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Friday, September 25, 2020

Mizoram: 12 human skulls, bones, ornaments found in landslide debris

The objects would be handed over to the forensic department for examination on Saturday, said Dr Lalrozama, Deputy Commissioner of Mamit district.

Written by Tora Agarwala | Guwahati | Updated: August 15, 2020 10:34:36 am
Skeletal remains, ornaments and pottery shards were found near the Mizoram-Tripura border Friday morning. (Pic credit: Mamit district administration)

Locals at a road construction site near the Mizoram-Tripura border were in for a surprise Friday morning when debris from a landslide threw up remains of human skulls, bones, ornaments and pottery shards.

“The Tuidam-Kawrte road near Tripura border under Mamit district was undergoing construction,” said Dr Lalrozama, Deputy Commissioner of Mamit district. “The hill-cutting and the rain had possibly made the earth soft leading to a landslide this morning. When the workers were clearing the rubble, they came across 12 skulls, several bones, ornaments which resemble earrings, a smoking pipe and bits and pieces of earthen pots.”

Lalrozama said he could not comment on all the objects but the skulls and bones were all “definitely human”. “It will be premature for me to comment on how old they are without any scientific analysis,” he said, adding that the objects would be handed to the forensic department for examination on Saturday.

Locals checking the skulls and bone parts found near the landslide debris. (Pic credit: Mamit district administration)

After the locals reported the findings at around 10 am on Friday, the police arrived at the site to retrieve the bones. “They are now with the police and will be examined soon,” he said.

The road was undergoing construction where the landslide took place. (Pic credit: Mamit district administration)

Skeletal remains along with earthen pots — possibly of urn burials — have been discovered in or near Mizoram over the last year too. “We found such a site in Jampui hills, located in Tripura, close to the Mizoram border a few months ago as well as in two places about 20 km from Aizawl last year,” said Dr Sujeet Nayan, deputy superintending archaeologist of Archaeological Survey of India, Aizawl circle, adding that they had worked with experts from the Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany (BSIP) in Lucknow to determine the antiquity of the objects.

Workers found 12 skulls, several bones, ornaments which resemble earrings, a smoking pipe and bits and pieces of earthen pots from the debris. (Pic credit: Mamit district administration)

“They could date back to 8th to 14th centuries AD,” he said, “I cannot say for sure right away but the ones found today could be of similar antiquity. The pot shards imply that they could be part of a pot burial too.”

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