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Keezhadi excavation leads to ancient civilisation on the banks of Vaigai

May 16, 2017 01:45 pm | Updated December 03, 2021 05:13 pm IST

UNEARTHING HISTORY: Ancient brick structure found at the ASI's excavation site at Keezhadi.  Photo: R. Ashok

UNEARTHING HISTORY: Ancient brick structure found at the ASI's excavation site at Keezhadi. Photo: R. Ashok

In 2013-14, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) carried out explorations in 293 sites along the Vaigai river valley in Theni, Dindigul, Madurai, Sivaganga and Ramanathapuram districts. Keezhadi in Sivaganga district was chosen for excavation and artefacts unearthed by the ASI in the second phase of the excavation at Pallichanthai Thidal of Keezhadi pointed to an ancient civilisation that thrived on the banks of the Vaigai.

Carbon dating of charcoal found at the Keezhadi site in February 2017 established that the settlement there belonged to 200 BC. The excavations thus proved that urban civilisation had existed in Tamil Nadu since the Sangam age.

The Union Ministry of Culture has announced that the third phase of excavation will begin in this month and go on for three years and ₹40 lakh has been sanctioned.

Meanwhile, the transfer of K. Amarnath Ramakrishna, Superintending Archaeologist, Excavations Branch (Bangalore), ASI, who has been overseeing the excavation work in Keezhadi, at a crucial juncture kicked up a storm recently..

The delay in approval, which ought to have happened in October last, and the alleged reluctance of the Central government in continuing the excavation kicked up a controversy and evoked widespread condemnation by various political parties, writers and film personalities in Tamil Nadu.

Here we give you a peek into what this excavation means for Tamil Nadu and the details of what the excavation has yielded till now.


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