Category Archives: INDIA

Rishi Rajpopat, the Indian Ph.D. student at Cambridge, cracks 2,500-year-old ‘father of linguistics’ Panini code

Rishi Rajpopat, the Indian Ph.D. student at Cambridge, cracks 2,500-year-old ‘father of linguistics’ Panini code

A grammatical problem which has defeated Sanskrit scholars since the 5th Century BC has finally been solved by an Indian PhD student at the University of Cambridge, it emerged as his thesis was published on Thursday.

Rishi Rajpopat made the breakthrough by decoding a rule taught by Panini, known as the father of linguistics, and is now encapsulated in his thesis entitled ‘In Panini, We Trust: Discovering the Algorithm for Rule Conflict Resolution in the Astadhyayi.’

According to the university, leading Sanskrit experts have described Rajpopat’s discovery as “revolutionary”.

Dr Rishi Rajpopat, whose PhD thesis cracks the remaining code of Pāṇini’s language machine (Rahil Rajpopat/ Cambridge University )

The 2,500-year-old algorithm decoded by him makes it possible, for the first time, to accurately use Panini’s so-called “language machine”.

Panini’s grammar, known as the Astadhyayi, relied on a system that functioned like an algorithm. Feed in the base and suffix of a word and it should turn them into grammatically correct words and sentences through a step-by-step process.

However, two or more of Panini’s rules often apply simultaneously, resulting in conflicts. Panini taught a “metarule”, which is traditionally interpreted by scholars as meaning “in the event of a conflict between two rules of equal strength, the rule that comes later in the grammar’s serial order wins”. However, this often led to grammatically incorrect results.

Rajpopat rejected the traditional interpretation of the metarule. Instead, he argued that Panini meant that between rules applicable to the left and right sides of a word respectively, Panini wanted us to choose the rule applicable to the right side. Employing this interpretation, he found the Panini’s “language machine” produced grammatically correct words with almost no exceptions.

Panini’s system is thought to have been written around 500 BC.

“I had a eureka moment in Cambridge,” recalls Rajpopat. “After nine months trying to crack this problem, I was almost ready to quit, I was getting nowhere.

So, I closed the books for a month and just enjoyed the summer…. Then, begrudgingly I went back to work, and, within minutes, as I turned the pages, these patterns started emerging, and it all started to make sense…,” said the 27-year-old scholar. It would take him another two and half years before he would get to the finish line.

“My student Rishi has cracked it – he has found an extraordinarily elegant solution to a problem which has perplexed scholars for centuries.

This discovery will revolutionise the study of Sanskrit at a time when interest in the language is on the rise,” said professor Vincenzo Vergiani, Sanskrit professor and Rajpopat’s PhD supervisor. Sanskrit is an ancient and classical Indo-European language. It is spoken in India by an estimated 25,000 people today.

Prehistoric Stone Tools Found in Western India

Prehistoric Stone Tools Found in Western India

Prehistoric Stone Tools Found in Western India
Several small and large stone tools were found during excavations

Over the years rock carvings of a previously unknown civilisation have been found in India’s western state of Maharashtra. Now, a cave in the same region is promising to shed more light on the creators of these prehistoric artworks and their lives. The BBC Marathi’s Mayuresh Konnur reports.

The cave, located around 10km (six miles) away from Koloshi village in the Konkan region of western Maharashtra, was discovered by a group of researchers last year. Excavations earlier this year revealed several stone tools in the cave that date back tens of thousands of years.

“Nowhere in the world can we find rock art of this kind,” says Dr Tejas Garge, who heads Maharashtra’s archaeology department. Archaeologists believe these artefacts can help us find out more about the way our ancestors lived.

Two rounds of excavations were conducted in the cave

The cave, which is situated in a secluded forest in Sindhudurg, was discovered by researchers who were studying rock carvings in nearby areas.

Excavation work was conducted in two rounds, during which archaeologists dug two trenches inside the cave. Several big and small stone tools dating back to the Mesolithic period – also called the middle stone age – have been found.

“The microliths, or the small stone tools, date back to around 10,000 years, whereas the larger tools could be around 20,000 years old,” says Rutivij Apte, who has been researching the Konkan petroglyphs and was part of the excavation team.

