K R Ranjith, writing in The New Indian Express today, reports that –
 
The State Archaeology Department will soon launch a mega project to identify and explore megalithic monuments lying scattered across the state [of Kerala]. The initiative is a run-up to a mission to identify and protect megalithic sites and artifacts of historical importance that go unnoticed and unprotected on private lands.
 
“We are planning a statewide exploration to identify megalithic sites. To begin with, we will organise a national seminar in coordination with the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI),” said Dr Premkumar, director of the Archaeological Department.
 
Experts and researchers will conduct the statewide exploration to identify the sites. The initiative comes in the backdrop of the limitations the department faces to protect monuments in areas under private ownership. “Numerous megalithic monuments like rock-cut caves, muniyaras, Jain pillars and umbrella rocks are laying unidentified and unprotected in different parts of the state,” said Dr Premkumar.
 
“A survey on archaeological remains in two panchayats in Idukki district has already been completed. Many interesting findings have emerged out of the study and we will publish a record of the sites and findings soon. Similar surveys would be conducted in all districts and each district will have a book on the sites of archaeological importance, especially megalithic sites,” he added. “I have also submitted a proposal with detailed plan to buy and protect megalithic sites that fall under private ownership.”
 
Full article here.