Data have been found on the presence of an iron smelting structure made of earthen oven at Kodumanal, near Chennimalai.
The 10th excavation by the Tamil Nadu Department of Archaeology began on February 26 at a site owned by the Public Works Department on the banks of the Kodumanal Noyyal River in Erode District. Archaeological excavation project director J. Ranjith is leading the work.
Archaeologists say: Data such as dwellings, utensils, coins, pottery, etc are available to show that people lived in the area 2,400 years ago.
Excavations in various parts of the country have revealed 1,999 Tamil Brahmi written documents.
More than 1,000 of them are available here. By this time the region was inhabited by BC. It is known that barter and scientific techniques were used before 400 BC.
Iron raw materials have been found in the black and red sand area of the present excavation.
In those days, the materials were collected and heated in over 1,800 degrees Celsius in more than 10 earthen ovens along the river bank and iron was separated.
Signs have been found of making iron and collecting it in earthenware and making utensils such as weapons, including knives and spears, as well as nails and wire.
Of the 30 pits dug here, more than 12 pits have traces of iron smelting by the earthern ovens and iron scrap left after extraction. More information is likely to be available as the study continues.
Also found were copper coins, Tamil Brahmi inscriptions, pottery, tombs, iron ore and waste.
The people who lived here initially lived along the riverbank and then in the highlands after the disaster.
They have set up graves east of the residence. The tombs here are made of plank stones and the bodies are placed in large earthen pots.
In some places the bones were found directly inside the pot. Bone structures were not found as buried.
However, we have sent these to Madurai Kamarajar University and asked as to which period the bones belong. The excavation is likely to continue until next July, they added.