Dr Parth Chauhan, an archaeologist, says chemical processes are used to analyse any residue that might be present on the edges of the artefacts. This can help determine what the object was used for.

“It will take a couple of months to find out the exact time period these stone tools belong to. But right now, we can say that these artefacts are between 10,000 to 48,000 years old.”

Microliths – small stone tools – were discovered inside the cave

Maharashtra’s laterite-rich Konkan plateau where this cave was discovered is also a treasure trove of prehistoric art. In the past explorers have discovered rock carvings of animals, birds, human figures and geometrical designs hidden under layers of soil in several villages here.

So far, 1700 petroglyphs – or rock carvings – have been found at 132 locations in 76 villages in Sindhudurg and the nearby Ratnagiri district.

Several petroglyphs – rock carvings – have been found in Maharashtra’s Konkan region

Saili Palande Datar, a Pune-based art historian and writer, says these carvings offer great insights into the life and habits of prehistoric man.

She gives the example of an iconic rock carving of a human figure found near Barsu village in the Ratnagiri district.

The carving is embossed on a rock and seems to be of a male figure who is holding what appears to be tigers and other wild animals in both hands.

“There is an amazing sense of symmetry in this carving, which points to a high level of skill. The picture also depicts the relationship man shared with animals,” Ms Datar says.

He says that seals of the Harappan civilisation – one of the oldest civilisations in human history that flourished in the Indian subcontinent – also depict the close relationship man shared with animals.

“The seals have images of large animals like tigers and buffaloes and of man hunting animals,” she says.

Experts say that mysteries around these prehistoric rock carvings are far from being solved, but a Unesco tag – natural and cultural landmarks from around the world are singled out for their “outstanding universal value” to humanity – can help preserve them for generations.

Eight rock carving sites in the Konkan region are already a part of Unesco’s tentative list of World Heritage sites, which is the first step towards getting the tag for any culturally-significant site.

10,000-Year-Old Rock Paintings Depict UFOs And Aliens

10,000-Year-Old Rock Paintings Depict UFOs And Aliens

The State Department of Archaeology and Culture in Chhattisgarh, India, is seeking assistance from the Indian Space Research Organisation to research a set of ancient rock paintings found inside caves near the town of Charama in Kanker district, in the tribal Bastar region, according to a news report in the Times of India. 

According to one archaeologist, the art reflects the belief among ancient humans that we are not alone in the universe.

The Indian state of Chhattisgarh has an abundance of ancient rock paintings, according to their website. Many sites have paintings of humans and animals in everyday scenes.

Old Rock Paintings

However, some researchers have referred to more unusual paintings, such as those depicting what appear to be kangaroos and giraffes, which are not native to the country, as well as human-fish hybrid creatures. Now, it is claimed that aliens and UFOs can be added to this collection.

“The paintings are done in natural colours that have hardly faded despite the years. The strangely carved figures are seen holding weapon-like objects and do not have clear features. Especially, the nose and mouth are missing. In a few pictures, they are even shown wearing space suits,” said archaeologist JR Bhagat.

Bhagat, who has studied rock art, claims that the newly-discovered depictions date back some 10,000 years, although the dating method has not been clarified.

Bhagat suggests that the images may depict extra-terrestrials and UFOs as the paintings include large, humanoid beings descending from the sky, some wearing what looks like a helmet or antennae, as well as a disc-shaped craft with three rays (or legs) coming from its base.

“The findings suggest that humans in prehistoric times may have seen or imagined beings from other planets which still creates curiosity among people and researchers.

“Extensive research is needed for further findings. Chhattisgarh presently doesn’t have any such expert who could give clarity on the subject,” Bhagat told the Times of India.

One of the ancient rock paintings

Bhagat explained that there are several beliefs among locals from the area.

While few worship the paintings, others narrate stories they have heard from ancestors about “rohela people”, which translates to “the small sized ones”. 

According to legend, the rohela people used to land in the sky in a round-shaped flying object and take away one or two persons of the village who never returned.  However, Bhagat does concede, 

“We can’t refute the possibility of imagination by prehistoric men.”

Bhagat has not made reference to the fact that the paintings in question depict what, in other contexts, archaeologists typically identify as shamanic images of humans, human-animal hybrids, and geometric forms. Images of figures with antlers, antennae, or spirit rays are familiar, and in fact quite common, in shamanic art.

