Published: 10th October 2017
Digging into History: Tiruchy College Museum displays Paleo-era stones and sword unearthed by students during dig in Yercaud
The archaeological team from the college discovered seven stones from the Palaeolithic Age and an iron sword from the Neolithic period during an excavation at Yercaud
The Periyar Archaeological Club, a mini-museum maintained by the History Department of Periyar EVR College in Tiruchy, will now showcase century-old stones of the Palaeolithic and Neolithic Age. The ancient findings were unearthed by the faculty and postgraduate students on a recent trip to Shevaroy Hills near Yercaud in Salem district last month.
The club that has also enthusiasts from other departments was first mooted in 2015 when the faculties of the History Department and the college management thought of displaying the series of excavated items through a specialised art gallery on its premises. As time passed, the antique pieces drew large crowds that made the Museum a prominent destination.
S Xavier, Assistant Professor of the History Department, explained that the students need to understand what exactly is said in the textbooks and the field trips were an extension of this idea and were hence organised. He said that the field trip on September 29 covered Nallur, Mottur, and Thangamalai areas. ‘The main idea is to have a hands-on experience so that the students would involve them actively in their curriculum,” he added.
An 11-member team was part of the field trip which included two staff members and two PhD research scholars with the postgraduate students making up the rest of the group. The group found seven stones that belong to the Palaeolithic Age and an iron sword belonging to the Neolithic period. The Neolithic period is when civilisation was created, that paved way for iron as an important tool
“The stones or materials found polished are said to be from Neolithic period while rough materials excavated are said to be from Paleolithic Age”, he mentioned. Professor Xavier also explained that the people of the stone-age who lived in Yercaud and Thiruvannamalai used to hunt for their livelihood and later converted their profession to agriculture. Many of the tools were found in major locations, he added.
Most of the stones were eroded by the rains and were dug out. It was also found that the same stones were worshipped by the tribals who currently live in the hamlets. Various material including fossils and pot piles described in Sangam-era literature were also displayed at the museum.
(This was first published in The New Indian Express)