Page:Catalogue of the prehistoric antiquities from Adichanallur and Perumbair.djvu/19

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TINNEVELLY PREHISTORIC ANTIQUITIES.


INTRODUCTION.[1]

The site at Adichanallur stands on the right bank of the Tambaraparni river, about two miles west of the town of Srivaikuntam in the Tinnevelly district. It was first brought to notice in 1876, when it was visited by Dr. Jagor of Berlin, accompanied by Mr. Stuart, the Acting Collector of Tinnevelly, and by the District Engineer.

The Collector, in a letter to Government,[2] said :-“We commenced excavations in the side of a hill consisting chiefly of quartz gravel with boulders of the same material and resting on gneiss rock and within a superficial area of twenty-five or thirty square yards, we discovered from twenty to thirty baked earthen pots varying in size from three feet nine by three feet six down to ten inches either way, of very various shapes, and of shapes in most cases more elegant and of a better manufacture than any one sees at the present day in the bazaars.

"These pots, when examined, were found to contain, besides earth, gravel and stoves, a variety of objects of great interest to the antiquarian, the ethnologist, and to science generally.

“Upwards of fifty kinds of baked earthenware utensils of all sizes and shapes, a considerable number of iron weapons and implements, chiefly knives or short sword-blades and hatchets, and a great quantity of bones and skulls were discovered. In one very interesting case, two small pots were found within a large one, together with the bones as in most cases of a nearly complete skeleton, containing what it was impossible to mistake for anything else but the outer coats of grains of rice and of the dry grain known in Tinnevelly as samei. The grain itself had disappeared, but the outer coating–probably of silica–had remained.

“Several places at considerable distances, one at least 300 or 400 yards from our principal excavation, were found to contain similar


  1. Vide Reports of the Archæological Survey, Southern Circle, for 1899-1900 to 1903-04, and of the Archæological Survey of India for 1902-08 and 1903-04
  2. Proceedings of the Madras Government, Public Department (No. 829 of 27th March 1876).