Keezhadi excavation leads to ancient civilisation on the banks of Vaigai

Keezhadi excavation: what was found and what they mean

1/17

In 2013-14, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) carried out explorations in 293 sites along the Vaigai river valley in Theni, Dindigul, Madurai, Sivaganga and Ramanathapuram districts. Keezhadi in Sivaganga district was chosen for excavation and artefacts unearthed by the ASI in the second phase of the excavation at Pallichanthai Thidal of Keezhadi pointed to an ancient civilisation that thrived on the banks of the Vaigai.

Carbon dating of charcoal found at the Keezhadi site in February 2017 established that the settlement there belonged to 200 BC. The excavations thus proved that urban civilisation had existed in Tamil Nadu since the Sangam age.

The excavation at Keezhadi has been carried out at two localities in the farm. “Both the places have yielded different items and we presume they represent a social hierarchy,” said Amarnath who was until recently working at the site. The bigger of the two locations with more number of trenches is said to be a settlement of educated rich people, as many jewellery, fine game stones, semi-precious stones and a dozen Tamil Brahmi inscriptions have been found. Beads of agate, Carnelian and quartz indicate that they had trade link with countries like Rome. The Tamil Brahmi letters found on pottery is all names of individuals such as, Thisan, Aadhan and Udhiran, which are typical of Sangam Age Tamil names.

The second locality has more of graffiti on pottery, bone tools and iron weapons. the fish symbol which was both an art and as a ‘sign representing a clan, was also unearthed. Red-and-black pottery, groove tiles used for laying roofs and the typical flat brick measuring 38 centimetres are the other indications that the city unearthed belongs to the Sangam Age.

Other Slideshows

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
You are reading
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
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