Tetelia (Inde): 300-year-old hunting implements found

Ajit Patowary

Source - http://www.assamtribune.com/scripts/detailsnew.asp?id=may2015/state050

State050Towards the end of last April, a Tetelia farmer stumbled upon some historical treasures kept hidden in a rocky foothill area of Tetelia Hill. The farmer was chasing a troop of monkeys, which was disturbing him at his paddy field in Tetelia village under Morigaon Revenue Circle of Morigaon district. The items unearthed from the cave located near the paddy field of Nandeswar Patar, the farmer, were later found to be hunting implements dating back to the 17th to 18th century AD. Together with these implements, pieces of three broken earthen pots were also found during the excavation carried out by the villagers of Tetelia at the site.

The implements and the broken pieces of earthen pots have been preserved at the Tetelia Tiwa Museum, established by the people of the area at their own initiative. However, at the instance of Director of Archaeology, Dr DR Kauli, a team of archaeologists from the Directorate visited Tetelia and registered the items.

According to Ranjana Sarma, Deputy Director of the Archaeology Directorate, the items found by the villagers included two double-barbed iron implements, a single-barbed hunting implement, two iron spears used in hunting and three broken terracotta pots, which were believed to be used by the Tiwa people of Tetelia area before their conversion to Vaishnavism.

She said the local people of Tetelia extended their full cooperation to the team of the archaeologists during the registration of the items. The antique items are believed to have been kept hidden by the predecessors of the present generation of the Tetelia people about three to four centuries back, when they converted en masse to Vaishnavism. The team of archaeologists reached Tetelia village on April 29, Sarma said.

On scrutiny, one of the double-barbed iron hunting implements was found to be 112.6 cm in length with a circular hole in its butt. The maximum width of the blade of the implement is 7.5 cm, while the length of its cutting edge is 75.2 cm and the maximum span of the cutting edge is 4.5 cm.

The second double-barbed iron implement has its butt rusted and broken. Its total length is 111.1 cm, while its maximum span is 9.8 cm.

This double-barbed hunting implement is 42.7 cm in length, including its barbs and the length of its cutting edge is 67 cm. The cutting end is slightly bent towards its pointed end, Sarma said.

The single-barbed hunting implement found at the site is also made of iron and it has the butt end of its handle rusted and broken and its length is 20.4 cm. The total length of the implement is 96.7 cm, while the length of the cutting edge is 75.5 cm and the maximum span of the cutting edge is 4.2 cm.

An iron spear head with an iron handle was also found at the site. The total length of the spear is 65.9 cm, while the length of the spear head is 34.1 cm and the length of its handle is 32.1 cm. The maximum span of the spear is 4.7 cm.

Another iron spear found at the site measures 68 cm in length and its spear head is 36.6 cm in length. Its handle is 31.4 cm long and the maximum span of the spear is 4.7 cm in its middle, Sarma said.

However, all the pointed ends and cutting edges of the above implements are in good condition and the rusting intensity of the implements is of average standard, she said.

The broken earthen pots found at the site are wheel-made and one of them has carination just below its broken upper part, Sarma said.