2 burial sites dating back to 3,500 years located

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Using remote sensing imagery in a unique way, a scientist at the Maharashtra Remote Sensing and Applications Centre (MRSAC) has located two burial sites of about 3000-3500 years back. One of these megaliths (large stones), Junapani, found near just 9 km from the city on Katol road, is now part of the acquired area of the proposed Gorewada Zoo project. Though the site is known to the archeologists, it has last been mentioned in the Nagpur Gazetteer in 1930. There is no mention of the settlement after that in the government toposheets.

Spread in an area of about 6-7 km, the megaliths can be of much historical importance and have potential of being converted into a heritage site. The megaliths were located using "quick bird" remote sensing satellite launched in 2007. MRSAC directorVinod Bothale tells that the satellite has a resolution of 60 cm and hence gives good imageries. The megaliths of Junapani like all burial sites in Nagpur and adjoining districts of Gadchiroli, Chandrapur and Bhandara districts in Vidarbha are made of basalt rocks. Basalt being black the megaliths appears as small black rings on the satellite image. The Junapani burial site has about 100-125 megaliths. "This is one of the most unique uses of remote sensing imagery," Bothale said.

The other site located by her at Mahurjari has 7 burial sites with circular formations have earlier been excavated by Nagpur University's archaeology department. It found copper vessels, pottery and human skeleton....

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