The research on the rock paintings is ongoing, and Bhagat says more archaeologists will be consulted to help identify the mysterious creatures and objects in the ancient artwork.

An Unknown Ancient Civilization in India Carved This Rock Art

An Unknown Ancient Civilization in India Carved This Rock Art

A passion for hiking first brought two engineers into the hills and plateaus of India’s picturesque Konkan coast. But now they return for clues to the identification of a lost civilization.

An Unknown Ancient Civilization in India Carved This Rock Art
One of the human figures depicted in the newly documented petroglyphs

As BBC Marathi’s Mayureesh Konnur reports, the duo, Sudhir Risbood and Manoj Marathe, have helped catalogue hundreds of rock carvings etched into the stone of hilltops in the western part of India’s Maharashtra state.

The depictions include a crocodile, elephant, birds, fish and human figures. They may date back to 10,000 B.C., and they come from the hands of people who belonged to an as-yet-unknown civilization. Some of the petroglyphs were hidden beneath soil and mud deposited during the intervening millennia. Others were well-known by locals and considered holy.

Risbood and Marathe have been hiking for years, leading a small group of enthusiastic explorers to interview locals and rediscover this lost art. “We walked thousands of kilometres,” Risbood tells BBC Marathi.

“People started sending photographs to us and we even enlisted schools in our efforts to find them. We made students ask their grandparents and other village elders if they knew about any other engravings.”

The region had three documented petroglyph sites before the hikers started their search, reported Mayuri Phadnis for the Pune Mirror in 2015.

The duo initially identified 10 new sites home to 86 petroglyphs. “Judging by the crudity, they seem to have been made in the Neolithic era,” Sachin Joshi, a researcher with Pune’s Deccan College of Archeology said.

Just a few months later, in a follow-up story for the Pune Mirror, Phadnis reported that thanks to supporting from the district administration, the hiking group identified 17 more sites, and its petroglyph count had reached above 200.

“We have long feared that these sites would be destroyed before more research could be done on them,” Risbood told Phadnis of the Pune Mirror. “With the administration stepping in, we believe this heritage can be saved.”

The petroglyphs are featured on the Ratnagiri district’s tourism website, and researchers are working to decipher their meanings and figure out who may have carved them.

The director of the Maharashtra state archaeology department, Tejas Gage, tells BBC Marathi that since the petroglyphs primarily show animals and people, he suspects the original artists may have come from a hunter-gatherer society.

“We have not found any pictures of farming activities,” he says. “This man knew about animals and sea creatures. That indicates he was dependent on hunting for food.”

BBC Marathi notes that the state government has allocated 240 million rupees (about $3.3 million) for further study of 400 of the identified petroglyphs.

Indian Farmer Discovers 4,000-year-old Copper Weapons Buried Under a Field

Indian Farmer Discovers 4,000-year-old Copper Weapons Buried Under a Field

We know India is a rich country when it comes to its heritage and culture. Although a lot of evidence has been lost, through destruction, loot or other reasons, findings from time to time prove that indeed India is a heritage-rich country.

We know India is a rich country when it comes to its heritage and culture. Although a lot of evidence has been lost, through destruction, loot or other reasons, findings from time to time prove that indeed India is a heritage-rich country.

It has given the world the teachings of Buddha to learn from, the richness of the Himalayas that make India the hub of a spiritual journey, and more. 

In a recent finding, archaeologists in Agra have found nearly 4000-year-old weapons from beneath the ground in Mainpuri.

The weapons extracted include large swords, some close to 4 feet, and arms having sharp sophisticated shapes. The archaeologists have termed the finding ‘exciting’.

About the finding

According to reports, in the village of Ganeshpur in Mainpuri, a farmer was levelling his field when he found a large number of copper swords and harpoons beneath the soil.

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) found a variety of swords, some that archaeologists are calling “antenna swords and harpoons”, with a hook at the bottom.

Some of these weapons had a starfish-like shape. These copper hoards, 77 in number, possibly date back to 1600-2000 BC – the later stages of the Chalcolithic Age (the transition period between the Neolithic and Bronze Ages).  

The findings according to Vasant Swarnkar, D.

