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Celt of Sembiyam Kandiyur

Celt (tool)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In archaeology, a celt  is a long thin prehistoric stone or bronze adzes, another sort of axe-like tool, or a hoe.

Celt (tool)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In archaeology, a Celt is long thin prehistoric stone or bronze adzes, another sort of axe-like tool, or a hoe. A 'Celt' was wrongly assumed to be a type of ancient chisel. Early eighteenth century antiquarians, such as Lorenz Beger, then adopted the word for the stone and bronze tools they were finding at prehistoric sites; the Oxford English Dictionary suggests that the imaginary etymological connection with the Celts may have assisted its passage into common use.

Three Olmec Celts  The one in the foreground is incised with an image of an Olmec supernatural. It is likely that these "tools" had a strictly ritual function.
                                 Karl.A.Taube in his book "Olmec Art At Dumbarton Oaks" states that ---"Among the Hopi and other Red Indian tribes of America the Celts are revered objects of great antiquity as well as power. The contemporary Quiche Maya tribe keep stone Celts and other ancient objects in lineage shrines known as "mebil". Among the Maori of New Zealand, the kin inherit the adze blades and jades of deceased chief, thereby ensuring the continued prestige of the lineage. Similarly in Olmec society, fine jade Celts may have been passed down from one generation to the next as increasingly esteemed and powerful symbols of major lineages. (Page no.128, Book by Karl. A. Taube.,2004, Olmec Art At Dumbarton Oaks.)

                               Some scientists explain that the Maori stones might  have had some kind of monetary value. I doubt this theory and these stone could be only of lineage value -- symbols of prestige and lineage. Explanations given in paragraph above shows that these stone axes (Celts) were used for symbolic value and not for farming or cutting forest. Further these stone axes does not have any kind of provision for shafts, which shows that the purpose of stone axe is not for cutting anything. These above said explanations should be applied to the stone axe found at "Sembium - Kandiyur" (Thanjavur- Tamil Nadu) also.

Significance of Mayiladuthurai find

T.S. Subramanian

Links between Harappa and Neolithic Tamil Nadu
Reference and Acknowledgements --The Hindu
RARE FIND: The Neolithic polished stone Celt (hand-held axe) with the Indus valley script found at Sembian-Kandiyur village, near Mayiladuthurai in Tamil Nadu. — Photo: Vino John

                              The discovery of a Neolithic stone Celt, a hand-held axe, with the Indus script on it at Sembian-Kandiyur in Tamil Nadu is, according to Iravatham Mahadevan, "a major discovery because for the first time a text in the Indus script has been found in the State on a datable artefact, which is a polished Neolithic Celt." He added: "This confirms that the Neolithic people of Tamil Nadu shared the same language family of the Harappan group, which can only be Dravidian. The discovery provides the first evidence that the Neolithic people of the Tamil country spoke a Dravidian language." Mr. Mahadevan, an eminent expert on the subject, estimated the date of the artefact with the Indus script between 2000 B.C. and 1500 B.C.

                             This is the importance of the find at Sembiyan-Kandiyur. Not only do the Neolithic people of Tamil Nadu and the Harappans share the same script but the same language." In Tamil Nadu, this symbol was first identified from pottery graffiti at Sanur, near Tindivanam. B.B. Lal, former Director-General of ASI, correctly identified this symbol with sign 47 of the Indus script. In recent years, this symbol has turned up among the pottery graffiti found at Mangudi, near Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu, and at Muciri, Kerala. But this was the first time that a complete, classical Indus script had been found on a polished
Neolithic stone celt, Mr. Mahadevan pointed out. He emphasised that the importance of the discovery was independent of the tentative decipherment of the two signs proposed by him.

Comments of Jeyakumar Ramasami

                               Relevance of this finding with Indus Valley civilization is that this "Stone Axe" forms a link between ancient Tamil culture and Indus Valley people. What could be the purpose of this stone axe, it is definitely for some kind of ceremonial purpose and not for practical use as axe. What is written on this "Stone Axe" will give a clue to the purpose of this stone. My new theory is that “Indus Signs" are "Memorial Dates" (Dates for Thithi ceremony) . This explanation correctly explains the nature of stone and the inscription on this stone. This stone could have served the purpose like a "Nadukal" (Tamil) (Meaning ---memorial stone on the burial place). The date written on the stone is date of death of the person involved.

This above given picture shows an example of later day "Nadukal" found in Tamil Nadu, which shows the picture of the dead man.
 These memorial stones are generally accompanied by an inscription of the name of the person who had died and his  meritorious
 deed , which culminated in erection of this memorial stone.