Recently the 1st phase 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 Pradesh has discovered the remains of a huge settlement surrounded by a massive brick enclosure.
About the Site and findings
The site of Gottiprolu lies on the right bank of a distributary of river Swarnamukhi about seventeen kilometers east of Naidupet and eighty kilometers from Tirupati and Nellore.
The excavation revealed the presence of brick-built structures in different sizes and forms.
- On the basis of the brick size and associated findings they can be placed anywhere between 2nd – 1st century BCE or little later (nearly 2000 years old).
- The most outstanding discovery is of a massive sized brick enclosure wall at the southern part of the mound. This structure is of baked bricks
- Another interesting find is the small rectangular brick tank exposed near the inner lining of the curved brick structure.
About Stone Vishnu Idol
Apart from the excavated remains, one of the most major find was the discovery of a buried Vishnu sculpture from the western part of the village.
Subsequent excavations conducted around the image revealed it to be a life-size image of Vishnu measuring about 2 meters in height. It displays a four-armed Vishnu standing over a pedestal carrying chakra and conch in his upper right and left hands respectively. The lower right is in the bestowing boon and the left hand in katihastha (resting on the hip) posture. The iconographical feature like the elaborate headgear, thick holy thread, and decorative drapery dates it to the Pallava period
Terracotta Female Figurine
Other interesting antiquity retrieved is the molded female terracotta figurine with two hands lifted upwards.
Pottery & Conical Jars
Interesting pottery finds are the base of conical jars placed at the eastern side of the structure. Such conical jars are widely distributed in Tamil Nadu and considered to be imitated variety of Roman Amphorae jars.
A series of broken terracotta pipes fitted into one another revealed about the civic amenities maintained by the occupants of this site. The drainage system pattern is understood by the exposed remains of the drainage at the site.
Other major retrieved antiquities unearthed are copper and lead coins, iron spearhead, stone celts, terracotta beads, ear stud in semi-precious stone and hopscotches. The ceramic assemblage of the site consisted of fine quality black and redware collected from the lower levels, conical jars, rouletted sherds, russet coated ware, etc.
Significance of the site
- The findings of assorted stone tools of Palaeolithic and Neolithic periods from secondary contexts suggest that prehistoric people also occupied this area
- 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.
- The proximity of the site to the seacoast suggests that the site could have served as a strategic settlement involved in maritime trade.
- The two fortified townships within the gap of 15kms during early historic times indicates the significant strategic location was preferred by the early historic people for trade in the region keeping in view of proximity of the sea, River and Lake.