HC wants carbon dating of excavated artefacts

The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Thursday observed that following the carbon dating of artefacts excavated from Adichanallur, the same procedure must be followed in determining the age of similar artefacts excavated from other archaeological sites in the State.

A Division Bench of Justices N. Kirubakaran and S. S. Sundar directed the Archaeological Survey of India and the Department of Archaeology to file their reports in this regard.

It was hearing a batch of public interest litigation petitions listed as ‘Archaeological Matters.’

A week after carbon dating of samples revealed that the Adichanallur artefacts belonged to a period between 905 BC and 696 BC, the High Court Bench was informed that Sathyabama Badrinath, former Regional Director (South), ASI, currently with the Delhi Circle, had sought time to complete the report.

Further, the court was told that only after the report was completed, a decision would be taken on continuing with the excavation. Taking note of the submission, the court, which was delighted with the carbon dating results, said that if the Centre was not keen on continuing with the excavation, the State should be allowed to carry it out.

The court asked the State to inspect the site at Udayalur in Thanjavur district after a PIL petition sought the construction of a memorial at the burial site of Raja Raja Cholan.

The court wanted to ascertain if there were any archaeological remains in the site. It also sought further reports on the other archaeological sites: Alagankulam in Ramanathapuram district, Sivagalai in Thoothukudi district and Iraivimangalam and Padiyur in Dindigul district.

Taking cognisance of the fact that 25 out of the 35 technical posts in the ASI Chennai Circle were lying vacant, the court wondered how research work could be carried out.