The most recent archaeological excavation conducted in Madurai district was in 2010 at Rajakalmangalam, where a temple belonging to the early Pandya rulers was unearthed.
According to N. Ganesan, Assistant Director of the State Archaeology Department, sculpture and stone inscriptions were discovered during the excavation. “The ruins of the Pandya forts and fort walls existed in Madurai till 1857, when Collector Blackburn pulled them down to create a new layout for the city. If the government and the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) grant approval, excavation could be carried out within the city”, Mr Ganesan told The Hindu . However, officials from the archaeology department are not hopeful of getting approval for excavation. “Several lakhs are being spent on the infrastructural development of the streets laid over the historical sites within the city. Therefore, there is very little possibility of getting approval to excavate here”, said an official. Excavations in Madurai have so far been conducted mostly on the outskirts of the city. In 2007, Mankulam, a village located 25 Km from Madurai, was excavated and quartz stones, copper coins (13-14 century BC), pottery and construction material were unearthed.
According to the archaeology department, the excavation revealed the early and medieval period.
Another notable excavation conducted in Madurai in 1980 was at Kovalanpottal, an open space near Palanganatham, where Kovalan, a central character in the Tamil classic ‘Silapathikaram’ is believed to have been buried.