HYDERABAD: After a gap over two decades, the Department of Archaeology will resume excavation of the only pre-Sathavahana site at Kotalingala village in Karimnagar district that is facing submersion threat from the Yellampally project.
The 120-acre site in the village which is now home to remnants of fort, stupa, ancient Siva temple, open wells and connecting channels is the only link to throw more light about pre-Sathavahana period, not documented anywhere, said Director of Department of Archaeology P. Chenna Reddy. He said that an advisory committee had been constituted with experts like Dr. V.V. Krishna Sastry, former director of Archaelogy, Dr. D. Raja Reddy, numismatist, Prof. E. Shivanagi Reddy, Dr. B. Subramanyam besides deputy directors of Archaeology department to oversee the excavations. The excavation work would begin in 10 days and work orders have already been issued, Dr. Chenna Reddy added. Archaeologists and numismatists had been raising their concern for the last couple of years that the site which yielded invaluable and exciting numismatic evidences of pre-Sathavahana period could be submerged before a systematic excavation proposed by the Archaeology department materialised.
“It was one of the greatest excavation sites in my career. We had excavated just about an acre of the identified site with limited resources at our disposal. Yet, it gave us a rich yield of 450 coins, gold beads, pottery, decorative art of pre-Sathavahana period.
Thanks to Kotalingala coins, the world came to know that Sathavahana kings were the successors of Andhra kings who ruled from Kotalingala, their capital those days,” said Dr. Krishna Sastry, former director of department. The discovery of the coins of pre-Sathavahana and Sathavahana period in 1978 is considered significant in the numismatics history.