In recent Excavations at Sanauli, Baghpat, UP under Dr SK Manjul,
@ASIGoI finds Coffin Burials, furnaces & fascinating artefacts’. The present excavation is carried out to understand the extension of the burial site and also the habitation area in relation to earlier findings in 2018.

The Director of Conservation and spokesperson, suggest that the inhabitants of the area were engaged in fighting, much like the 2018 findings in Sanauli in Baghpat, although that was a burial site.

Earlier in 2018, the ASI in an excavation at Sanauli, Baghpat, Uttar Pradesh found coffin burials, furnaces, and fascinating artefacts.

In 2019, it carried out an excavation to understand the extension of the burial site and also the habitation area in relation to earlier findings. 

The find will undergo Thermoluminescence dating, a technique usually used on pottery and other ceramic material. According to Director Swarnkar, similar discoveries have been made in the past in Sakatpur in Saharanpur, Madarpur in Moradabad, and Saifai district.

Experts: 1.7 Million-Year-Old Man-Made Bridge Shatters Mainstream History

Experts: 1.7 Million-Year-Old Man-Made Bridge Shatters Mainstream History

A 1.7 million-year-old ‘bridge’ is the ultimate evidence that humans have been on Earth much longer than thought claims experts.

“The ratio of 10:1 (length: width) fits the actual measurements of the bridge observed today.”

The former director of the Geological Survey of India believes he has found the ultimate evidence of a 1.7 million-year-old man-made bridge which indicates mankind existed on Earth millions of years ago and had the ability to erect ‘sophisticated’ structures long before mainstream experts suggest. This, however, goes against everything we’ve been told since according to mainstream scientists, humans have been on Earth for roughly 200,000 years, but the alleged bridge throws everything that scientists believed true into questions. The structure — which is visible from space — occupies a relatively large area stretching from India to Sri Lanka. Curiously, ancient Hindu legends suggest that King Rama, a Hindu deity built a bridge of similar proportions more than a million years ago.

Experts: 1.7 Million-Year-Old Man-Made Bridge Shatters Mainstream History

According to the Hindu tradition, this “strip of land” is a bridge built by the Hindu god Rama, as told in the Hindu epic Ramayana. Rama is one of the most famous manifestations of the Supreme God and is recognized as the image, the spirit, and consciousness of Hinduism, one of the oldest religions in the world. In fact, since ancient times it is known as the “Bridge of Rama” or “Rama Setu”.

The Indian epic Ramayana tells the story of the land bridge and how it was built to serve Hindu god Rama, in order to help him cross the water to reach the large island and rescue his beloved one from the clutches of the demon king Ravanna. It is a story of love, brave deeds and incredible constructions as it seems. Some refer to the alleged bridge as the Rama Setu, while others call it Adams Bridge and many believe it is one of the best pieces of evidence that humans have existed on Earth much longer than we’re told.

Ok, that’s cool but… who’s the supposed scientist who said it’s real?

We are talking about Dr. S. Badrinarayanan, former director of the Geological Survey of India and former coordinator of the survey division of the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT).

He studied core samples of the bridge and is apparently convinced that we’re not looking at a natural formation — as other scientists suggest — but at a man-made structure, and one that was ‘erected’ more than a million years ago. According to reports, Dr. Badrinarayanan performed a survey of this structure and concluded that it was man-made. Dr. Badrinarayanan and his team drilled 10 bore holes along the alignment of Adam’s Bridge.

What he discovered was startling. About 6 meters below the surface he found a consistent layer of calcareous sand stone, corals and boulder like materials. His team was surprised when they discovered a layer of loose sand, some 4-5 meters further down and then hard rock formations below that. A team of divers went down to physically examine the bridge. The boulders that they observed were not composed of a typical marine formation. They were identified as having come from either side of the causeway.

Dr. Badrinarayanan also indicates that there is evidence of ancient quarrying in these areas. His team concluded that materials from either shore were placed upon the sandy bottom of the water to form the causeway.

In a special discussion board on Rediff, Dr. Badrinarayanan said:

“It is not a natural formation; the top portion of it appears to be a man-made structure.”

“To understand what I am saying from the geological point of view, you have to get to know several things.”

“What is known as Adam’s Bridge is originally a natural grade divide separating the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean to the south. So, the geological aspects are different on either side.”

Dr. Badrinarayanan added:

“We found marine sands on top and below that was a mixed assemblage of corals, calcareous sand stones, and boulder-like materials.

