Sangam-age stud, bead unearthed in Tamil Nadu

The Tamil Nadu Archaeology Department had taken up excavation at the site where a Sangam-age fort is believed to have existed

July 08, 2023 09:42 pm | Updated 09:42 pm IST - TIRUCHI

The obverse and reverse sides of a gold stud found by archaeologists at Porpanaikottai in Tamil Nadu’s Pudukottai district. Photo: Special Arrangement

The obverse and reverse sides of a gold stud found by archaeologists at Porpanaikottai in Tamil Nadu’s Pudukottai district. Photo: Special Arrangement

A gold stud, a bone point and a carnelian bead have been unearthed by archaeologists at Porpanaikottai in Pudukottai district of Tamil Nadu, where the State Archaeology Department has taken up excavation this year.

A Sangam-age fort is believed to have existed at the site.

The stud in floral design with six petals was found at a depth of 133 cm in one of the eight trenches dug at the site. “The ornament, weighing 0.26 grams, was probably used as a nose stud and is an indication of the culture of the Sangam Age,” T. Thangadurai, Excavation Director, Porpanaikottai, told The Hindu.

The bone point, found by archaeologists at Porpanaikottai in Tamil Nadu’s Pudukottai district, was probably used for weaving. Photo: Special Arrangement

The bone point, found by archaeologists at Porpanaikottai in Tamil Nadu’s Pudukottai district, was probably used for weaving. Photo: Special Arrangement

The bone point and the broken piece of carnelian bead were found at a depth of 140-160 cm in another trench. The bone point, with pointed ends on both sides and carvings, was probably used for weaving, Mr. Thangadurai observed.

Domestic trade

The discovery of the red round-shaped carnelian bead is a pointer to domestic trade. “Carnelian beads have been found at Kodumanal and a few other places in Tamil Nadu. The stones were usually sourced from Gujarat,” he added.

The discovery of the red round-shaped carnelian bead at Porpanaikottai in Tamil Nadu’s Pudukottai district is a pointer to domestic trade. Photo: Special Arrangement

The discovery of the red round-shaped carnelian bead at Porpanaikottai in Tamil Nadu’s Pudukottai district is a pointer to domestic trade. Photo: Special Arrangement

The excavation at Porpanaikottai was inaugurated by Thangam Thennarasu, Minister for Finance, who is also in-charge of the Archaeology Department, on May 20.

A three-course brick structure was unearthed within a few days of digging. Over 150 antiques, including potsherds, hopscotches, spouts, pieces of glass bangles and beads, a terracotta lamp, a coin, a spindle whorl and rubbing stone, besides a couple of graffiti, have been found at the site so far.

Porpanaikottai, situated about 6.5 km to the east of Pudukottai town, is one of the new sites where the Department had taken up excavation this year.

Existence of fort

Studies carried out at the site using Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR), a remote sensing method, had indicated that a fort had existed at Porpanaikottai. A habitation mound spread over 1.26 hectares is believed to have existed within the fort. The excavation is currently focussed on this area.

Eight trenches, six of them in the properties owned by three persons, are being dug currently. The excavation is being carried out by 35 workers under the supervision of Mr. Thangadurai and research scholars, A. Sudhakar, S. Munusamy and S. Bharath.

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