Archaeologists have found 15th-century terra cotta religious figurines buried in a Hindu temple in southern India, an official confirmed Tuesday.
Area residents found the objects last week while digging to build a wall around the temple in Kerala state's Kadambattumkonam village, about 700 kilometers southwest of Bangalore, said archaeology director Manmadhan Nair.
The findings could provide information about 15-century religious rituals, Nair said. "The figures might be offerings from devotees that the temple administration buried as part of some ritual."
The temple, dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva, might have practiced rituals that faded away over time.
The 20 images depict humans and animals, many in worshipful poses, Nair said. The 60-centimeter figures - the humans featuring raised brows and hair buns - show a style popular in the 15th century.
Nair said such figures have been unearthed in the past from other Hindu temples in Kerala, the AP reports.