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Arikamedu is an archaeological site
Archaeological site
An archaeological site is a place in which evidence of past activity is preserved , and which has been, or may be, investigated using the discipline of archaeology and represents a part of the archaeological record.Beyond this, the definition and geographical extent of a 'site' can vary widely,...

 near Pondicherry, southern India, where Mortimer Wheeler
Mortimer Wheeler
Brigadier Sir Robert Eric Mortimer Wheeler CH, CIE, MC, FBA, FSA , was one of the best-known British archaeologists of the twentieth century.-Education and career:...

 conducted his best-known excavation in the 1940s. According to Wheeler, Arikamedu was a Tamil fishing village which was formerly a major Chola
Early Cholas
The Early Cholas of the pre and post Sangam period were one of the three main kingdoms of the ancient Tamil country. Their early capitals were Urayur and Kaveripattinam...

 port dedicated to bead making and trading with Roman
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 traders. Various Roman artifacts, such as a large number of amphorae bearing the mark of Roman potter
Pottery is the material from which the potteryware is made, of which major types include earthenware, stoneware and porcelain. The place where such wares are made is also called a pottery . Pottery also refers to the art or craft of the potter or the manufacture of pottery...

 schools VIBII, CAMURI and ITTA, have been found at the site, supporting the view on an ancient trade between Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

 and the ancient Tamil country
Ancient Tamil country
The Sangam period is the classical period in the history of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and other parts of South India, spanning about the 3rd century BCE to the 3rd century CE...

 of present day south India
South India
South India is the area encompassing India's states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu as well as the union territories of Lakshadweep and Pondicherry, occupying 19.31% of India's area...

. Now Arikamedu is a part of Ariyankuppam
Ariyankuppam is a Town as well as an Ariyankuppam Commune in the Union Territory of Pondicherry, India. The streets in Ariyankuppam are straight and in grid form, similar to Pondicherry boulevard.-Origin of name:...

Commune. Arikamedu was an important bead making centre.

Arikamedu is known to have been inhabited from pre first century times and was more or less continually occupied until modern times.

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