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Arts & Culture » Heritage
Urban invasion
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K. Rajan A dolmen with circular portholes at Mallachandiram in Krishnagiri district. Some of the dolmens here are intact while others have been vandalised.

THE relentless pursuit of urbanisation has ensured that a few hundred Iron Age megalithic burial sites, which included menhirs, cairn circles, stone circles, dolmens and dolmenoid cists, have been destroyed in Tamil Nadu. The latest to face destruction were burial sites near Veeranam village at the foot of a chain of hills in Tiruvannamalai district, at Vellaripatti village on the outskirts of Madurai on the Madurai-Tiruchi highway, at Onampakkam near Cheyyur in Kancheepuram district; on the Vandalur-Kelambakkam road near Chennai, and at Venpakkam near Singaperumal Kovil, also near Chennai. A Palaeolithic site at Perumbakkam (close to the Old Mamallapuram Road) near Medavakkam, Chennai, where stone tools crafted by man some 200,000 years ago have been discovered, is under threat from a huge apartment complex coming up nearby. This despite it being a protected site of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (Amendment and Validation) Act, 2010.

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