The series of motifs show a tall, majestic looking woman; a swathe of standing paddy next to her; a crane; a deer; a crocodile and a lizard too. These motifs resemble prehistoric cave paintings found in Erode and Dharmapuri districts of Tamil Nadu. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), Chennai Circle, made the discovery this month in one of the six trenches it dug at Adichanallur. The woman who is standing holds what looks like an oval-shaped anklet in her right hand. The deer has long, straight horns and an upturned tail. The crane is perched on some vegetation. The crocodile looks as if it is crouching. It is virtually a pictorial ode. A small, thin rope was obviously used to bring about a serrated effect on the deer’s horns, the sheaf of paddy, etc.
The ASI has also discovered two urns, fully intact, with beautiful decorations on them. One has a garland-like impression running below its rim, created by a thumb impression. Another urn has two necklace-like ornamentation, cutting each other. A flat, thin knob protrudes from one of these decorations. A third broken pot has a leaf-like design running all round its middle.
The “engineering marvel” at the Adichanallur burial site is its three-tier system. The earliest generation buried the dead in urns at a depth of about 10 feet. The next two generations buried them in urns in two tiers above. Urns were inserted by cutting a rocky hillock. Agriculture land was not used. Mr. Thirumoorthy said: “The three-tier system of burial shows their intention, with foresight, to accommodate future burials. Adichanallur shows the importance given to the dead in the early Tamil society in the mode of burial practice, and that society’s socio, economic and religious beliefs.” [The Hindu]
Pictures from Adichanallur
July 27, 2004 by palmleaf