South India

13 AD stone pillar with Jewish trade inscriptions found in TN

He said that Suthapalli is a Jewish worship place and according to the Archeological Survey of India records on epigraphy had mentioned a Hebrew epitaph of a Jewish woman named Mariam at Periapattanam.

Chennai: History and archaeology researchers stumbled upon a 13 AD stone pillar, which reportedly had information on Jewish trade links, in Tamil Nadu’s Ramanathapuram district.

Scholars and students of the Ramanathapuram Archaeological Research Foundation said that the stone pillar, which was unearthed at Valantharavai in Ramanathapuram, is a pointer to the trade that had taken place in this area with foreign areas.

The pillar is three feet long and one foot wide and on all four sides, there are inscriptions. The first side, according to scholars, has 21 Tamil lines, the second side has 14 lines while the third side has 15 lines. The inscriptions on the fourth side are not clear.

“The inscriptions begin with ‘swasti shri’ and mention the boundaries of the land donated to Suthapalli or Ainutruvan Perumpalli,” scholar and Ramanathapuram Archaeological Research Foundation President V. Rajaguru told IANS.

He said that Suthapalli is a Jewish worship place and according to the Archeological Survey of India records on epigraphy had mentioned a Hebrew epitaph of a Jewish woman named Mariam at Periapattanam.

He also said that based on the writing style the inscriptions apparently dated between 1200-1250 AD.

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