Explained: Keeladi Excavations In Tamil Nadu And Why Racist And Secessionist Forces Are Eyeing Ithttps://swarajyamag.com/news-brief/expl ... -eyeing-it
On Friday (19 June), skeletal remains of a child were excavated from Konthagai village, as part of the sixth phase of ongoing excavations. Konthagai village, located around 2 km from Keeladi, is believed to be a burial site.
The skeleton was 75 cm in height and was found 0.5 m buried below surface level between two terracotta urns.
Reportedly, two other skeletal remains of adults were found at Konthagai during this phase. A total of 15 urns have been found till date.
Tamil Nadu Archaeological Department (TNAD) have found a gold coin during the excavation at Agaram dated to 17th century AD.
There is a marking that looks like a ‘naamam’ (religious marking on the forehead), the middle has a marking that looks like the sun and below it is an image of a lion. On the other side, there are 12 dots; below that is an image with two hands and two legs.
Some shells and pots, have also been found during the excavation, in all four sites.
Why is Keeladi in the limelight?
In September last year, Tamil Nadu Archaeology Department (TNAD) stated that the artefacts unearthed during Keeladi excavations could be safely dated to a period between 6th century BCE and 1st century CE, about 300 years earlier than previously assigned time of 3rd century BCE.
The report also hinted at script continuity from Indus Valley Civilisation. The 580-BCE inscription contains graffiti marks which are believed to be the link between the Indus script and the Tamil Brahmi.
Why the contention?
The Keeladi site, since its discovery has been shrouded in controversies with several Dravidian and Left ideologues claiming that the archaeological finds prove that the Indus Valley Civilisation was a “Dravidian” culture and an independent “secular” Tamil civilisation.