Archaeological excavations in TN come to a close

Archaeological excavations in TN come to a close

While the excavation is at its seventh phase in Keeladi, the second phase has come to an end in other places

The new DMK government has allotted funds for the TNSDA to continue with excavations in the above-mentioned sites and new places. Credit: TNSDA

Curtains came down on Thursday on the archaeological excavations in ten locations in Tamil Nadu, including in Keeladi and Sivagalai, that have created a buzz with significant findings some of which date back to 3,200 years old. 

The Tamil Nadu State Department of Archaeology (TNSDA) began excavations in Keeladi, Konthagai, and Agaram in Sivaganga district and Adichanallur, Sivagalai, and Korkai in Thoothukudi district besides a few other places in January this year. However, the excavations came to a grinding halt in May due to the Covid-19 induced lockdown. The digging resumed in July.

While the excavation is at its seventh phase in Keeladi, the second phase has come to an end in other places. This year, the TNSDA began digging in Mayiladumparai in Krishnagiri district, Gangaikondacholapuram and Maligaimedu in Ariyalur district, buoyed by the findings in Keeladi and its cluster sites.

Also Read | Retracing ancient Indian heritage via Tamil Nadu

“The excavation process has come to an end in all sites today. Our archaeological officers (AO) will sit to write reports of the excavation,” a senior official with the TNSDA told DH. While Keeladi, which has transformed into a treasure trove of how ancient Tamils lived, and its cluster sites yielded 2,000 artifacts this season, the findings in Sivagalai and Adichanallur also assume significance.

The new DMK government has allotted funds for the TNSDA to continue with excavations in the above-mentioned sites and new places. The department has also sought permission for the next round of excavation from the Union Government.

Carbon dating of paddy husks found in a burial urn in Sivagalai showed their age to be 3,200 years (1155 BCE) which is older than Keeladi, an urban settlement that is at least 2,600 years old.

The archaeological findings have created a buzz with researchers and archaeologists in Tamil Nadu calling them significant as they “narrow down” the gap between the Tamil urban settlements and the Indus Valley Civilisation (IVC). However, they say “more evidence” should be forthcoming.

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