Madurai Bench of Madras High Court on Thursday issued notices to authorities concerned in a plea seeking to carry out further excavations in archaeological sites at Keeladi, Athichanallur and Kodumanal and also to permit excavations in archaeological sites along Tamiraparani river, Sivakalai and Konthagai.
The petitioner sought directions to continue archaeological excavations at Athichanallur and Sivakalai, Srivaikuntam taluk, Thoothukudi district and also at 37 other sites along the banks of Tamiraparani to know about the ancient Tamil civilization.
During excavations done in 2004 at Athichanallur, a team of experts unearthed 160 urns, which contained rudimentary Tamil Brahmi scripts dating back to 100 BC-200 BC. Besides, a considerable number of iron weapons, gold ornaments, bronze material and other valuables used in pre-historic times were also unearthed. Further, a three-tier burial system was also discovered with urns containing human skeletons dated back to 3,800 years.
Citing these facts, the petitioner sought the bench to direct Director, Exploration and Excavation, Archaeological Survey of India, New Delhi to permit Commissioner, Department of Archaeology, Tamil Nadu to continue excavations at these sites.
After hearing, the bench ordered authorities concerned to continue archaeological excavations without any hindrance other than unavoidable circumstances or reasonable causes. “Any lack of attention in such excavations will, no doubt, pave way for loss of what we have so far excavated as to the Tamil civilization,” Justice Mahadevan observed.