“Surprisingly below that up to 4–5 meters [13–16 feet], again we found loose sand and after that, hard formations were there.”

He added that “below the corals and boulders, we are getting loose sand, which means it is not natural.”

However, the “Ramayana,” the bridge is said to have been built upon a wooden foundation (which was placed atop a preexisting natural elevation) that was then covered with large and small stones.

But obviously, there are many who disagree with Dr. Badrinarayanan.

One of them is Suvrat Kher, a geologist who specializes in marine formations, who firmly believes we are looking at nothing more than a natural formation.

Writing about the alleged bridge, Dr. Kher said:

“During the Pleistocene ‘ice-age’ period, glacial buildup and melting forced fluctuations in sea-level by tens of meters, setting up the conditions for several episodes of coral reef and sand shoal formation.

“During periods of large sea-level drops in the Pleistocene, there would have been a land connection between India and Sri Lanka. ”

“But at the end of the last Wisconsin glaciation, the sea-level began to rise world-wide.”

What Powered The Vimanas? India’s 6,000-Year-Old Flying Machines

What Powered The Vimanas? India’s 6,000-Year-Old Flying Machines

According to Ancient Indian history – one of the most extensive on the planet – their ancient sacred texts called the ‘Vedas’ speak of incredible flying ships that visited our planet over 6000 years ago. Throughout history, many common myths and legends mention incredible flying machines and how ancient people traveled great distances through the air: the flying carpets of ancient Arabia, Ezekiel’s wheel, Solomons’ ability to travel from one place to another and the magical chariots or ‘vimana’ mentioned in ancient Indian and Chinese texts.

What Powered The Vimanas? India’s 6,000-Year-Old Flying Machines

According to Ancient Indian history –one of the most extensive on the planet– their ancient sacred texts called the ‘Vedas’ speak of amazing flying ships that visited our planet over 6000 years ago. While there are many who oppose the existence of the Vimana, millions of people around the world are concerned that thousands of years ago, ancient mankind was visited by incredible flying machines, piloted by the ‘gods’.

With the help of the Vimana, ancient astronauts visited different places on our planet with ease, spreading knowledge and wealth among ancient, primitive civilizations. Reference to the ancient Vimana can be found in the Mahabharata, which is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India:

“At Rama`s behest, the magnificent chariot rose up to a mountain of cloud with a tremendous din. Another passage reads: Bhima flew with his Vimana on an enormous ray which was as brilliant as the sun and made a noise like the thunder of a storm. In the ancient Vymanka-Shastra (the science of aeronautics), there is a description of a Vimana: “An apparatus which can go by its own force, from one place to place or globe to the globe”.

Dr. Raghavan points out, “The text’s revelations become even more astounding. Thirty-one parts of which the machine consists are described, including a photographing mirror underneath.

“The text also enumerates 16 kinds of metal that are needed to construct the flying vehicle: `Metals suitable, lighare 16 kinds`. But only three of them are known to us today. The rest remain untranslatable.”

Another authority who agrees with Dr. Raghavan`s interpretations is Dr. A.V. Krishna Murty, professor of aeronautics at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore.

“It is true,” Dr. Krishna Murty says, “that the ancient Indian Vedas and other text refer to aeronautics, spaceships, flying machines, ancient astronauts. A study of the Sanskrit texts has convinced me that ancient India did know the secret of building flying machines and that those machines were patterned after spaceships coming from other planets.”

However, What Fueled this Ancient Vimana?

The Vaimānika Śāstra, an early 20th-century Sanskrit text on aerospace technology, makes a claim that the vimānas mentioned in ancient Sanskrit epics were advanced aerodynamic flying vehicles, similar to a rocket capable of interplanetary flight as backed up by the ancient alien theory. Revealed in 1952 by G. R. Josye, the texts contain 3000 shlokas in 8 chapters which Shastry claimed were psychically delivered to him by the ancient Hindu sage Bharadvaja. The propulsion of the Vimanas According to Kanjilal (1985) is by a “Mercury Vortex Engines”, a concept similar to electric propulsion. However, many people argue that a far greater, more accessible and ‘free’ power source was available to the ancient Vimana craft. It is noteworthy to mention that a couple of years ago, Chinese researchers discovered ancient Sanskrit documents in Lhasa, Tibet, dating back thousands of years. The ancient texts were sent to the University of Chandigarh for translation. The results were shocking. According to Dr. Ruth Reyna the translated texts, allegedly are ‘blueprints’ for the construction of interstellar spaceships.

