A study to establish the civilization of the Thamiraparani river will also be carried out in the districts of Tirunelveli and Thoothukudi
Encouraged by the archaeological finds in Keeladi which testified to the existence of an ancient Tamil urban civilization, the Department of Archeology decided to launch excavations at seven other sites and field studies at two locations.
“The Central Advisory Council for Archeology (CABA) granted permission for the projects on January 5th. This is the first time that the state will have more than 10 excavation projects by different agencies, including the State Department of Archeology and various universities, ”said T. Udayachandran, principal secretary and commissioner of the department.
A map showing the proposed sites for excavation in TN
The government of Tamil Nadu has allocated ₹ 3 crore this year, for carrying out excavations in the state.
Mr Udayachandran said that excavations will be carried out in Keeladi and its surroundings in the district of Sivaganga, Adichanallur and its surroundings, Sivakalai and its surroundings and Korkai and its surroundings in the district of Thoothukudi, Kodumanal in the district of Erode, Mayiladumparai in Krishnagiri district as well as Gangaikondacholapuram and Maligaimedu in Ariyalur district.
A first study will be carried out to find new Stone Age sites in the districts of Krishngiri, Vellore, Dharmapuri, Tiruvannamalai and Salem. Another field study will be carried out in Tirunelveli and Thoothukudi districts to find the Thamiraparani river civilization.
“The excavations and field studies are an important step in efforts to restore Tamil’s ancient cultural greatness through scientific methods,” Udayachandran said. He said that in addition to the excavations and studies, proposals for excavations by universities, departments and agencies, have also been sent to CABA.
The Sharma Center for Heritage Education requested permission to excavate at Chenrayanpalayam in Tiruvallur district while Alagappa University offered to excavate at Ilanthakarai in Sivaganga district. Tamil University submitted a proposal for Moolapalayam in Coimbatore district; Madras University for Vasalai in Vellore District and Tamil Nadu Open University for Porpanaikottai in Pudukottai.
Mr Udayachandran said there was renewed interest in archeology and culture in the state and that the new excavations would help reveal Tamil Nadu’s pluralistic culture to the world.