CHENNAI: State Department of Archaeology is set to launch excavation at Pattaraiperumbudur, in Tiruvallur, 60 km away from Chennai.
The Department has been granted the nod by the Central Advisory Board for Archaeology (CABA), attached to the Union Ministry of Culture, to hold the expedition at the site where excavations were held in 2016, leading to discovery of artefacts revealing the ‘political, socio-cultural’ significance of the place.
“We have received the orders from CABA sanctioning permission to conduct excavations at Pattaraiperumbudur, located near Chennai,” a top officer told Express on Wednesday.
He added, “The papers relating to the nod for excavations reached the State Department of Archaeology here, on Monday.”
Tamil Nadu government had sanctioned ` 20 lakh for the excavation at Pattaraiperumbudur where preliminary works, including contour survey and selection of the final site, are expected to be completed within a span of two weeks.
The officer hoped, “We will complete the preliminary works in a short period of two weeks and set excavation in motion well before mid April.”
Archaeologist, J Bhaskar, attached to the State Department of Archaeology, will be nominated as ‘Excavation Director’.
The excavation held in 2016 at Pattaraimperumbudur led to discovery of a large collection of artefacts including Palaeolithic and Microlithic tools. Three Neolithic celts in basalt and dolerite stones were also found, besides bringing to the fore existence of iron age culture, sources said.
Mediterranean pottery and Terracota ring well were part of the findings. Potsherds containing Tamil Brahmi scripts associated with early historical vestiges too were stumbled upon.
Keezhadi excavation yet to be launched
The ambitious excavation in Keezhadi, the promising site located at Tirubhuvanam taluk in Sivaganga district, near Madurai, is yet to be launched. The process of picking the exact site to drop the pickaxe, employing modern technology, is still going on. Exact sites having archaeological vestiges and remnants can be precisely chosen using the geo-penetrating radars, thereby reducing the risk of wasting time and energy on unproductive sites, sources said.
Primary exploration in 2014-15
Full-fledged excavation in 2016
Tools like hand axe, scrapper, blade represent Palaeolithic culture
Microlithic tools like borer and scraper too were discovered
Existence of Iron Age culture also revealed
Graffiti potsherds, beads, bangles, weights, wheels found
Mediterranean potteries like rouletted ware, grooved roofing tiles and inscribed potsherds collected
Terracotta ring well, potsherds with Tamil Brahmi scripts found