This research is part of a wider scientific Italian-Indo project finalised to shed lights on pottery fabrication and trade circulation in Tamil Nadu region during Early Historical Period. The recent archaeological excavations carried out in Alagankulam—a famous harbour trading with the eastern and western world—and in Keeladi—the most ancient civilization centre attested in Tamil Nadu region—provided numerous fragments of archaeological ceramics. The typological analysis enabled the identification of different pottery classes, suggesting the presence of local productions, possible imports and imitations. Studied shards included common Indian vessels, fine wares and luxury ware repertoire. The provenance identification of some of the studied typologies is still debated in the literature; for long time, the misattribution of several ceramic classes has led to wrong interpretations on the commercial connections between India and the Western and Eastern Mediterranean area. The minero-petrographic and spectroscopic investigation of several ceramic fragments from the two investigated archaeological sites enabled the systematic compositional characterization of specific ceramic classes both locally manufactured and imported. The obtained results contributed to draw short-range and long-range connections in Tamil Nadu area. © 2020, The Author(s).