A. SUNDARESH, A. S. GAUR
National Institute of Oceanography, Goa
Ancient port of Kaveripattinam: its existence and decline
Kaveripattinam, a flourishing port in the beginning of the Christian era played a major role in maritime activities and cultural expansion in the history of India. Texts of Sangam literature vividly describe about its location, habitation, town planning and prosperity. Kaveripattinam was also known as Poompuhar, located about 250 km south of Chennai on the bank of River Kaveri, Tamil Nadu coast. The marine archaeological explorations around Poompuhar brought to light the remains of terracotta ring wells, brick structures, storage jars in the inter tidal zone and brick structures, stone structures, pottery from offshore explorations strongly supports the existence of port town. Many such port towns that existed on the coastal region got vanished or submerged in the sea probably due to coastal erosion, sea level changes and neo-tectonic activity etc.
The paper deals with the archaeological findings around Poompuhar and the impact on coastal process in the shoreline change in the area, which was responsible for the submergence of ancient port town in the region. The data collected during underwater investigations at Poompuhar and the study of shore line changes are discussed to prove the causes of its submergence.
Keywords: Tamil Nadu, Kaveripattinam, Poompuhar, submergence, shoreline