Edakkal Caves (Malayalam: ഇടക്കൽ/എടക്കൽ ഗുഹകൾ), also Edakal, are two natural caves at Edakkal, around 120 km south-west of Mysuru, in Wayanad district of Kerala. The caves are situated 1,200 m (3,900 ft) above sea level on Ambukutty Mala, on the Mysore Plateau, in the Western Ghats.
Location in India
|Location||Wayanad district, Kerala|
|Discovered||Fred Fawcett (1890)|
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|History of Kerala|
The Edakkal caves are believed to be camping shelters of the Neolithic community (the south Indian Neolithic culture zone). The cave walls contain a collection of Neolithic rock engravings and images (which were incised over a period of time). The major part of images on the cave walls may belong to late Neolithic period (i. e., first millennium BC). With the exception of Edakkal, no concrete evidence for the existence of a true Neolithic culture in Kerala has so far been discovered.
The caves were discovered by Fred Fawcett, Superintendent of Police, Malabar District in 1896 who immediately recognised their anthropological and historical importance. He published an article (1901) about the caves in the Indian Antiquary (Volume 30), attracting the attention of scholars.
The caverns at Edakkal are not technically caves, but rather a cleft, rift or rock shelter approximately 96 ft (29 m) by 22 ft (6.7 m), a 30-foot-deep (9.1 m) fissure caused by a piece of rock splitting away from the main body. On one side of the cleft is a rock weighing several tons that covers the cleft to form the "roof" of the cave.
- Shanmugam, P. 2014. 'Before the Common Era', in A Concise History of South India: Issues and Interpretations, ed. Noburu Karashmia, pp. 12–13. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.
- Fawcett, F. 1901. Notes on the Rock Carvings in the Edakal Caves, Wynaad. The Indian Antiquary vol. XXX, pp. 409-421.
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