Keezhadi-Cradle of Tamil Civilization-Ep-8
I am happy on a personal level that this series is going onto newer episodes, as more history is unearthed from the Keezhadi civilization.
Nothing much has changed in 2000 years, amazon screen grab of a terracotta container listed in 2021
The terracotta vessel has an intricately designed band along its outer surface, it seems we are not sure if this is part of ring well or grain storing unit. The container is 77cm in diameter and has a 2cm thick rim. It has thumb impressions. The ring wells discovered here have an interlocking system, where sand cannot enter the wells, but air and water could percolate through them. These structures which could store water helped inhabitants to survive drought period and have permanent dwellings.
Burial urns are being found at Sivagalai excavation regularly, with 15 of them discovered recently. They are of about two to four feet in height. The urns started surfacing from a depth of 50cm from the surface and went to a depth of 240cm.Five urns were intact with lids, and 10 of them are in good condition without lids. Smoking pipe, bone point, and spindle hole were detected as part of the find as well.
A thin silver punch marked coin weighing 2.2 gm which has symbols like sun, moon, bull, taurine, with the other side had semi circles and L shaped mark. These coins indicate trade happening between Gangetic valley civilization.
The people of the civilization had a detailed burial makeup, primary burial being done at surface level, and for secondary burial, they would retrieve the bones and bury it an urn. In some cases, body would be buried in an urn directly. People from that era offered food in pots along with the burial urns. The remaining sediments of food particles in the pots can help in tracing their food culture. There could be changes due to the age and bacterial influence. Samples of sediments, food particles have been collected and sent for analysis.
Noting that the literacy of that era was high, Sivanantham, director of the excavation, explains, The pots had inscriptions, and since their depth varies over the pot, it implies that the inscriptions were made before the pots were glazed. Each pot has a different writing style. More than 70 inscribed pots were found, proving that a lot of people were literate.
A thin gold wire, to what must have been used for ear piercing ceremonies, has been discovered. Its unbent length is 4.5 cm, maximum diameter is 1.99 cm, and minimum diameter is 1.73 cm. It was found 109 cm beneath the surface.
Tracing DNA sequences of the remains is bound to be challenging as they have undergone various climatic changes, bacterial processes, and were buried for years. But there are higher chances of DNA sequencing of remains stored in properly-lidded urns, compared to those buried directly. Not all samples from the sites may have DNA sequences, but a few will, and these few will change history and put the spotlight on the civilization,” says Prof G Kumaresan, head of MKU’s immunology department.
Clear documentation and more research and drawing parallels found with the literature of the age, is bound to throw more perspective into the lives of the people of the civilization.