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Keeladi excavations

Topics Covered: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

Keeladi excavations

The Context:

Skeletal remains of a child excavated as part of Keeladi’s 6th phase excavation. The skeleton was found buried between two terracotta urns.

All about Keeladi excavations:

  1. Excavations in Keeladi prove that an urban civilisation existed in Tamil Nadu in the Sangam era on the banks of the river Vaigai. 
  2. Many antiquities have been unearthed that provide crucial evidence to understanding the missing links of the Iron Age [12th century BCE to 6th century BCE] to the Early Historic Period [6th century BCE to 4th century BCE] and subsequent cultural developments.
  3. Literate society: Tamil Brahmi letters found were inscribed when the pot was wet or after the pot became dry. This clearly suggests literacy levels in the 6th century BC.
  4. Agrarian society that reared cattle: Skeletal fragments of cow/ox, buffalo, sheep, goat, nilgai, blackbuck, wild boar and peacock were found.
  5. High standard of living: Long walls, Well-laid floors along with roof tiles in a collapsed state, iron nails fastened to the poles and rafters prove a high standard of living during the Sangam age.
  6. Items found: Brick structures, terracotta ring wells, fallen roofing with tiles, golden ornaments, broken parts of copper objects, iron implements, terracotta chess pieces, ear ornaments, spindle whorls, figurines, black and redware, rouletted ware and a few pieces of Arretine ware, besides beads made of glass, terracotta and semi-precious stones.
  7. Graffiti marks are found in earthenware, caves and rocks in or near the excavation sites.



Prelims Link:

  1. Where is Keeladi?
  2. What is Sangam era?
  3. Key elements unearthed at the site?
  4. Trade during sangam era.
  5. Use of gold coins in ancient India.

Sources: the Hindu.