Tamil Nadu

Antiquities unearthed at Keeladi

Ivory gamesman found at Keeladi excavation site on Sept 20

Ivory gamesman found at Keeladi excavation site on Sept 20 | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

For the first time in the last seven months, a variety of antiquities have been unearthed from a single quadrant at Keeladi, where the eighth phase of excavation is going on to establish the existence of an urban settlement older than the Sangam era.

An ivory gamesman, an iron knife, an antimony rod and a copper pendant were found in quadrant XM13/4 at a depth between 203cm and 215 cm, on Tuesday.

Antimony rod found at Keeladi excavation site on Sept 20

Antimony rod found at Keeladi excavation site on Sept 20 | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

A thin antimony rod with a thickness of 0.4 cm was excavated in a weathered and corroded condition. The rod, with clear bulging on both ends, was bent on one side that measured 10.1 cm, while the straight part of the rod was 12.6 cm in length. It seems to have been used as a tool, said an Archaeological Officer.

Iron knife found at Keeladi excavation site on Sept 20

Iron knife found at Keeladi excavation site on Sept 20 | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

An iron knife in rusted condition was another tool found at the site. Pointed at one end, it was relatively thicker and flat on the other and broken at the tail end. The knife was covered in hardened soil and incrustations.    

Ivory gamesman found at Keeladi excavation site on Sept 20

Ivory gamesman found at Keeladi excavation site on Sept 20 | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

At the bottom of the pit at 203 cm, was found a specimen of Gamesman made out of ivory. Cylindrical in shape with slightly concave lateral sides, the 2.5 cm tall object was finely burnished and had smooth texture on its surface.  The top part of the gamesman was bulged like a dome, while the base was flat.

Copper pendant found at Keeladi excavation site on Sept 20

Copper pendant found at Keeladi excavation site on Sept 20 | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

In the upper layer of the pit, at 215 cm, a rectangular shaped Copper pendant was embedded.  Covered with compact clay and patina, the flat object was folded on one side with a provision for a hole that probably was to string with a twine.

The director of Keeladi excavations R.Sivanandam, said the findings – of tools and works of craftsmanship – point towards Keeladi as a flourishing trading hub. Retrieving a variety of objects of an ancient civilisation from the same quadrant on a single day was exciting enough for the staff engaged in digging operations at the site from February this year.


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Printable version | Oct 6, 2022 11:59:25 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/antiquities-unearthed-at-keeladi/article65920138.ece