Artefacts from microlithic and iron age found

Findings were discovered by historian Gandhirajan and fellow enthusiasts

Several stone tools and artefacts belonging to microlithic age and iron age were found at the foothills of the Western Ghats in Manuthu – Paraipatti village near Usilampatti block in Madurai by K.T. Gandhirajan, an art historian who undertakes documentation of historical monuments across the State, along with a group of enthusiasts.

Mr. Gandhirajan said that around 20 cup marks were found on a rock shelter found at the site.

“Cup marks is a prehistoric art form that is found on rocks across the world. Though there are different interpretations regarding the cup marks, there is no specific meaning that can be derived out of them,” he says. The rock shelter, which is huge, can accommodate around 20 people and could have been used by hunters-gatherers during that period, he adds.

Several stones belonging to microlithic age, dating back to around 3,000 to 5,000 years, were found near the rock shelter.

These stones were of different colours, sizes and shapes.

“These stones could have been used to tear down the hunted animals for consumption of meat,” he says.

Agricultural activities

Remains belonging to the iron age, including iron slags and moulds, were also found. “By the iron-age period, the people engaged in agriculture-related activities too,” he says. Burial urns were also found there.

“By these remains we can infer that people belonging to different time periods and cultures settled down at this site. This region’s landscape was Mullai (forest) and these remains show the kind of civilisations that have evolved in the foothills,” he says.

This place, which was an old trade route leading towards Chera kingdom, has high potential for further archaeological excavation, he adds.

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