HYDERABAD: The entire Deccan Plateau that consists of a major part of Telangana including Hyderabad is dotted by numerous megalithic sites, etched with prehistoric art. However, till the long time, the significance of these etchings were not known to the people, but a recent research published in the TRC School of Telangana Studies has found that the prehistoric art that is found on one of these historic structure in Mudumal and at Gachbiowli depict constellations such as Ursa Major, Gemini, Orion, and others.
The research titled, Stars and Stones: The Interpretation of Megalithic Cup-Marks from South India, by K P Rao talks about the knowledge of astronomy in the megalithic commuity. In his research, Rao has pointed out that these prehistoric art, also known as cup marks were very shallow and were “executed by rubbing with a rotating device, resulting in a smooth finish to the surface.”
While talking about the cup marks at Mudumal, Rao noted that these cup marks depicted a formation, which closely resembled to a constellation called Ursa Major. “The constellation consists of seven prominently visible stars, though stars of lower mangitude are also associated with the constellation,” the study notes. He found the depiction of Ursa Major in Mudumal among the stone circles and several hundred menhirs; a standing stone.
“One of the characteristic feature of Ursa Major constellation is that two of its stars, Merak and Dubhe are always aligned to pole star. At Mudumal, the two dots representing the above stars are also aligned to the north,” Rao said.
Another identification of such patterns which was done in Gachibowli indicated that the megalithic community were aware of these pole stars and they took help of these starts determining north direction. Apart from constellations such as Gemini and Orion, mythical winged divine stallion called Pegasus were also identified at Wargal in Medak. These cup marks were etched by drilling onto the bed rock.