A small village near Dharmapuri has been found to be archaeologically significant as historians have revealed that it has been inhabited since the Neolithic age, about 10,000 years ago.
Historians, who have been studying inscriptions and tools found in the area, are of the opinion that Modhur, situated about fifteen kilo metres from Dharmapuri town, was highly civilised and was most probably the capital for the Athiyaman kingdom. Stone hammers, grinding stones, rubbing stones, stone balls, and a terracotta statue of the mother goddess were excavated in the village.
Nearly 17 varieties of stones tools were used by the people of Modhur that dates back to a period about 10,000 years back. “The Neolithic people who lived here were highly civilised and there is evidence that the people were engaged in agriculture,” said S Selvaraj, a retired regional assistant director, department of archaeology.
According to Selvaraj, in the entire state of Tamil Nadu, Modhur is the only place where this many stone tools and Celts were unearthed. “In Purananuru, a sangam anthology, there is evidence of the inhabitants of Modhur, which was called Mudhur at that time. As a historian, I think it was most likely that Modhur was the capital of the Athiyaman kingdom,” he adds.
When asked if there were any links between the Modhur and the Indus civilisation, he said, “There were no connections between the two. Inscriptions found in the Indus valley were in hieroglyphs but in Modhur, we had found graffiti inscriptions.” However, he added that like Modhur, there may be Neolithic human habitation in Mayiladumparai of Pochampalli, Mullikadu of Harur and many parts of Krishnagiri district.
A Chola period inscription of the 10th century, which was found in the village, indicated that Chola kings had imposed tax for marriages. Two hero stone inscription of a Hoysala king were also found in Modhur.
The village holds a lot of evidence of the historical significance of Tamilians. Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri are archaeologically rich and much can be found if proper excavations are done, he said.