Hyderabad: An ancient Chinese storage jar, dating back to the 12th Century AD, is being hailed as an object of historical significance. Archaeologists from the Cultural Centre of Vijayawada and Amaravati, who found it in the house of Mr Pridhwi Raju, a resident of Pandillapalli, Vetapalem mandal, Prakasam district, said that he had found it in Motupally of Krishna district, which was an international seaport during the Kakatiya era, trading with Rome in the 1st-2nd Centuries AD, and the medieval period (10th to 16th centuries AD).
The find was thus a link that the region had with Rome and several other countries. Marco Polo, an Italian traveller, visited Motupally port in 1289 AD, when Rudramadevi, the Kakatiya Empress, was ruling Andhradesa, according to archaeologists. Mr E. Siva Nagi Reddy, archaeologist, said, “The terracotta jar measures 4.3 ft’ in height and 4 ft in diameter, is orange in colour and has enamel on the neck and shoulder portions of its external surface and entire inner surface. Pridhwi Raju’s father had found the jar on a mound behind the Veera-bhadra Swamy temple, Motupally. The Chinese traders might have applied enamel on it and called it an Indian-made Chinese jar.”
A few months ago, Dr Reddy had identified a similar terracotta jar, datable to the 14th Century AD at Rudramambapuram, a hamlet of Motupally. The object was now in the possession of Mr Govind, sarpanch of the village. Dr Reddy said that it was necessary to conduct a scientific excavation in both Motupally and Rudramambapuram to know the archaeological and historical potency of the site. Excavations were abandoned haphazardly in 1974. He appealed to the director of the state depa-rtment of Archaeology and Museums to resume them at the medieval international port town in the ensuing field season.