According to the translated documents, the propulsion system designed for the spaceships was based on antigravitational technology, and based on a system analogous to that of “laghima,” the unknown power of the ego that exists in man’s physiological makeup, “a centrifugal force strong enough to counteract all gravitational pull.”

Interestingly, according to Hindu Yogis, the mysterious “laghima” force is what enables people to levitate.

Dr. Reyna explained that “on board, these machines which were called ‘Astras,’ the builders of the crafts could have sent a detachment of men to any planet. The manuscripts, however, do not mention how interplanetary communication was achieved, but they do mention a trip from the Earth to the Moon, though it is unclear whether the trip was just planned or actually carried out.”

However, one of the great Indian epics, the Ramayana, does have a highly detailed story in it of a trip to the moon in a Vimana (or “Astra”), and in fact details a battle on the moon with an “Asvin” (or Atlantean” airship.

Indian scientists were extremely reserved about the value of these documents but became less so when the Chinese announced that certain parts of the information were being studied for inclusion in their space program.

But can we actually ‘reverse engineer’ ANCIENT technology? Well… depends on what you think is possible. Interestingly in the Sanskrit Samarangana Sutradhara, it is written:

“Strong and durable must the body of the Vimana be made, like a great flying bird of light material. Inside one must put the mercury engine with its iron heating apparatus underneath. By means of the power latent in the mercury which sets the driving whirlwind in motion, a man sitting inside may travel a great distance in the sky. The movements of the Vimana are such that it can vertically ascend, vertically descend, and move slanting forwards and backwards. With the help of the machines, human beings can fly in the air, and heavenly beings can come down to earth.”

Interestingly, in the Law of the Babylonians, the Hakatha unambiguously states:

“The privilege of operating a flying machine is great. The knowledge of flight is among the most ancient of our inheritances. A gift from ’those from upon high’. We received it from them as a means of saving many lives.”

“The Pushpaka Vimana was a gigantic ‘plane’ the size of a large city entirely capable of holding unlimited numbers of people…”

“…Three flying cities were made for and were used by the Demons… One was in a stationary orbit in the sky, another moving in the sky and one was permanently stationed on the ground. These were docked like modern spaceships in the sky… and at a fixed latitude/longitude.

“Siva’s arrow obviously referred to a blazing missile fired from a satellite specially built for the purpose…Vestiges of onetime prosperous civilization destroyed in battles flicker through these legends…” – Prof. D.K. Kanjilal’s observations of the Matsyapurana

Harnessing Earth’s Natural Energy

But is it possible that the ancient Vimana’s were built so they could access the planet’s natural energy? What if thousands of years ago, ancient flying machines used Earth’s natural energy to charge and reload? Is it possible that ancient monuments like pyramids were, in fact, giant energy transmitters that fueled the ancient Vimana?

Interestingly Stone like metal can be charged and is able to carry out electrical charges. What if ancient sites on Earth were specifically placed on so-called magnetic vortexes or electrical ‘Ley Lines’?

What if there is a far greater meaning to the countless number of ancient Indian Pyramids, monoliths, megalithic statues, steles, obelisks and totems, and what if all of these structures, not only from ancient India but different civilizations around the world, had a special scientific purpose: to transmit vast amounts of energy. Many researchers argue that intricate ancient stonework attributed to the Incas, Egyptians, East Indians, Maya and other ancient civilizations has a specific purpose, and was not only aesthetic in nature. It is noteworthy to mention that many consider the Great Pyramid of Giza as one of the best examples of ancient energy machines. It was a Tesla-like power plant created thousands of years ago. It was a huge ancient structure that was capable of using the Earth’s natural properties in order to create or produce a great amount of energy. This energy is believed to have been used by the ancient Egyptians and other cultures such as the ancient Maya and other cultures around the globe for millennia. This theory, however, has been firmly rejected by mainstream researchers. If we approach the history of ancient civilizations from another perspective, we will encounter that ancient civilizations around the globe were, in fact, extremely sophisticated and used advanced technologies thousands of years before mainstream science ‘reinvented them’.

