Experts from the Department of Maritime History and Marine Archaeology of the Tamil University in the second week of September 2015 discovered the existence of a flourishing port town in Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu during the Sangam era and the Middle Chola period.
The findings were based on the results unearthed during an archaeological excavation at Mandripattinam fishing hamlet in Thanjavur district.
Sangam era relates to third Century Before Common Era to Third Century Common Era while Middle Chola period ranges from 850 to 1250 Common Era.
• One of the trenches at Sendhalaipattinam yielded eight Ceylon Man type copper coins of the Middle Chola vintage. A silver Pana coin belonging to the Vijayanagar Empire was also found in a trench there.
• A square lead coin having punch marks of an elephant was also discovered with a bow on the reverse side.
• A piece of a pretty thin metal string was also recovered nearby revealing the astute and intricate hand craft ability of the artisans of the yonder age.
• There was also a terracotta figurine of an ox head and a snake hood dating back to the medieval period among the recoveries at the trenches.
• At Sendhalaipattinam, the excavators founded the remnants of a mud wall at the floor level, a huge water pot and an indigenous water purifying system using a series of pipes for at least 10 feet.
• A piece of core gold and a broke part of gold jewellery were part of the artefacts recovered from that hamlet.
The findings indicate the existence of a thriving port town during the beginning of the Common Era. The trenches in all the spots also yielded more than 600 tiny semi precious stones of various types and hues. Stunningly, several of the mustard-sized stones had still smaller hole in them to allow thread to form a necklace.
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Where: Thanjavur district
What: Discovered by experts