The Tamil Nadu Archaeological department along with the Archaeological Survey of India has unearthed a rectangular ivory dice in a joint excavation at Keezhadi in Sivaganga district.
Sources in the team told IANS that this is the first time that a rectangular dice has been unearthed at Keezhadi while a cubical dice was found under the earth during the earlier phases of the excavation.
This is the eighth phase of excavation at Keezhadi which was inaugurated virtually by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin on February 11.
In a statement on Friday, the Tamil Nadu Archaeological department said the dice was unearthed at a depth of 30 to 40 cm below the ground. The dice is 4.5 cm in length, 0.9 cm in height and 0.9 cm in thickness.
Officials said it has marks (dot surrounded by circles) on four sides indicating numerals — one, two, three and four.
Sources in the department told IANS that this was one of the most significant discoveries during the eighth phase of the excavation at Keezhadi and surrounding areas.
The carbon dating of charcoal during the excavation at Keezhadi in 2017 has found that the settlement there went back to 200 B.C. This proved that urban civilisation had existed in Tamil Nadu since the Sangam age.
The unearthing of several exquisitely crafted pots and other material from Keezhadi during the earlier phases of the excavation has proved that the settlement had trade links with north India and the western world during the Sangam age.
More than 5,300 artifacts were unearthed from Keezhadi during the earlier excavation and the Tamil Nadu Archaeological department is setting up a museum at the site for display of these artifacts.