These advanced technologies were present in ancient Egypt, Ancient Sumer, and in North, Central and South America. Electricity, electrochemistry, electromagnetic technology, metallurgy, advanced engineering, including hydrogeology, chemistry, physics and advanced forms of mathematics and astronomy were all used thousands of years ago to great extents.

India knew to use iron 4,000 years ago, archaeological findings show

India knew to use iron 4,000 years ago, archaeological findings show

Carbon dating of cultural deposits found during archaeological excavations in Mayiladumparai in Krishnagiri district has found they belong to 2172 BCE, establishing that the Tamils were aware of the use of iron 4,200 years ago.

Representative image.
India knew to use iron 4,000 years ago, archaeological findings show
Representational image of an archaeological dig

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin told the Assembly that the first phase of excavation in 2020-2021 has yielded two important dates – 1615 BCE and 2172 BCE, which provide a new understanding of the nature of cultural deposits.

The AMS dating by Beta Analytical Lab in Florida, US has established three important features – iron appeared in Tamil Nadu as early as 220 BCE, the late Neolithic phase was identified before 2200 BCE as there is a cultural deposit of 25 cm below the dated level, and black-red-redware was in use the late Neolithic phase itself, in contrast to the wider belief that they were introduced in the Iron Age.

Archaeological excavations in Mayiladumparai have found that the date of iron artefacts unearthed ‘ranges from 2172 BCE to 1615 BCE’.

The recent archaeological excavations in Tamil Nadu have thrown up surprises – carbon dating of artefacts in Keeladi, a Sangam Era site near Madurai, and paddy husks found in a burial urn in Sivakalai in Thoothukudi district established their age to 2,600 and 3,200 years old.

“Through the findings, it has been established that Tamils who lived 4200 years ago were aware of iron. Dense forests were converted into fertile lands only after humankind began realising the use of iron. This finding has answered questions relating to the start of agricultural activity in Tamil Nadu,” Stalin said.

He also announced that the Tamil Nadu State Department of Archaeology (TNSDA) will begin work on a comparative study of graffiti found in Keeladi and the signs of the Indus Valley Civilisation.

AMS dating of the Iron Age has so far been done in many places, including in the Gangetic plains and Karnataka, Stalin said, adding that the period that has thrown up in Mayiladumparai is the earliest so far.

“I have been saying that the goal of this government is to establish through scientific methods that the history of India should be rewritten from the Tamil land. The latest findings reinforce our thoughts,” Stalin added.

The Chief Minister also announced that the TNSDA will continue its efforts to trace the journey of ancient Tamils. As part of the efforts, excavations in Pattanam (Kerala), Thalakadu (Karnataka), Vengi (Andhra Pradesh), and Palur (Odisha) will begin this year, Stalin added.

Dr R Sivananthan, Commissioner, TNSDA, told DH that Mayiladumparai can be termed as the earliest Iron Age site in South India as Brahmagiri in Karnataka was the earliest so far with AMS dates going back to 2040 BCE.

“The date we have got for Mayiladumparai is 2172 BCE. It is just about a century and we need more evidence. The earliest evidence of the Iron Age in Tamil Nadu so far was 1500 BCE and Mayiladumparai pushes it back by another six to seven centuries. Since this is just the 1st phase in Mayiladumparai, we should wait for more cultural deposits,” he told DH.

An archaeological expert put the findings in perspective saying that the AMS dating has brought Tamil Nadu “within the Indian framework” as the cultural deposits in Mayiladumparai are 4,200 years old.

“The earliest Iron Age site in Tamil Nadu so far was 1500 BCE old while all other such sites in the country were beyond 2000 BCE. There were a lot of questions on why there was no scientific evidence on the use of iron despite it being mentioned in literature and having rich iron ore in the Salem region. With this, we now have findings,” the expert said.

The report released by the government also spoke about references in Sangam literature on iron, the use of iron, and the methods of making iron weapons. Literature refers to iron as ‘blacksmiths’ and ‘blacksmiths with strong hands’.

“It can be said that the iron industry was very advanced from the fact that many fine words about the iron industry find a place in Tamil literature. One could realise that the iron technology was in an advanced stage as one could find many fine technical terms in Tamil literature,” he said.