A goldmine of Iron Age finds at Muthalamada burial site

Farmers examining the iron chisel recovered from an urn burial site at Muthalamada in Palakkad district on Saturday.  

An iron chisel that lay under soil for over 2,000 years was recovered in good condition from an urn burial site at Nagampadam, near Muthalamada Railway Station, in Palakkad district on Saturday.

The chisel, believed to be from the Iron Age, is expected to throw light on the early Iron Age historic burials in the region. Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) officials are expected to visit the site in a few days.

K. Rajan, who had studied the urn burials at Nagampadam four years ago as part of a University Grants Commission (UGC) minor research project on iron age burials of Palakkad district, said that the site was a goldmine for those researching in Iron Age in Kerala.

After examining the iron chisel that weighed 252 gm and had a length of 24 cm, Mr. Rajan said that it was of “finer metal quality”. He said it remained intact for over 2,000 years because of its metal quality. The chisel had 5 cm width at its cutting edge. The Iron Age or megalithic period is estimated to be from the fifth century BC to the third century AD.

It was recovered from a private compound owned by A. Gangadharan, a retired Railway employee. The plot and its surrounding areas had a number of urn and cist burial sites. “We have more than a dozen cist and urn burial sites in this region,” said Mr. Rajan.

Several capstones of the burial sites were removed by the farmers earlier without realising their historic significance. Urns too were broken.

Shards of blackware and redware bowls were also recovered along with the iron chisel on Saturday. “Without the ASI involvement, we cannot take this study further. ASI officials have agreed to visit the site after a few days,” said Mr. Rajan.

He said a lot of invaluable materials from the Iron Age were destroyed inadvertently by the farmers. “They are not aware of this site’s historical value. So we can’t blame them. Many urns were broken when they dug up the land for cultivation,” he said.


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Printable version | Jan 25, 2021 8:17:02 PM |

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