The recently-concluded fifth phase of archaeological excavation at Keeladi has unearthed a new find of terracotta pipes which are unique among all terracotta pipes found at other excavation sites in Tamil Nadu.
Among the new findings are two different terracotta pipes found horizontally decked one above the other.
According to Tamil Nadu State Department of Archaeology, that has taken up the 4th and 5th phase of excavations, the two pipelines could have been for different utilities.
During the course of 5th excavation in a particular trench (YD 6/3), the workers found some terracotta structure with a few projections of rim portion at a regular gap of 6 cm. This structure was found at a depth of 0.47 metres. Careful digging at this north eastern corner of the quadrant resulted in unearthing of roofing tiles arranged vertically at a depth of 0.52 metres.
Further, it revealed that the terracotta structure was a series of 10 terracotta pipes that were firmly fitted one into other to form a pipeline.
“This indicates that the pipeline could have been used for carrying protected water,” Director of Keeladi Excavation, R. Sivanandam told The Hindu on Tuesday. The rims of the pipes gave a spiral shape to the pipeline. Besides, it had holes on its top and sides.
Just below this pipeline another row of different shaped terracotta pipeline consisting of three lengthy barrel-shaped terracotta tubes were traced. “This one was distinctly different in its shape and dimension from the upper row of pipeline suggesting that it (barrel shaped pipeline) had a different utility,” he added.
The officials were also delighted to find a major portion of a perforated lid which was in the shape of a dish. This lid that was fitted to the mouth of the barrel-shaped pipeline could have been used as a filtering device of water or some other liquid.
“Apart from this, it could also be surmised that the lid could have been used to prevent reptiles entering the premises through the pipes.” he added.
These terracotta pipelines were found closer to the spot where the Archaeological Survey of India had found some structural activity with bricks, tubs and water chute (open channel) during its second phase of excavation in 2016.
“It indicates that there was a link to both (structures) findings of different phases of excavation. We feel that the next phase of excavation in its proximity could reveal further extension of these structures,” an official said.
Different types of water channels, brick construction, evidence of trade relations with other domestic and foreign places, sign and letter usages only revealed that the civilization along the Vaigai river was much matured and had adopted advanced technologies.