Second phase of excavation begins

Updated - September 23, 2016 01:26 am IST

Published - January 19, 2016 12:00 am IST - MADURAI:

Having struck gold in the first leg in terms of archaeological finds, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) began the second phase of excavation at Pallichanthai Thidai of Keezhadi village in Sivaganga district on Monday.

The first phase, which spread from March to September 2015, threw up very interesting antiquities of the Sangam Age.

“We have begun the second phase with the encouraging results of the first phase, especially the impressive structural activity. More importantly, the site is very close to the historic city of Madurai and has immense potential to explore the Sangam Age,” said Sathyabama Badrinath, Regional Director (South), ASI, who inaugurated the excavation. She was confident that the archaeologists at the site would be able to link the structures they came across in the first phase in the current exercise.

“This will help in further exposing the already exposed structures,” she said.

K. Amarnath Ramakrishna, Superintending Archaeologist, said that though a tentative date of third century BC had been fixed for the site, the exact date could be determined only through carbon dating of the antiquities found so far. He was hopeful that carbon dating of about 1800 antiquities found in the first phase would be over in about six months from now.

The ASI Director General Rakesh Tewari had approved the second phase till September 2016.

A sum of Rs.15 lakh had been sanctioned for taking up excavation during this financial year. Mr. Amarnath said that 15 quadrants would be dug up to begin with in the second phase, closer to the old trenches. The site is located at a distance of 12 km from Madurai.

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