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The Tamil Nadu Archaeology Department (TNAD) has stated that the cultural deposits unearthed during excavations at Keeladi in Sivaganga district, Tamil Nadu could be safely dated to a period between 6th century BCE and 1st century CE.
- TNAD published a report entitled as, ‘Keeladi-An Urban Settlement of Sangam Age on the Banks of River Vaigai’.
- The report was released by the Minister for Tamil Culture and Archaeology K. Pandiarajan.
- For the first time the date has been officially announced by the TNAD.
- The Sangam age is considered to be between 300BC and AD300. But the carbon dating of Keeladi artefacts, shown that, Sangam period could be dated between 600BC and AD100.
- The collected samples at the depth of 353 cm and sent to Beta Analytic Lab, Miami, Florida, U.S., for carbon dating test goes back to 580 BCE.
- With this result of fourth excavations, it is found that, second urbanization of Vaigai plains happened in Tamil Nadu around 6th century BCE as it happened in Gangetic plains.
- First three excavations were undertaken by the Archaeological Survey of India.
- The results suggest urbanization of Vaigai plains around 6th century BC just like in the Gangetic plains.
- Skeletal fragments were sent to Deccan College Post Graduate and Research Institute in Pune. This finds, species such as;
cow/ox, buffalo, sheep, goat, nilgai, blackbuck, wild boar and peacock.
- And these animals were predominantly used for agricultural purposes. But there was no trace of big animals like elephant.
- For the first time a book on Keeladi has been brought out after it began excavation on the site in 2017.
- The report also spelt the site as Keeladi as against the erstwhile widely used Keezhadi.
- It said no object of worship was found at the site.
- The Keeladi findings push back the date of Tamil-Brahmi script to another century, i.e., 6th century BCE which clearly denotes the people belonging to this era attained literacy or learned the art of writing.
- Fifty-six Tamil-Brahmi inscribed potsherds were recovered from the site of excavation conducted by the TNAD.
- It is confirmed that water containers and cooking vessels were shaped out of locally available raw materials.
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