Carnelian beads unearthed in Konthagai

This is the first time that carnelian beads have been found in this site.

August 08, 2022 08:12 pm | Updated August 09, 2022 08:07 am IST - SIVAGANGA

Seventy-three of these beads were shaped like a barrel.

Seventy-three of these beads were shaped like a barrel. | Photo Credit: MOORTHY G

A cluster of 74 carnelian beads was unearthed on Monday at Konthagai in Sivaganga district, which is part of the Keeladi cluster. This is the first time that carnelian beads have been found at this burial site. The beads were found inside an urn.

Director of Keeladi excavations R. Sivanandam said the carnelian beads signified a trade relationship with western India, particularly present-day Maharashtra and Gujarat. The beads were available only in the western part of the country, he said.

Carnelian beads had earlier been unearthed in the Kodumanal and Thandikudi sites. This was the first time they were unearthed in the Konthagai site. Seventy-three of these beads were shaped like a barrel, and one etched carnelian bead was circular in shape, Mr. Sivanandam said.

Apart from the 74 carnelian beads, one copper piece had been identified at Konthagai, said M. Ramesh, co-director of the excavation site. He said a total of 135 urns had been found during the excavations, including 57 in the current phase.

In February, Tamil Nadu State Department of Archaeology commenced the eight phase of the archaeological excavations in Keeladi and its cluster sites. The third phase of the excavations was under way at the Konthagai burial site, he said.

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