Keezhadi excavation leads to ancient civilisation on the banks of Vaigai

History resurfaces

RARE RELIC: Potsherds discovered at Sulapuram site. Photo: Special Arrangement   | Photo Credit: mamp15artefact1

In what could be a significant development following the Keezhadi village excavations, which brought to light one of the biggest human habitations of Sangam Age, archaeologists of Pandyanadu Centre for Historical Research (PCHR) in association with the School of Historical Studies of Madurai Kamaraj University have discovered potsherds of burial urns and ring stands belonging to the megalithic period in Sulapuram Village near T. Kallupatti in Madurai District.

“It assumes importance as this was the period when people learnt the art of constructing houses and lived together in a community, which is quite evident from the presence of dolmenoid cists. People constructed houses with burnt bricks and were familiar with the technology. These fragments of urns and ring stands were offerings made to the departed souls,” says C. Santhalingam, the PCHR secretary.

The team, comprising R.Udhayakumar and T.Muthupandi, members of PCHR and MKU research scholars C.Pandeeswaran and K.Palraj, collected the fragments found lying all over 10 acres at the foot hills of Western Ghats in Sulapuram Village.

The fragments were first noticed by the local residents and were reported to Pandeeswaran and Palraj who brought it to the knowledge of the research centre. “These potsherds resurfaced after the rains on the western ghats. When the rain water flowed down the slope it eroded the soil and brought them to the surface. Some artefacts like the ring stands and urns are intact while some are found in broken condition,” says Santhalingam.

The team also identified the presence of cairn circles. Most of the potsherds including plates, cups, pots and ring stands are black and red in colour. All are well burnished wares. The ring stands were used to hold big round bottom pots. No scripts or graffiti markings are found on the surface of the potsherds.

“It was a transition period. People worked in groups and erected dolmenoid cists in honour of their ancestors. Also that was the time Tamil Brahmi inscription also came into being. We tried in vain to find out any inscription on the potsherds,” he says.

Agriculture and fishing must have been the main occupation at that time with people gaining the knowledge of making iron tools, sickles, ploughs. With beads and broken bangle pieces strewn all over the place and potsherds and dolmenoid cists talking about the 2,500 years old history, Sulapuram could as well be another Keezhadi in the making as the artefacts are comparable and datable to the same period.


Our code of editorial values

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Oct 28, 2021 1:05:15 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/history-and-culture/History-resurfaces/article14488598.ece

In Depth
Keeladi: Unearthing the 'Vaigai Valley' Civilisation of Sangam era Tamil Nadu
Seventh phase of Keeladi excavation to wrap up soon
Second ring well found at Agaram
For the first time, Keeladi site yields iron dagger with wooden handle
Silver coin found at Keeladi reveals economic activities of settlement
First ring well with design unearthed at Keeladi site
Another ring well found at Keeladi
World class archaeological museum to be established in Thoothukudi: Minister
Gold ornament found at Keeladi
Fifth phase of excavation reveals discoveries unique to Keeladi
Keezhadi excavation: MKU, Harvard University to collaborate in DNA study
Seventh phase of excavation at Keeladi inaugurated
Survey on to finalise location for excavation
Keezhadi excavations: Sangam era older than previously thought, finds study
Archaeological excavations set to begin in seven more places in Tamil Nadu
Carbon dating confirms Keezhadi site is from Sangam era
Scientists discover oldest known human-made nanostructures in ancient artifacts in Tamil Nadu
Geological investigations begin at Keeladi and Agaram
ASI declares site and remains at Baghpat to be of national importance
Microlithic tools found in Agaram and Sivagalai
Ring well unearthed at Keezhadi
Indepth excavation planned at Gangaikonda Cholapuram
Burial urn of Megalithic era unearthed at Kodumanal
HC disapproves of ASI's 'slow work' in Keezhadi excavation
Keezhadi excavation: what was found and what they mean
ASI begins third phase of excavation at Keezhadi
Keezhadi excavation to continue for 3 more years
Archaeologist involved in Keezhadi project transferred
Archaeologists have found 5,800 artefacts in Keezhadi after two years of digging.
A boost to Keezhadi finds
Nod for further excavation at Keezhadi
Keezhadi: ASI refuses to commit to time frame on next leg of excavation
HC allows ASI to shift Keezhadi artefacts to Dehradun lab
TN for continuation of excavation in Keezhadi: Minister
You are reading
RARE RELIC: Potsherds discovered at Sulapuram site. Photo: Special Arrangement
History resurfaces
Unearthing an advanced and vibrant civilisation at Keezhadi
Ancient brick structure found at the ASI's excavation site at Keezhadi.
A dead city beneath a living village
Second phase of excavation begins
Decorative pot found in Keezhadi
Uncovered: Pandyas-Romans trade link
Of kings and temples
Next Story