PALAKKAD: The low lying hills close to the western ghats in the fringes of the Malampuzha dam in Palakkad district bear traces of Iron Age past of Kerala. At Chakirikkolambu, in the Methiyappara hill close to the Kozhiyar mala, an extension of the Adupputty mala, there are over 20 cist burials which were erected in the iron age in Kerala.
Dateable to over 2,000 years ago, the relics have retained memories of an age which began agriculture in the south. The plains between the hills could most probably have been used for farming by the people who erected the burials on the slopes and tops of the hills nearby. One of the cist burials huge in size and has four chambers which are unusual.
The cist measures 2.20 m on the east-west and about 4.5 m on the north-south. Small and large boulders were used to pack the earth around the cist chambers. On top of the burial chambers are placed rectangular blocks of stone. The cairn packing and the cist chambers together have a diameter of 8 km on the north-south and east-west. Potsherds and iron fragments have been found from the slopes and tops of the smaller hills in the area.
"During the iron age, people had used huge earthen jars for burying the mortal remains of the dead. The iron age burials are the evidence for secondary burials which was practised during that period. Most of the burials have been destroyed. At many sites, post holes have also been found indicating that they could have been used for settlement. But, that has to be confirmed through detailed studies," said K Rajan, assistant professor of the history department of the Government Victoria College, Palakkad, who explored the site.