Thursday, November 24, 2016

2500 years old city found in Tamilnadu .. Keezhadi village near Madurai



The ASI’s excavations at Keezhadi near Madurai, its largest in Tamil Nadu, have unearthed hard evidence of the city’s existence in the Sangam Age of the Early Historic period. By T.S. SUBRAMANIAN

At Keezhadi, a village not far from the southern bank of the Vaigai river near Madurai, the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) is undertaking a massive excavation, possibly its biggest to date in Tamil Nadu. Already 42 trenches have been dug in two locations in a coconut grove at a place called Pallichandai Thidal in the village. K. Amarnath Ramakrishna, Superintending Archaeologist, ASI’s Excavation Branch VI, Bengaluru, is leading the excavation, which has thrown up quite a few surprises and is attracting many visitors, among them schoolchildren and tourists. Amarnath takes time off to explain to visitors the significance of the finds. One such is a “deep terracotta ring well with 13 rings” that promises to go down further. “Here we have a ring well in association with a structure built of big-sized bricks. This is a peculiarity,” he tells a few visiting archaeology buffs. He contrasts this with the ring well excavated at Vasavasamudram near Kalpakkam (near Chennai), which stood independent of any other structure. The same is the case at Arikkamedu near Puducherry, he adds.

The structure associated with the well is made of burnt bricks, and the floor is also paved with big bricks. In fact, trench after trench, each five metres long and five metres wide and several metres deep, has structures made of burnt bricks. No mud bricks have been used. One trench features two brick walls, looking imposing and meeting each other. One of the walls is ten bricks thick and set in mud mortar. Each brick is 36 cm long, 24 cm wide and 6 cm thick. Another trench features a rectangular brick structure that looks like an antechamber. Large-sized hand-made grooved tiles have also been found in this trench, suggesting that the structure may have had a tiled roof. One trench has a channel made of bricks, perhaps for releasing water. In most of the trenches, below a certain level, layers of river sand have been found, signalling the existence of paleochannels in the area many centuries ago. There are big storage jars, pots with spouts, twin pots, big decorated pots, black and red pottery, white-painted black ware, and so on, jutting out of the trench walls. the Deccan Herald

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