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5000 year old Neolithic ashmound near Ballari to be demolished for a four lane Highway.
The Neolithic period ashmound at Budikanama Pass on Ballari-Hopset road, near the Ballari Thermal Power Station, is one of the most important archaeological sites in southern India and probably the biggest. This site is planned to be demolished by the National Highway authorities to make way for a four lane Highway.
According to Professor Ravi Korisettar and Sri Santosh Martin, it represents the earlier settled pastoral community’s settlement dating back to 5000 years ago. It is associated with the Neolithic period when hunter-gatherers became agriculturists who domesticated plants yielding food crops and animals like cattle and sheep and goat. This ashmound is the centre of a series of ashmounds located at Sangnakallu, Kurugodu, Toranagallu, Gadiganur, Kurekuppa, Halkundi, etc. The ashmound formation took place because of deliberate accumulation of cattle dung and setting it on fire during ritual performance relating to selection of a place for setting up the first village. This is the largest among three hundred sites known from the districts of Ballari, Chitradurga, Raichur, Kalaburgi, Bijapur, Bidar, Mahboobnagar, Anathapuram and Kurnool in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Arcaheologists from across the globe visit the mound from time to time, especially those who are engaged in the rise of agricultural way of life in India.
A representation has been made to the district administration to save this site and hope the authorities will come out with an alternative site for the highway. Since these are our invaluable assets, we need to save them for our future generations.Instead of the mound, the adjacent hill may be cut for highway.
Dr G Shashikiran
Lecturer in Economics
Smt ASM College for Women
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