A rare ninth-century Tamil inscription has been found engraved on an oil press stone at a village in Tiruvannamalai district.
A team of archaeologists comprising Balamugan, secretary of the Centre for Tiruvannamalai Historical Society and its members Nidhi Doss and Dr Sekar, found the oil press stone lying in the tiny village of Chellankuppam near Vettavalam in the district, recently, while making preliminary investigation in the vicinity of Vettavalam.
The stone is used for making oil. According to Prof. Rajavelu of Maritime History and Marine Archaeology, Tamil University, Thanjavur, to whom a photo of the oil stone has been sent for thorough research, the inscription is found engraved on the outer surface of the circular-shaped oil press stone.
It contained five lines and commences with Mangala soluga svastisri, without mentioning the name of the king and date.
It records that certain Sendan, son of Peruvanrangan alias Chinapakai set up an oil press (ural) to God Mahadeva in the village. The donor belonged to Kuriyur village. The inscription is said to belong to 8-9th century CE of Pallava period.
The setting up of stone oil press in the villages was in vogue during the medieval period in Tamil Nadu. Similar oil press stones with inscriptions in Tamil Vatteluttu are found in many places across the state.