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Sangam-Era Cemetery Excavated in Southern India

Thursday, March 16, 2023

TAMIL NADU, INDIA—The Deccan Herald reports that 79 carnelian beads have been found in a single burial urn at the site of Konthagai, which is located in southern India, by researchers from the Tamil Nadu State Department of Archaeology. The site is thought to have been used as a cemetery by the residents of Keeladi, a settlement situated about one-half mile away from Konthagai that was inhabited from about the third century to the eighth century A.D. To date, 59 urns made of red ware, red ware with black and red ware lids, red slipped ware, and black and red ware have been found at Konthagai. The carnelian beads are similar to beads unearthed at Keeladi, and help to link the cemetery to the settlement. Five iron swords, two iron chisels, and an iron ax were also recovered from the burials. The researchers plan to carbon date rice husks found in some of the urns to help date the site, while samples of human remains, found in 20 of the urns, will be analyzed at Madurai Kamaraj University. To read about brick structures in Tamil Nadu that are thought to date to the Chola Empire, go to "Tamil Royal Palace."

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