The 1st phase of excavation by an Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) team at Gottiprolu near Naidupeta in Nellore, Andhra Pradesh has revealed the remains of a huge settlement surrounded by a massive brick enclosure being dated between 2nd-1st century BC or a little later.
The site of Gottiprolu (13° 56’ 48” N; 79° 59’ 14” E) lies on the right bank of a distributary of river Swarnamukhi about seventeen kilometres east of Naidupet and eighty kilometres from Tirupati and Nellore.
The excavation revealed the presence of brick-built structures in different sizes and forms. The available brick sizes (43 - 48 cms) are comparable with the Satavahana or Ikshvaku period structures in Krishna valley i.e. Amaravati and Nagarjunakonda.
Detailed topographical study and drone images have helped in identifying an early historic settlement surrounded by a fortification and the possibility of a moat encircling it.
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 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 Pallava period (circa 8th century CE), the government press release reads.
Other major retrieved antiquities unearthed are copper and lead coins, iron spear head, stone celts, terracotta beads, ear stud in semi precious stone and hopscotches.
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