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After 17 years, ASI to resume excavations at Adichanallur

The exercise was much anticipated as the Union government had announced plans to establish an iconic world class on-site museum at Adichanallur, in February, 2020.

Published: 10th October 2021 05:40 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th October 2021 05:40 AM   |  A+A-

Workers engaged in excavation work at Adichanallur | V KARTHIKALAGU

Express News Service

THOOTHUKUDI: After a long break of 17 years, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is all set to resume excavation at the Adichanallur archaeological site spread over 125 acres along the Thamirabarani river in Thoothukudi district, from Sunday. The exercise was much anticipated as the Union government had announced plans to establish an iconic world class on-site museum at Adichanallur, in February, 2020.

Adichanallur site was first excavated by German archaeology enthusiast Dr Jagor in 1876. British India’s ASI Superintending Engineer Alexander Rea excavated the site between 1899 and 1905, and ASI Superintending Archaeologist Dr Sathya Murthy also probed the site in 2004-06. Additionally, many archaeologists had taken up antiquity exploration in the region.

As the site was a burial ground for ancient settlers, the past excavations shed light on their funeral rituals, potteries, food habits, graffiti, and cultural practices. Following carbon dating, a potsherd collected from Adichanallur was found to be dating back to 905 BC. The State government has also initiated measures to explore how the ancient civilisation (Porunai river valley civilisation) flourished on Thamirabarani river banks.  

Speaking to TNIE, Superintending Archaeologist T Arun Raj said ASI Director General V Vidyavathy had granted him license to explore the ancient urn burial site at Adichanallur for a year. The experts have identified two sites for sinking trenches on the mound, that the ASI has been protecting since 1922. A seven-member team, consisting of four archaeological experts, will commence excavation on Sunday. “The main objective of the exercise is to expose the urns and preserve them in-situ position, so that visitors can have a glimpse of the site’s cultural heritage,” Raj added. 

In line with the onsite museum project proposal, the official said the artifacts will be repaired and mended. “The excavation site would be covered by a strong glass structure, and a roof will be installed to protect the site from sun and rain. The museum will be on par with international standards, and would attract tourists from across the world,” he said. 



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