Tamil Nadu Excavation Carbon Dating Finds A 3,200-Year-Old Civilisation

Sep 9, 2021

Carbon dating of rice grains and husk found in an urn - found in recent 'Porunai' archaeological excavations along the River Thamiraparani - has revealed they belong to 1155 BCE.

In a shot in the arm for Tamil Nadu's claims of its lands being the home to a thriving civilisation much older than earlier established, recent 'Porunai' archaeological excavations along the River Thamiraparani have found scientific proof of advanced human habitation more than 3,200 years old, the state government said on Thursday.

Article from NDTV

Making this announcement in the state assembly, Chief Minister MK Stalin said carbon dating investigation of rice grains and husk found in an urn by the Miami-based Beta Analytic Testing Laboratory has revealed they belong to 1155 BCE.

Earlier excavations from Adhichanallur and Korkai, which is believed to have been a port, in the Tuticorin district have been confirmed by experts that they belong to 9th century BCE and 8 BCE respectively, confirming a mature civilisation there, now called Tamiraparani.

Underscoring the need for updating the civilisational history of the Indian sub-continent, MK Stalin added, "History of Indian sub-continent's civilisation should be re-written from Tamil Nadu landscape."

The carbon dating was done by Miami-based Beta Analytic Testing Laboratory in Florida, US.

Similar findings of a silver punch-marked coin with symbols of sun, moon, taurine and a few geometric designs found at Keeladi excavations in Sivaganga district have been found to belong to the Pre-Mauryan 4th century BCE, comparing with the Gupta Hardekar series. The latest revelations put Porunai civilisation older by 600 years.

Calling the Porunai civilisation the oldest in South India and backed by scientific process, Minister for Industries and Archaeology Thangam Thennarasu told NDTV, "This scientifically proves Tamil civilisation is as ancient as Indus Valley civilisation. Tamil is a classical language. Earlier it was portrayed it's not as old as it was portrayed. Now it's scientifically established through a scientific process that it's an ancient language and there existed a civilisation which was very rich in cultural, trade and industrial activities."

Renowned historian V Sriram said, "In the past, we've had plenty of literary evidence in terms of Sangam poetry which very clearly describe how advanced regions such as Korakai and Kaveripoompatinnam were. These findings are now only buttressing those valuable treatises."

The state government has said it will set up an archaeological museum in Tirunelveli for ₹ 15 crore and expand its archaeological excavations and research in other countries like Egypt, Oman, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam with whom ancient Tamils have had trade and cultural ties.

Confirming that it was the new DMK government that sent the samples for carbon dating, Mr Thennarasu added, "Whenever DMK comes to power, it attaches importance to Tamil, Tamil culture and Tamil development. Even within a short period, we have made this significant discovery."

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