serpents. You might have seen medical logos with a pair of intertwined serpents.. the concept is not really new.. its history goes back several millennium.

View of the standing stone. Looks like a dolphin nose.

In the plains below a stone-circle can be seen. That stone arrangement is prehistoric, probably a marker for place of burial. According to Rama Dasa several such stone-circles have been destroyed and lost while quarrying was active on this hill complex.

A pre-university college building of Sanganakallu. In the foreground is a group of boys playing cricket. In that ground is a spot which marks the position of standing stone's shadow's on winter and summer solstice days - marked by none other than our guide Rama Dasa. He religiously marks the position every year. He's been the shift in the shadow's position year on year. With his knowledge about astronomy and astrology he can talk about shift in planetary positions.. most of it I could not grasp :(

Having spent close to 5 hours under blazing Sun was tiring. We had had a light breakfast of dry snacks and running out of water. It was close to lunch time and we had to make to Jatinga Rameshwar hill top and Ashoka Siddapura before the day ended. We decided to head back to the base where our cab was parked.

An ancient shrine close to the base of Peacock hill. As you see, people still perform rituals here. In the background is the dolerite dyke with ancient petroglyphs.

Do check out the petroglyphs in these posts below-
Prehistoric Petroglyphs of Kappagallu - part I
Prehistoric Petroglyphs of Kappagallu - part II

And close to the base of the hill is an ancient ash mound-
Prehistoric Ash Mound of Kappagallu

I have to come back to explore the summit portion of dolerite dyke, there are hundreds of petroglyphs which we could not reach during our first visit. Thanks to our guide Rama Dasa for time, patience and effort.


Nirdesh Singh said...

I am glad there are people like Ram Das who still care for our history. I have a feeling that every village and location in Karnataka has someone like him protecting our heritage. But for how long?

Lovely photos and description!


siddeshwar said...

Yes Nirdesh, there are people who care about our heritage. Rama Dasa is protective, he won't like people lifting off artifacts from his hill. He should be put in charge of Hiregudda.