Tamil Nadu

Sixth phase excavation at Keeladi to begin

Process will be photographed and videographed as part of a rigorous documentation process

The sixth phase of the excavations in Keeladi will begin in the second fortnight of January, alongside excavations in the Keeladi cluster – Konthagai, Agaram and Manalur.

The Tamil Nadu Archaeology Department (TNAD) has tied up with educational institutions to obtain their assistance during and after the exercise.

The initiative is likely to involve an association with a reputed international institution through the Madurai Kamaraj University.

The TNAD will also simultaneously begin excavations at Kodumanal in Erode district and Sivagalai and Adichanallur in Thoothukudi district. The State government had sought permission from the Archaeological Survey of India to excavate these sites, which was granted. The approval is valid till September. The Department is planning to adopt a rigorous documentation process for the excavations, including the one in Keeladi, where the process will be photographed and videographed.

“The excavations in the Keeladi cluster will be comprehensive, and will include a burial site at Konthagai and habitation sites at Agaram and Manalur,” an official of the TNAD told The Hindu.

Surveys with UAVs

A preliminary survey of all the sites is being carried out, and an aerial survey using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is being undertaken with the help of the Madras Institute of Technology, Chromepet.

Experts have visited the sites to map the places to be excavated and have identified potential locations for the exercise. As part of the comprehensive process being adopted this excavation season, the TNAD has tied up with various academic institutions.

One such association is with the Madurai Kamaraj University’s School of Biological Sciences, which is set to sign an MoU with an international university.

“The tie-up will be for conducting ancient DNA analysis,” the official said.

It has also teamed up with the National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bengaluru, for metallurgy studies of artefacts, the French Institute of Pondicherry for undertaking pollen studies, and the Deccan College, Pune, for animal bone analysis.

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Printable version | Apr 10, 2020 12:39:31 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/sixth-phase-excavation-at-keeladi-to-begin/article30488798.ece

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