Tamil Nadu

Workers unearth 400-year-old treasure from farmland near Arani

A 400-year-old treasure containing 35 copper objects, mostly earrings and a ring, inside a small copper pot was unearthed in Mullandram village near Arani in Tiruvannamalai.

A 400-year-old treasure containing 35 copper objects, mostly earrings and a ring, inside a small copper pot was unearthed in Mullandram village near Arani in Tiruvannamalai. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Little did a group of workers were aware when they were laying a foundation of a new house on a portion of a three hectare farmland belonging to a farmer in Mullandram village near Arani in Tiruvannamalai that they have unearthed a 400-year-old treasure — 35 copper objects, mostly earrings and a ring, inside a small copper pot.

Officials said as part of construction of a small concrete house for K. Munuswamy, 70, a group of workers were deepening a portion of his three-hectare paddy farmland in the village a few days ago to lay concrete foundation when one of them stuck at a small copper pot at 10-feet depth.

A group of workers were deepening a portion of a three-hectare farmland to lay concrete foundation for a house when one of them stuck at a small copper pot at 10-feet depth.

A group of workers were deepening a portion of a three-hectare farmland to lay concrete foundation for a house when one of them stuck at a small copper pot at 10-feet depth.

Workers alerted the landlord, who in turn informed the police and village administrative officer (VAO). The workers gave the small copper pot with its lid to the farmer. He showed the treasure to his wife, M. Sakunthala, 66, who hid it in their wooden almirah. “We came to know about the treasure from the workers. Initially, the couple denied such findings but we found the treasure in their house,” said S. Perumal, Tahsildar (Arani).

Archaeologists believe that most of the small copper items that were found in the pot are copper beads, broken bangles and a ring. Most of the copper beads are flower shaped. More importantly, all items are of the same size and shape, denoting what the makers of these artefacts might have done for temple offerings, a common practice back then. Also, the common size of these objects indicate that these objects would have been made by a goldsmith and kept in a small copper pot for safety purposes.

The name of the village, Mullandram, means a fertile land in ancient Tamil literature. In such fertile land where farming is their main livelihood, finding such temple offerings are common. “The objects that were unearthed are not more than 400-years-old. A closer study of these objects will throw light on the rich past of the neighbourhood,” K. Sridharan, retired Deputy Director, Tamil Nadu State Archaeology Department, told The Hindu.

Officials said that under the Indian Treasure Trove Act 1878, anything found below one-foot depth belongs to the government. As per norms, such treasure should be handed over to the district treasury with the Collector being the sole guardian of the treasure. In this case, a report from the Government Museum (Tiruvannamalai) will be sent to the Director of Museums (Chennai) and to Tiruvannamalai Collector. Museum officials said that a request would be made to the Collector for public display of the treasure at the government museum as it would help students and the public to learn about the rich past of the region.


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Printable version | Jul 2, 2022 9:53:25 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/workers-unearth-400-year-old-treasure-from-farmland-near-arani/article65466873.ece