Research Paper

An Investigation into the Megaliths and Petroglyphs of Western Manipur, India

Authors: Jiangampou Kamei, Dwipen Bezbaruah & Worrel Kumar Bain

Year: 2024, Volume: 15, Page/Article: 55-82, DOI:

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In this paper, we present the archaeological findings from the western region of Manipur, specifically the Tamenglong and Noney districts, which are characterised by hilly terrain and are inhabited mainly by the Rongmei, Liangmai, Zeme, Inpui, and some other tribes like Hmars, Thadous, Gangte and Chirus. Fieldwork was conducted during the dry winter seasons of 2021 and 2022. The findings highlight the strong connection between the megaliths and the traditional religious and social practices of “headhunting”. The presence of flat stones for placing decapitated heads and fortified village gates in every Naga village indicates the prevalence of these practices across different tribes. The exploration documents (n=145) megaliths (mostly standing stones and sitting platforms) along with the engravings. Engravings found on the megaliths and the natural rock surfaces encompass symbols, including footprints, counting symbols, animal depictions, human figures, etc. However, many of these megaliths are in poor condition, with weathering and human vandalism contributing to losing their original meanings. The study also proves the preservation of these megalithic localities by educating the local population about their cultural heritage and encouraging community engagement to ensure their protection for future generations.