Annigeri skulls: Archaeologists to approach Mysore agency

The mystery surrounding the 600-odd human skulls found in Annigeri near here has remained unsolved even after two years of its discovery. Archaeologists are still groping in the dark as regards the period of the skulls and in a last-ditch attempt, have decided to approach the Anthropological Association of Mysore after their earlier efforts failed to yield any positive results. They also resolved to come to a final conclusion on the period of the skulls after obtaining its report.

There have been conflicting reports regarding the period of the skulls. The C-14 carbon dating test conducted by Beta Anyalitic Inc of Miami, USA, claimed that the skulls are 180 years old, while the Bhuvaneswar Lab test said they are about 638 years old. This forced the archaeologists to send another skull sample to the National Physical Laboratory in Ahmedabad for a third test. But, they failed to get any response from Ahmedabad lab.

Due to this, the state archeological department (SAD) had sought opinion of physio-anthropologist Prof Raghavan who has been working in Australia. But, the Australian scientist demanded a five-year tenure and Rs 50 lakh to determine the period of the skulls. Therefore, SAD dropped the idea to approach the Australian expert.

“The Australian scientist will determine the period of the Annigeri skulls and develop human structure of each skull using software. But we have withdrawn the plan as a five-year tenure is a lengthy procedure and the government may not agree to pay the hefty expenditure. Therefore, we have decided to approach a local agency in Mysore and will try to establish the skull period by collating its report with that of the the skull sample reports of the other two labs ”, Department of Archaeology and Museums director Dr R. Gopal said.

Dr Gopal said that battles have not taken place during last 2-3 centuries in the region and it appears that a severe drought had led to the death of large number of people if the American lab report is to be believed. He also said that it has become more complicated to determine the period of the skulls as there is difference of more than 400 years between the reports sent by the Bhuvaneshwar and American laboratories. The examination of 31 skull samples conducted by the department of forensic odontology in association with SDM College, stated two skulls belonged to children and the rest belonged to men and women.

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