PUDUKKOTTAI: In a big breakthrough, a brick canal-like structure was found during excavation in Porpanaikottai on Thursday, which archaeologists said might be proof that a civilization existed here. Since it appears to be a waterway channel, it is proof of a thriving civilization, experts said.
The excavation, which began on July 30, is being carried out by Tamil Nadu Open University (TNOU), at possibly the site of the only Sangam era fort in the State.
E Iniyan, director of the excavation and assistant professor of archaeology, TNOU, said, "We found this structure at a depth of two feet. It is a waterway channel and looks like a canal. However, we would have to dig further to confirm that. As the fort belongs to the Sangam era, this may also belong to the same age. However, we need more studies. This is definite proof of a thriving civilization."
The excavation is being carried out in a 1.62-km radius in the Fort. Sangam age bricks, iron nails, pots, cooking vessels, knobs, pieces of bones, glass beads in different shapes and colours have been found. Several Sangam age pots, both red and black, and roof tiles have also been unearthed.
An 8x8 metre trench and two 3x3 metre trenches have been dug for the excavation currently.
"This discovery, for the first time, offers proof of ancient civilization in Pudukkottai. Previously, in other areas, burial sites were found. This waterway proves that a culturally and socially sound civilization thrived here. Since there is a lake nearby, it could have been used to connect to it, or for some businesses," said A Manikandan, founder of Archaeological Research Forum.
The first phase of this excavation will be completed by September. Iniyan and his team will apply for permission for the second phase soon. A report will be submitted to the Archaeological Survey of India by September, sources said.
The New Indian Express contacted an official from ASI Tiruchy. The official said that they could not comment on the excavation without visiting the site.