Keeladi Excavations: 6th phase Findings

Keeladi Excavations: 6th phase Findings

Keeladi is in the limelight from September 2019 as the Tamil Nadu Archaeology Department (TNAD) excavations started.

These excavations were started near Silaiman on the border between Madurai and Sivagangai districts in Tamil Nadu as a part of phase 6.

On August 12, 2020, the excavations in Konthagai village which is located 2 km away from Keeladi has found skeletal remains of a child. Konthagai village is believed to be the burial ground dated back between 6th century BCE and 1st century CE period. Also, 2 other skeletal remains of adults were found during this phase. Totally 15 urns were found till date. Total of 6 skeletons was found which consisted of 5 children skeletons.

Archaeologists started 6th phase of Keeladi excavations to discover more about the Keeladi civilization. Though the excavations were started on February 19, 2020, itself, due to coronavirus the works have halted on March 24th.

Also, Read| Excavations at Keezhadi of Tamil Nadu connects Indus Valley civilisation

Though the gender of the latest found skeleton could not be determined as of now, for further investigations, samples of the skeleton were sent to Madurai Kamaraj University (MKA) which will conduct the DNA tests. It measured 183cm in length and 35cm in breadth.

According to the Deputy Director of the state department of archaeology, R Sivanandham was the first adult skeleton to be found in Konthagai village.

So far, 27 quadrants were dug in Konthagai village. On 19th June another skeleton which measured 75cm in height was found and that was buried 0.5m below the surface level between two terracotta urns.

During these Keeladi excavations, TNAD also found a gold coin dated back to 17th Century A.D. On one side, the coin has a religious mark that is normally found on the forehead of people. In the middle of that mark, a Sun like image is embossed. Below that, a Lion image is embossed. And on the other side there are 12 dots and below 2 hands and 2 legs were embossed.

It is to be remembered that the first 3 phases of excavations were conducted by the Archaeological Survey of India. From the 4th phase, the excavations are being carried out by the Tamil Nadu State Archaeology Department. The ongoing 6th phase of excavation will end by September 30.

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