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ASI finds trade centre of early historic period in Andhra Pradesh


Press Trust of India New Delhi
Excavation by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in Gottiprolu, Andhra Pradesh has unearthed a trade centre of early historic period, a statement from the culture ministry said on Thursday.
The team found a 2000-year-old brick structure and a Vishnu sculpture at the site.
"The 1stphase of excavation by a team of Archaeological Survey of India at Gottiprolu near Naidupeta in Nellore(now renamed as Sri Potti Sri Ramulu) district, Andhra Pradeshhas discovered the remains of a huge settlement surrounded by a massive brick enclosure," the statement said.
"Among many other antiquities unearthed are one life size Vishnu sculpture and a wide variety of pottery of the early centuries of current era," it added.
The site of Gottiprolu lies on the right bank of a distributary of river Swarnamukhi, about 17 km east of Naidupet and 80 km from Tirupati and Nellore.
Detailed topographical study and drone images have helped in identifying an early historic settlement surrounded by a fortification and the possibility of a moat encircling it.
"These settlements could have been an important trade centre as indicated by the presence of imitated amphorae wares that were mostly used to transport liquid commodities," it said.
"The proximity of the site to the seacoast suggests that the site could have served as a strategic settlement involved in maritime trade. Further research will reveal interesting facts about the site as a trade centre," it added.
The site also had a series of broken terracotta pipes fitted into one another, revealing about the civic amenities maintained by the occupants. The drainage system pattern is understood by the exposed remains at the site, the ministry said.
Other major retrieved antiquities unearthed are copper and lead coins, iron spear head, stone celts, terracotta beads, ear studs in semi precious stones and hopscotches.
The ceramic assemblage of the site consisted of fine quality black and red ware collected from the lower levels, conical jars, rouletted sherds and russet coated ware.
The extensively used goblet shaped ware indicates the typical table ware associated with the site.
Further studies are being carried out through geological, chemical analysis of the site/samples, the statement said.

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First Published: Oct 31 2019 | 7:35 PM IST

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