The Ramanathapuram Archaeological Research Foundation (RARF) has found archaeological evidence for the existence of Sangam period town on the bank of Nayaru river, a tributary of Vaigai river at Sholandur in this district.
Collection of scattered black and red potsherds provided ample evidence to show that a Sangam period town had existed and could have been buried in the area, Mr V Rajaguru, an amateur archaeologist and president of RARF said.
The evidence came to light recently, when students of Sholandur Government High School found scattered black and red potsherds during desilting of a pond, near the bus stop and informed their English Teacher Sultan Jameer Ali. Finding that the potsherds had historical importance, he informed the foundation.
After an exploration, a team of amateur archaeologists, led by Mr. Rajaguru also found pieces of terracotta ring wells, white clay Chinese porcelain potsherds and pieces of an urn. Apart from the Sangam period black and red potsherds, the team also found things which were used during the medieval period.
Sholandur, the name of the village suggested that it could have been under the Chola regime and a prosperous town for several centuries right from Sangam period to the medieval period, he said.
The exploration also revealed interesting details that Sankaravalanallur between Ramanathapuram and Sholandur could have been a habitation site during Sangam and the medieval period, while nearby coastal towns of Devipattinam, Singanendal and Muthusamypuram could have been the medieval period habitation sites, he said.
The team found the potsherds spread in 50 acres area. It also found a base of a brick structure at Sannab mound and a brick recovered from the structure was of 15 cm width and six cm height, Mr Rajaguru said.
The structure could be a dilapidated temple, he said adding a 5 foot stone idol of Thirumal in sitting posture was found at the site. Local people worshipped the idol as Muneeswarar, he added. They found a Lingam with Avudayar at the eastern side of the pond.
Sholandur is located 25 km away from Azhagankulam, an important trading post between the Sangam Pandyas and the Romans. During comprehensive excavations, the Tamil Nadu Archaeology Department had unearthed about 13,000 artefacts and found archaeological evidence to show that Azhagankulam could date back to Sangam age.