Tamil Nadu

Keeladi excavation resumes after nearly two months of lockdown

A photograph from December last year of the fifth season of excavation in Keeladi

A photograph from December last year of the fifth season of excavation in Keeladi   | Photo Credit: R. ASHOK

While over 60 persons were involved in the job before the lockdown, at present, 40 persons have been deployed in two villages

The sixth phase of archaeological excavation at Keeladi resumed on Wednesday, after nearly two months of the COVID-19 lockdown.

The Tamil Nadu State Department of Archaeology (TNSDA) that had taken up the excavation in the Keeladi cluster also comprising the nearby villages of Konthagai, Agaram and Manalur, had started work on February 19. However, with just about one month of work having completed, the excavation was stopped on March 24 following the lockdown.

“We have resumed our work in Keeladi and Agaram today,” said TNSDA Deputy Director, R. Sivanandam.

While over 60 persons were involved in the job before the lockdown, now only 40 persons have been deployed in the two villages. “As a precautionary measure, we have provided masks and hand sanitisers to all the workers,” he added.

With the recent rain having soaked the soil in Konthagai, where the excavation was focused on the burial site, the work is likely to resume after the stagnant water has receded. The lockdown was announced before excavation in Manalur could begin, Mr. Sivanandam said adding that it would begin next week.

One month’s excavation had found the link to the brick-work structure that was unearthed during the previous excavations.

The excavations so far has revealed that Keeladi had a 2,600-year-old civilization.

This phase of excavation will go on till September.

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Printable version | Jun 6, 2020 9:42:11 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/keeladi-excavation-resumes-after-nearly-two-months-of-lockdown/article31630606.ece

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