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Axes, scrappers, handmade tiles- latest finds in TN excavation

  • Published
    29th Sep, 2022

ASI officials discovered some Sangam age artefacts from Natham Medu, 40 km north-west of Chennai city.

Recent discoveries at Natham Medu:

  • Some of the artefacts found included hand axes, scrapers, cleavers and choppers as old as 12,000 years to rouletted ware (from the Sangam era – 2,000 years ago), Roman amphora sherds and glass beads indicating active trade with Rome.
  • The archeological site at Guruvan Medu, also known as Natham Medu, near Vadakkupattu village, was originally discovered in 1922.
  • There are around 200 potential sites in Tamil Nadu that are used by students and universities for their small-scale excavations.

Significance of such findings:

  • One of the major archaeological findings from Tamil Nadu in the recent past were in September 2019, indicating that Keeladi, near Madurai, was an urban settlement of Sangam Age on the banks of River Vaigai.
  • The findings had also pushed the history of literacy in south India to at least 2,600 years ago, reducing the gap between the Sangam era or Tamilagam (South India), and the Indus Valley Civilisation (1,500 BCE). Earlier, it was the 3rd century BCE.

What is Sangam Age?

  • The Sangam Age constitutes an important chapter in the history of South India. According to Tamil legends, there existed three Sangams (Academy of Tamil poets) in ancient Tamil Nadu popularly called Muchchangam.
  • These Sangams flourished under the royal patronage of the Pandyas.
    • The first Sangam, held at Then Madurai, was attended by gods and legendary sages but no literary work of this Sangam was available.
    • The second Sangam was held at Kapadapuram but the all the literary works had perished except Tolkappiyam.
    • The third Sangam at Madurai was founded by Mudathirumaran. It was attended by a large number of poets who produced voluminous literature but only a few had survived.
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