University team discovers 'Great Bear' constellation
Hyderabad, Apr 18: A very early representation of the 'Great Bear' constellation, also known as 'Ursa Major', has been found on a stone at Mudumala village in Mahaboob Nagar district of Andhra Pradesh.
Talking to newspersons here, Hyderabad University Reader Dr KP Rao said a four member team of the University's Department of History discovered the ''sky map'' belonged to the megalithic period dated to around 500 BC, and was the earliest physical representation of the sky found in India or even in South Asia.
The Great Bear constellation was represented by a group of seven stars which also found an important place in Indian astronomy, where they were known as the 'Saptarshi Mandala'.
The representation of the group of stars was found on a squarish table like rock having a flat slanting top in the form of 'cup marks' each of which have about four cm diameter with a shallow depth of less than 0.5 cm.
Mr Rao said the stone containing the map was located on the South-West periphery of the site on an elevated place surrounded by megalithic stone circles.