Carbon dating has confirmed that samples excavated from the Keezhadi archaeological site in the Sivaganga district of Tamil Nadu date back nearly 2,200 years, The Union Ministry of Culture told the Rajya Sabha on Thursday. The ministry was responding to a question by Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam MP Kanimozhi. It said that the Archaeological Survey of India had sent two samples from Keezhadi to the USA for carbon dating, which revealed that they were between 2,160 and 2,230 years old.

ASI’s Superintending Archaeologist K Amarnath Ramakrishna, who led the work on the excavations told The Hindu, “We can now say for sure that the samples were from the third century BC.” He added that the archaeologists found deposits up to 4.5 metres deep and the samples sent for carbon dating were from around two metres below in the site.

Ramakrishna also said 72 potsherds with Tamil Brahmi script inscribed were found at Keezhadi. “Iyanan, Uthiran, Vendhan, Santhanavathi and Saathan were some of the Tamil names found.”