Keezhadi excavation leads to ancient civilisation on the banks of Vaigai

Microlithic tools found in Agaram and Sivagalai

Excavations in the ancient site of Keeladi.  

With the sixth phase of the excavations at the Keeladi cluster and the excavations at other sites to come to a close in September for the year, the Tamil Nadu Department of Archaeology released an interim status report on Monday. The finds range from semi precious stones like carnelian, agate, amethyst, to terracotta seals, skeletons, Microlithic tools such as blades and scrapers coins, iron objects and swords and roofing tiles.

Key among the finds are carbonised rice grains and the microlithic tools found at Agaram. While the carbonised rice was found on the surface during excavations at Agaram, in Sivagalai this was found in an offering pot. Both will be sent to a lab for carbon dating to identify the time period.

Releasing the report to the media, Minister for Tamil Official Language and Tamil Culture MaFoi K. Pandiarajan said a total of 3,959 artefacts have been found during the excavations at the Keeladi cluster and Erode till July across all seasons. So far 128 carbon samples have been collected in Keeladi and its clusters. The report was earlier released on Monday morning by Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami.

New findings

In the current season of excavations, a fine variety of red-slipped ware containing Tamizhi letters reading Ka-y was found embedded in the soil at Keeladi, apart from semi-precious stones, weighing units and terracotta seals. A spinal cord with ribs of a bovine having a length of 0.80 metres was also found.

At Kondagai, a burial site, 40 urn burials, one pit burial and 16 surface burials were identified. Also, 17 human skeletons and two animal skeletons were unearthed with bowls of red-ware, red-slipped-ware and black-and-red ware. Of particular interest to the archaeologists are the finds at Agaram, where the first season of excavations was initiated. These include Microlithic tools such as blades and lunate found in association with fluted core indicating that these tools were produced at the site.

Carbonised rice grains

Carbonised rice grains were recovered at a depth of 1.75 metres. Polished stone axe, ceramic wares were also found. Manalur excavations which started in May 2020 threw up smoking pipes, terracotta wheels, hop-scotches and traits of architectural activity.

At Adichanallur too, Microlithic tools were found, consisting of blade, point and scraper made of chert. A total of 10 urn burials were also exposed and 438 antiquities were collected. Iron objects and roofing tiles were also found.

The excavation at Sivagalai, being undertaken to know the Iron Age burial culture and locate the earliest settlement of the region, yielded finds such as potsherds, Mesolithic tools and other artefacts. Kodumanal excavation reaped Tamizhi inscribed potsherds and structures built of stone masonry.

Mr. Pandiarajan said the department has tied-up with nearly 10 institutions to scientifically analyse the excavated material. Madurai Kamaraj University has taken steps to establish an ‘ancient DNA lab’ at a cost of ₹3 crore and this would help in faster turnaround times of identifying the artefacts’ antiquity, he added.

Our code of editorial values

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Oct 28, 2021 6:06:47 PM |

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
You are reading
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
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
Next Story