The Principal Secretary was briefed about the excavation measurements, layer markings in trenches and a display of antiquities unearthed during the process. He also took stock of the on-site museum being constructed at a cost of Rs 12.21 crore, sources said.
R Sivanandam, Director (in-charge), Department of Archaeology, Tamil Nadu, highlighted the significance of artifacts, including microlithic tool, dice of ivory and terracotta, semi-precious stones such as carnelian, beads, spindle whorls, an ancient tool for weaving, iron machete, bone points and several broken pieces of pottery. Therefore, the antiquities at Keeladi gave rational evidence as to where the ancient clan settled down in the area, which once was a fascinating picture of an urban centre.
Moreover, the excavation evidence provides some indication of the origin of dyeing and ceramic industries and expansion of brick kilns in parts of the nearby village of Silaiman and pottery kilns in Manamadurai-which earn recognition for its unique quality and design Sivanandam told DT Next.
He said Keeladi and other three villages, including Konthagai, Manalur and Agaram seem to be rich in antiquities and archaeological evidence of ancient industrial units. The burial site in Konthagai, where urns were unearthed and the other two villages were habitation sites. On the whole, 110 acres were earmarked for excavation, but only about 25 per cent of the excavation has been completed so far. Scores of people turned up at Keeladi on the weekend, but they felt disappointed as they were restricted from accessing the site.