About Keeladi archaeological site
- The site Keeladi with pre-historic cultural deposit mound extending over a vast area of more than 110 acre is located in Sivagangai District, Tamilnadu.
- Excavation had revealed cultural traits in the form of structural activity (brick structures, terracotta ring wells, terracotta pipes).
- Antiquities like few pieces of gold ornaments, copper objects, iron implements, terracotta gamesmen (chessman), hopscotches (a game), ear ornaments, spindle whorls, figurines, beads of terracotta, glass, semi-precious stones (agate, carnelian, crystal, etc.).
- Popular ceramic types like finer variety of Black and Red ware, Black ware, Black Polished ware, Red ware, Rouletted ware, few pieces of Arretines were also found.
- There are also a number of graffiti sherds of both pre and post firing nature.
- A good number of potsherds with Tamil Brahmi script were found which had several Sangam era Tamil names, which indicate a highly literate society.
- The Tamil Nadu Archaeology Department (TNAD) has stated that the Keeladi deposits could be safely dated to a period between 6th century BCE and 1st century CE.
- The findings push back the date of Tamil-Brahmi script to another century, i.e., 6th century BCE.
- It reveals that an urban civilisation existed in Tamil Nadu in the Sangam era on the banks of the river Vaigai, contemporary to the second urbanisation [the first being Indus] of the Gangetic Valley.
- There was no evidence of any kind of religious worship.
- Skeletal remains of oxen, cows, buffaloes and goats indicate that there was cattle-rearing.
- The antiquities, taken together, suggest that the prime occupation of the people of Keeladi was agriculture, which was supplemented by the iron industry, carpentry, pottery-making and weaving.
- Beads of agate, Carnelian and quartz indicate that they had trade links with countries like Rome.
- The Keeladi findings have led academics to describe the site as part of the Vaigai Valley Civilisation.
- The results from previous excavations suggest that the second urbanisation [the first being Indus] of Vaigai valley happened in Tamil Nadu around 6th century BCE as it happened in Gangetic plains.
Why in News?
- Skeletal remains of a child were excavated recently from Konthagai village, part of the sixth phase of ongoing excavations in the ancient site of Keeladi.
- The skeleton was found buried between two terracotta urns.
- A gold coin that is said to have been used extensively in the 17th century AD, some shells and pots, have also been found recently.
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