New Historian

Clay Signet Discovered in Trove of Artifacts in India

Pictures of Tamil Nadu (1)

<![CDATA[A clay signet featuring an ornamental design was just one of the around 3,000 noteworthy finds in a newly-discovered treasure trove of artifacts found in the Tamil Nadu village of Keezhadi Pallai Sandhaipudur. According to Indian news site The News Minute, the new find was made during an excavation spearheaded by the Archaeological Survey of India. A team of ASI experts say that the village is situated on the ruins of an ancient settlement that would have been on a major highway, one that played an important role in international trade. This roadway featured highly advanced engineering for the time, including a complex sewage and drainage system to collect and re-direct rain and water runoff. Composed of pipe lines created from baked clay, these sewage drains were said to be analogous with those used by the Indus Valley civilization in northwest India and modern-day Pakistan. The Indus Valley civilization is also known as the Harappan civilization – so named for Harappa, the former Punjab province dig site where evidence of the civilization was first discovered in the 1920s. The civilization itself was active during the Bronze Age, roughly between 3000 BCE and 1300 BCE; at its peak, it may have had a population of close to five million. The civilization is well-known for its sophisticated urban planning techniques. In this case, ASI experts say that the settlement in Keezhadi Pallai Sandhaipudur was a minimum of 2,500 years old, meaning it’s both in the wrong time and the wrong place to be part of the Harappan civilization. Instead, this would place it squarely in the Pandiya Dynasty, one of three Tamil dynasties that reigned in southern India from around 600 BCE. The Pandiyan Empire survived, in several different forms, until around the end of the sixteenth century CE; such a drainage system bearing a striking resemblance to ones used by a much older civilization typically found much farther north makes the case for the civil engineers of the Tamil dynasty learning much from their Indus Valley forebears. According to an ASI interview with K Amaranth Ramakrishna, the superintendent of the ASI-sanctioned dig, the fact that the drainage system was found intact is quite rare – shedding more light on this period of Tamil history. Keezhadi village bore strong signs of urban civilization, Ramakrishna added, stronger signs than were discovered in the ancient capital of Kaveri Poompattinam, located where the modern-day Tamil Nadu port city of Poompuhar exists today. There were several different styles of signets discovered during the dig. Other items uncovered by the team of ASI researchers included arrows, weapons made from both copper and iron, an assortment of rare ornaments and a so-called “scribbling nail” as well, which may have been used as a stylus or other type of instrument for making marks on a writing surface. Ramakrishna said that the signets could have been sent along by traders with their products as a way to identify the origin of the goods. The ASI began their excavations at the village on the 18th of January of this year. The dig is ongoing and plans are in place to continue investigating the site until around September of 2016. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons user: PlaneMad ]]>

Exit mobile version