TAMIL NADU

Terracotta ring well unearthed at Agaram

The terracotta ring well unearthed at Agaram village on Thursday.R. ASHOK

The terracotta ring well unearthed at Agaram village on Thursday.R. ASHOK  

A terracotta ring well with a diameter of 86 cm has been unearthed at Agaram village during the sixth phase of excavations at Keeladi and its cluster near Madurai.

“Although such ring wells have been discovered in the first, second, fourth and fifth phase of excavations, this is the first time it has been discovered in the sixth phase,” said Deputy Director of Archaeology and in charge of excavations R. Sivanandam. He said the well was unearthed a week ago. Five rings of the well - one-third - currently stand exposed at a depth of 2.28 m and rest can be seen upon further digging, he said.

An official from the State Department of Archaeology said presence of a ring points to a sophisticated civilization. “Much of the migration since stone age has been based on availability of water in a particular area. The inhabitants of Keeladi created a system to ensure that they could make water available to them at all times of the day. This meant they did not have to keep migrating during summer. It could also be used for storage,” he said.

The well was constructed with interlocking rings which prevent soil from entering into the well and allow percolation of water and air. The top ring is usually raised, the official said. “Ring wells show that water conservation existed 2,000 years ago. Much of the same construction techniques are still used,” the official said.

It was constructed with interlocking rings which prevent soil from entering into the well

Archaeology department official

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