Preliminary Results of an Archaeological Survey in Makhel Village and Surrounding Areas in Manipur, Northeast India
Authors: Oinam Premchand Singh
Year: 2023, Volume: 14, Page/Article: 47-61, DOI: https://doi.org/10.47509/AA.2023.v14i01.04
The village of Makhel in the northeastern state of Manipur, India, is considered as the place of origin or a transit point during the migration of a few Naga communities. Colonial records, stone monuments, and oral stories collectively support the origin and migration narrative. However, a more systematic investigation of the archaeological remains has yet to be done in this area. In this paper, I present the results of an archaeological survey conducted in Makhel and surrounding areas, covering an area of approximately 36 km². The survey documented 313 stone monuments, comprising menhirs, fallen menhirs, slab graves, rectangle stone platforms, sacred stones, and a destroyed site. Mapping has revealed that they are concentrated in the habitation areas and the forest, particularly areas on the hilltop that are readily accessible, such as roadsides and footpaths. A detailed analysis of monuments shows the variability in size, indicating differential labour involvement during construction and choices of building monuments. The survey also revealed structural similarities of monuments in Makhel and other areas/villages in the Naga Hills, which will be useful for researchers engaging in the archaeological remains.