| 6 April 2005
Iron Age settlement found in India
Archaeologists in India have found the Iron Age settlement associated with the Adichanallur burial site.
The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), Chennai Circle, has located where the people who were buried in big urns once lived. Adichanallur, 24 km from Tirunelveli town in Tamil Nadu, has an urn-burial mound which yielded 157 burial urns in 2004, including 50 intact examples, 15 of which contained human skeletons. Evidence of a settlement was found on the north and north-western slopes of the mound, a few hundred metres away from the burial fields.
T. Satyamurthy, Superintending Archaeologist, ASI, Chennai Circle, said, "We have succeeded in locating the habitational site at Adichanallur. We are excavating in a place where we are getting the materials of a town where people actually lived. The fortification wall has been traced. There is a regular alignment wall."
The burial site has been dated to around 1000 BCE, and Mr. Satyamurthy believes the settlement is contemporary with that. Within the wall of the settlement, the archaeologists identified a smith's shop, the potters' quarters, and three kilns containing ash, charcoal and broken pots. Artefacts found so far include an iron knife, copper bangles, carnelian beads, terracotta beads, couex beads, bone implements and potsherds with graffiti.
One broken piece of urn was decorated with a series of stunning motifs of a tall woman, a sheaf of standing paddy, a crane sitting on the paddy stalk, a deer with straight horns and rudimentary Tamil Brahmi writing.
Mr. Satyamurthy said: "It looks like a crowded town, which was busy. On the one side is the burial site. Within 500 metres, you have the kilns, which means life was active. It might have been an urban centre."
Source: The Hindu (2 April 2005)
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