8th phase excavations in Keeladi likely to start in January

8th phase excavations in Keeladi likely to start in January

Why Keeladi excavations is important?

  • This site is known for Sangam Age settlement.
  • Archaeological residue found from 293 identified sites along the Vaigai river.
  • 6,000 plus artefacts recovered so far which include beads, jewellery, silver coin, semi-precious stones, tools, spindle whorls, black and red earthen wares, brick walls, ring wells, Tamil Brahmi script etched plates and pots have shed light on the literacy achievement of the inhabitants, the probable trade links and an urban settlement and pushed back the known antiquity of the Sangam Age from 300 BCE to 580 BCE.
  • Excavations at Keeladi, 13 km southeast of Madurai in Sivaganga district, are meant to establish the historical, architectural and cultural significance of the Sangam Age settlement.

why it is in news?

  • Less than 5% of Keeladi’s 110 acre spread has been unearthed so far.
  • Now, the State Archaeological Department has made its submission to the Central Advisory Board for Archaeology (CABA) for carrying out the eighth round of excavations at Keeladi, where the remnants of Sangam Age settlement are being unearthed.
  • The proposal was sent in mid-October. The standing committee of CABA will convene in Delhi to examine and approve different project reports received from across the country and the work will resume after the ASI gives its nod.

Decade to unlock history

  • Archaeologist said it would take more than a decade to unlock the mysteries of the civilisation and regional power that flourished here 2,600 years ago.
  • They also said that the excavations, if possible, should be carried out twice a year. The first phase was carried out in 2015 and each year less than one per cent has been dug up.