Archaeologists working at Keeladi, a historic excavation sitelocated 12 km southeast of Madurai in Tamil Nadu, have unearthed a crystal quartz weighing unit from the Sangam era. The weighing unit, found 175 cm beneath the ground, is the first of its kind since excavations began in Keeladi in 2014.
Unique in design, the crystal unit has a somewhat spherical shape.
An official statement from the state archaeology department said that the unit measures 2 cm in diameter,1.5 cm in height and weighs a mere 8 grams. In addition, archaeologists also found a terracotta hopscotch, an iron nail, black and red ware, and red slipped ware. Archaeologists also found an earthen snake figurine.
This discovery has stirred excitement among historians and archaeologists as weighing units in the past were primarily made of stones. Even as a detailed assessment on the findings is underway, an expert said they do not know the precise unit that the crystal was used to weigh.Express Research | Proximity to Madurai put Keeladi on archaeological map, the findings there took village to centre of Tamil consciousness
“We can confirm that they were used for weighing purposes. Though we found stone-made weighing units earlier, these were not rock-made but made of minerals. These weighting units were not used for paddy or vegetables but for weighing high-value items such as gold, precious and semi-precious stones. Crystals or mineral materials are used as weighing units because they give accurate results and do not depend on the climate,” said an expert with the state archaeological department.Most Read 1 Gadar 2 box office collection day 4: Sunny Deol film records biggest Monday collections of all time, nets a total of Rs 173 cr 2 Bigg Boss OTT 2 Finale Live Updates: Elvish Yadav wins Salman Khan’s show, Abhishek Malhan shares message from hospital 3 Happy Independence Day 2023: Wishes Images, Whatsapp Messages, Status, Quotes, and Photos 4 OMG 2 box office collection day 4: Pankaj Tripathi-Akshay Kumar film delivers better Monday than opening Friday, earns Rs 55.1 cr 5 Jailer box office collection Day 5: Rajinikanth film set to cross Rs 350-crore mark worldwide on Independence Day Express Research | Proximity to Madurai put Keeladi on archaeological map, the findings there took village to centre of Tamil consciousness
The crystal quartz unit might have originated in the Kangayam area (near Coimbatore). “Even the Geological Survey of India (GSI) has evidence for this.There are also studies about the availability of crystal quartz in Karur region,” a department expert said. Even as detailed studies are underway, experts estimate that the quartz is probably from a period between 600 BC to 2nd century AD.
Keeladi is currently witnessing the ninth phase of excavations launched by Chief Minister MK Stalin last April. Ongoing archaeological excavations in Keeladi and a few other sites in Tamil Nadu have extended the timeline of the Sangam Era from 300 BCE to 600 BCE.Also ReadNarendra Modi Independence Day Speech Live Updates: India now identified ...Govt SOP for Judges: Do not name officials for court panelsShivaji statue vandalised in Goa, police initiate inquiry‘Will return to Red Fort next year’: In Independence Day speech, PM Modi ...Advertisement
Multiple excavations in Tamil Nadu sites initiated by the state archeology department have gained political significance in the light of long-running claims and disputes over Tamil civilisation or Dravidian legacy.© The Indian Express (P) Ltd