Tamil Nadu

Students from University of Madras uncover neolithic site in Valasai

Students from University of Madras working at the excavation site in Valasai near Guidyatham.

Students from University of Madras working at the excavation site in Valasai near Guidyatham.   | Photo Credit: C. Venkatachalapathy

Artefacts including engraved potsherds, grindstones and tools have been unearthed

It was a rare experience for students of University of Madras when they uncovered ‘neolithic ash mounds’ at an archaeological excavation at Valasai, near Modikuppam in Gudiyatham.

Twenty-one students pursuing Masters in Ancient History and Archaeology were involved in the undertaking as part of their project work for the past three weeks at the village.

Their findings included a neolithic polished axe, grindstones of different dimensions, iron-age potsherds with different engraved letters and handmade pottery.

First in T.N.

According to research, neolithic ash mounds have been dated to 3,000 to 1,200 BCE. Earlier they were found in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh and this is the first time they were found in Tamil Nadu.

The findings shed insight on the lifestyle of people who lived in the region during the Neolithic period.

Detailing the project, Jinu Koshy, excavation in-charge, said, “It was based on a brochure issued by the Archaeological Survey of India and research work by K. Kumar, who has a Ph.D in Archaeology of Vellore.”

Initially, the students created a trench of 7 m and 6 m and ended up with a few potsherds, which made them push the excavation further.

They created a step-trench which led to them unearthing an immense amount of ancient artefacts that had belonged to the regions erstwhile inhabitants.

Swetha, a student, said they would conduct further studies to identify the objects and their ages. It was the first time she had worked on a project like this and it had helped developed her skills as an archaeologist, she said.

Scope for research

Another student, Dhanushya said the findings proved that people who lived in this region reared cattle in neolithic ages and the work provided them scope for further research on the subject.

Black and redware pottery items including potsherds with colouring and engravings shows that people were involved in pot-making and used them in their lifetime, she added.

The finds would be used by archaeological experts to ascertain the age of these materials, Mr. Jinu said.

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Printable version | Mar 30, 2020 9:43:46 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/students-from-university-of-madras-uncover-neolithic-site-in-valasai/article30874743.ece

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