The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) on Saturday began the third phase of excavation at Keezhadi in Sivaganga district, roughly 12 km from here.
P.S. Sriraman, Superintending Archaeologist, Excavations Branch (Bengaluru), ASI, who is now in-charge of the Keezhadi site, told reporters here that the excavation would continue through the end of September.
“We are hoping to make more interesting findings in this phase,” he said.
Four trenches in an area of around 400 square metres would be dug initially at the coconut groves at Pallichanthai Thidal in Keezhadi, where the excavation has been on since 2015, and the area will gradually be expanded throughout the third phase depending on the findings, he said.
Saying that ₹40 lakh had been allocated by the ASI for the third phase, Mr. Sriraman stressed that there was no shortage of funds.
He said that shifting of artefacts, likely to be discovered at the excavation site, to ASI offices elsewhere could not be ruled out for advanced analysis and ensure preservation of the artefacts.
“However, setting up an on-site museum, similar to the ones set up at various ASI sites, is under consideration. If that happens, all the artefacts will be brought here itself,” he said.
Highlighting that carbon-dating of two samples of charcoal from the excavation site has indicated that the human settlement at the site was around 200 BC, Mr. Sriraman said more samples would be sent abroad for carbon dating.
A total of 5,800 artefacts were found in the last two phases of excavation.