Explained | The significance of the findings in Keeladi

Source: The post is based on the article “Explained | The significance of the findings in Keeladi” published in The Hindu on 23rd February 2023

What is the News?

Keeladi is an archaeological site that has been excavated by the Tamil Nadu State Department of Archaeology since 2014.

What is Keeladi?

Keeladi excavation site is a Sangam age settlement that is being excavated by the Archaeological Survey of India and the Tamil Nadu State Department of Archaeology.

It is about 12 km south-east to the temple city of Madurai and is located along the Vaigai River.

The excavations here from 2015 prove that an urban civilisation existed in Tamil Nadu in the Sangam age on the banks of the Vaigai River.

About Sangam Age:

The Sangam age is a period of history in ancient Tamil Nadu which was believed to be from the third century BCE to the third century CE. 

The name is derived from the renowned Sangam poets of Madurai from that time. 

Significance of excavations at Keeladi site:

The excavations at Keeladi have pushed the Sangam age to 800 BCE based on these archaeological findings.

Keeladi could also provide crucial evidence for understanding the missing links of the Iron Age (12th century BCE to sixth century BCE) to the Early Historic Period (sixth century BCE to fourth century BCE) and subsequent cultural developments.

Are there any links to Indus Valley Civilization?

The findings have invited comparisons with the Indus Valley Civilisation while acknowledging the cultural gap of 1,000 years between the two places. 

Till now, the gap is filled with Iron Age material in south India, which serves as residual links.

However, some of the symbols found in pot sherds of Keeladi bear a close resemblance to Indus Valley signs.

Hence, a lot of digging and study has to be done to establish the links between these two civilisations.

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