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1,000 year old sculpture found in India's Tirupur

A team of archaeological enthusiasts from Tirupur has discovered a thousand-year-old sculpture of the folk deity Ayyanar at Chinnaariyapatti village in the district. The sculpture also has an inscription at the back in ancient Tamil letters, which gives details about when and by whom the sculpture was made.

1,000 year old sculpture found in India's Tirupur
The Ayyanar sculpture that was found by a team from the Verarajendran Archaeological and Historical 
Research Centre, at Chinnaariyapatti village in Tirupur [Credit: Indian Express]
In the exploration done by the team that included K Thirunavukkarasu, S Ranjith, K Ponnusamy, S Ravikumar and C M Rameshkumar of the Verarajendran Archaeological and Historical Research Centre, they found the Ayyanar sculpture, measuring 85 cm high and 100 cm wide, with a three line inscription in ancient Tamil letters, that evolved after the ‘Vattezhuthu’ scripts.

The script read that the sculpture was by Devanen Vetkovar, when Rasasinga Pallavarai was in power as the local administrator of the region in the 10th century CE. The term ‘Vetko’ was already found in various explorations in the past, which means ‘potter.’ Hence the inscriptions indicate that the Ayyanar sculpture was made by a potter named Devanen.

The village deity was found in ‘Uthkudikasanam’ position with the head having a ‘Jatamangalam’ design and had scriptures of four other deities at the corners.

The practice of erecting memorials when a king, emperor or an administrator took power was an age-old tradition in the Tamil history dating back to the 2nd century CE when the Emperor from Chera Dynasty, Ilancheral Irumporai, erected a stone bed for Jain monk Sengayaban. The stone beds with Tamil Brahmi inscriptions can be found at Pugalur in Karur district.

Meanwhile in Thanjavur, as many as 11 ancient metal idols were unearthed near an ancient temple in Perumagalur village.

According to sources, as part of the work to lay pipeline for Cauvery Combined Water Scheme, the officials were engaged in digging a trench near the ancient Somanthasamy temwwple. During then, the earthmover hit a metal object and it was found to be an ancient idol. Following this, the Peravurani Taluk office was informed and Tashildar G Raguraman rushed to the spot and the further excavation was done. As many as 11 idols including a Shiva statue measuring two-and-a-half-foot high and weighing 50 kg weight, a Nataraja idol, an Asthiradevar were discovered.

Source: Indian Express [August 29, 2016]

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