Keeladi excavation site

The recent announcement of the TNAD – Tamil Nadu Archaeological Department stated that the cultural deposits unearthed at Keeladi, Sivagangai district can be dated to a period in 3rd century BC. However, samples sent to US for carbon dating say that the artifacts are much more older. They may be 300 years older than they believe. This can be a major turning point in the cultural historiography of Sangam literature. It is the second urbanization that happened in the Vaigai river simultaneously as it happened in the Gangetic plains. The first happened on the banks of Indus river.

The first 3 excavations were done by the Indian Archaeological team. The 4th excavation was done by the TNAD. The department released its report on 20th September 2019. The findings of the report as follows

  • The findings push back the the date of Tamil – Brahmi script to another century.
  • The civilians of the settlement learned writing around 6th century BC
  • They had used animals predominantly for agriculture.
  • the water containers and cooking vessels were shaped out of local raw materials.

Findings of the archaeological team

The team dug out 48 square pits. It included skeletal tools, roof tiles, brick walls, pottery, iron Vel, Tamil – Brahmi letter etched plates. The place was under the rule of the Pandyan dynasty.


The buildings depict the fact that it was a well – developed city. The excavation has disproved the fact that there were no buildings in Sangam period. The buildings had sewage canal facility. They were made of ceramic tubes. They were built using bricks. They also had ring wells attached to them to store enough water.


The arretine and rouletted type ceramic pots unearthed prove that they had business connections with the Roman empire. The archaeologists also found black and red parchment fragments. Apart from this, the sites also had red papillae, white colored black and reddish pitted pieces.


There were marbles, sponges, green yellow glass beads found in the site. It also had copper sheets of wire, elephant tusks. Other rare artifacts obtained from the site were terracotta stamps, firefly toys, stylus, diaphragm ties.


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