A megalithic urn burial presumably two thousand years old was found here at an excavation site at Thirumangalam, Kuthalam, in Nagapattinam recently.
The 4.5-tall urn with a circumference of 3 feet and a mouth width of 1.5 ft was found at a depth of 6 ft. Several shards of bones, a shred of a skull and pottery that included water jars (kalayams) and bowls of varying sizes were recovered from the urn. Further, two swords or long daggers, broken into two halves, were found on either side of the urn. This perhaps signified that the urn burial was for a chieftain or a warrior, says G.Muthusamy, Curator, Tranquebar Fort, which is slated to host the find shortly.
This view is echoed by Bala Padhmanabhan, Researcher, Dr.Rajamanickanar Historical Research Centre. While megalithic graves, signifying megalithic cult of peninsular India were being spotted off and on in this region, the sword on either side of the urn adds a peculiarity to the find. According to Mr. Padhmanabhan, around 25 such megalithic graves were found in and around Nagapattinam primarily around Mayiladuthurai. The largest being Thiruvidaimarudhur, about 25 km from Mayiladuthurai, where a valley of around 30 urn burials were found few years ago, says Mr.Padhmanabhan.
Other such sites include Anaimelagaram, Murugamangalam, Karaimedu, Melaperumpallam, Kodialathur, Thirukuvalai, Kodavasal, Thirukadayur, Verkudi, Aakur, Manigramam, Kondagai, Keezhvelur, Rajendram, Vazhuvur, Vaanadhi Rajapuram, Thiruindalur, Maandangadu, Thillayadi, Malliyam, Maadur and Thalachangadu.