Details on each temple artefact's size, susceptibility to gases, signs of damage

The inventorying of the contents of the six vaults of the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple here is expected to generate unprecedented scientific data about the artefacts stored in the underground chambers.

Though less than 10 articles from vaults E and F were subjected to the Digital Archiving of Temple Antiques (DATA) process of the Supreme Court committee on the inventorying scheme, it is perhaps for the first time that a ‘condition report' is being generated about these objects.

Even though it is the personnel from Keltron, the implementing agency of the DATA project, who are documenting each object taken out of the vaults, it is the domain experts on gold, gems, and coins who will prepare the ‘condition report' of each article.

This report will detail, among other things, the object's susceptibility to gases, its size, shape, and any signs of damage.

The data thus generated about each object will be fed into onsite computers and the data will be collated using a specially designed data-entry application. These computers and their servers will remain inside the Temple till the inventorying is completed. Retrieval of data from the systems will require password entries from at least three members of the Supreme Court committee.

Alphanumeric code

Details of each of the thousands of objects inside the vaults can be called up by punching in its “antique ID number.”

This alphanumeric code of up to 15 characters contains complete information about an object.

For instance, if an object's code is R-10-102-100005, ‘R' stands for the ‘religious' type of the object. The next two digits denote the object's material. The next three digits stand for the category of the object (whether it is a vessel, a ring, a crown, etc.), and the last six digits form the serial number of that object.

CCTV footage

Though CCTV footage of articles being taken out of vaults A through D can be generated, the photographs of articles being taken into and out of vaults E and F will not be available even to the Supreme Court.

Cameras have not been placed outside these vaults because they are located very close to the sanctum sanctorum of the temple.

The objects taken out of these vaults will be captured by cameras only when they enter the area where the DATA workstations are located.