Modern history tells us that Hyderabad is 419 years old but the discovery of an Iron Age burial site and Stone Age implements by archaeologists indicate that the city and surrounding areas could actually be over 2,500 years old.
The department of archaeology and museums has discovered an Iron Age site studded with megalithic burials near Ramoji Film City in Hayatnagar on the outskirts of the city. The archaeologists also discovered implements of the New Stone Age.
"These findings date back to 500 BC, which shows that the history of the city and environs goes much beyond Kakatiya and Qutb Shahi periods and even go back to the Neolithic period," said archaeology and museum director P. Chenna Reddy.
He said the Iron Age site has Cairn Circles, also called megalithic burials. "The burial site also yielded iron implements and pottery reflecting the material culture of the Iron Age people," Reddy said.
The burial spot was on a five-acre private land near the entrance of Ramoji Film City, just off the Hyderabad-Vijaywada highway.
The department has sought permission from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) for excavation. The work is likely to begin in November this year.
"The excavations will continue. We need systematic archaeological excavations to evaluate the details of these burial sites," he said.
The department is also taking the initiative to protect such sites before real estate eats into them.
"The citizens also need to be be made aware of such findings as they do not know their historical significance. If they are told in advance, they can report it to the department and not damage them," Reddy said.
The new discoveries add to a number of Iron Age sites found in Hyderabad and its surrounding areas over the last few decades. Similar burials were discovered at Moulaali, Hashmathpet, Kothaguda Botanical Gardens and in the Hyderabad Central University campus near Lingampalli.
The site at Moulali was excavated by the then department of archaeology of Hyderabad State in 1935, while the one at Hashmatpet was unearthed and studied by the Birla Archaeology and Cultural Research Institute in 1978.