HYDERABAD: Excavations conducted by the state department of archaeology and museums in the recent past, especially in Pullurubanda of Siddipet, have revealed existence of skeletal remains of megalithic burials dating back to 2,000 years. The department, however, is not willing to restrict itself to studies that would disclose the gender or way of life of those people. In a first, it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) with Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) and will work in coordination with Deccan College, Pune for DNA testing.
The study linking archeology, biology and history would lead to building a database to provide information on disease process, and, more importantly, to indicate conditions that could have led to the development, maintenance and the changing manifestations of disease through time. “This can help predict not just details of gender or the way of life of those people, but can also tell us about their food habits, the diseases that were prevalent at the time,” B Venkatesham, secretary, tourism and culture department, has said .
The department would handover collection of 16 samples to CCMB and will work in coordination with Deccan College, Pune which is a leading institute in Archeology for this purpose.
The samples include a number of megalithic burials through the stretch of 200 km from Warangal to Khammam. Findings include skeletal remains -- bones and teeth which can all be dated to a certain time period.
CCMB director Rakesh K Mishra informed that special technology to study ancient DNA has been developed at the Centre. “There are findings that reflect and talk about the culture of people. The ancient DNA lab in CCMB has been designed with such technology that it can successfully extract DNA and also deconstruct its structure, thereby getting the minutest of details,” Mishra said.
Prof. Vasant Shinde, vice-chancellor of Pune College said that the Telangana state archeology department is the most active one in the country, constantly working to unearth history.