Four weighing stones, excavated at Keeladi, indicate possibility of trading activity

The stones, of varying sizes, all have flat bases and polished surfaces

Four weighing stones of varying sizes, all spherical and black in colour, have been excavated from Keeladi as part of the sixth phase of the ongoing archaeological excavation.

R. Sivanandam, Deputy Director of Tamil Nadu State Department of Archaeology, says that these weighing stones were found near a furnace, along with iron, copper objects and glass slag, indicating the possibility of the existence of trading activity.

These stones were of various sizes — weighing 300, 150, 18 and 8 grams. They were all made out of basalt. All the stones have a flat base and polished surface. The stones were excavated between June 20 and July 3.

Mr. Sivanandam said that the stones were found near a furnace, with traces of firing activity. Charcoal was commonly found at all the levels the stones were excavated at.

Copper, iron objects and beads made out of different materials, including glass, were also found.

“Glass slag was also found near the furnace. This indicates that bead-making activities could have taken place here at Keeladi. The weighing stones could have been used to weigh the beads, before selling them,” Mr. Sivanandam said.

“Though weighing stones were found during earlier excavations, these stones were on a higher scale, reiterating the possibility of the existence of trading activities,” he added.

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