Chennai: The State government has planned to establish a vibrant and unique site museum at Keezhadi where the excavation points to an urban civilisation over 2,100 years old.
The rich find on the banks of the Vaigai river in Sivaganga district in the State has encouraged the State government to join the excavation so as to throw more light on the ancient Tamil civilisation. The task of establishing a vibrant and unique site museum is on. State Tamil, Arts & Culture Minister Ma Foi K. Pandiarajan, who has shown a keen interest in paving way for the State Archaeology department to take up the excavation, is determined to make the site unique.
Located about 12 km south east of Madurai, Keezhadi threw up several surprises when excavation began in 2015. It was accidently discovered by a teacher with the help of his students and later the ASI zeroed in on this village after a four-member team, led by K. Amarnath Ramakrishna, then Superintending Archaeologist, Bengaluru, assessed the potential of 293 sites over a distance of 250 km along the banks of the Vaigai in Theni, Dindigul, Madurai, Sivaganga and Ramanathapuram districts in 2013-14.
The dating of two carbon elements, taken at a depth of two metres from trenches with a depth of 4.5 metres, weighing 25 grams each, done by Beta Analytic Inc., Florida, USA, placed them at 2,160+30 years and 2,200+30 years respectively.
The artefacts obtained at the site point to the presence of a vibrant, sophisticated urban society. Pot shreds with Tamil Brahmi inscriptions point to a highly literate society. Graffiti of the sun and moon demonstrate their astronomical sense and ivory dice indicate the presence of an elite society.
Keezhadi is only the third habitation site, next to Arikamedu (1947) and Kaviripoompattinam (1965), in the Tamil Nadu-Puducherry region excavated by the ASI.
Alagankulam in Ramanathapuram district is another habitation along the Vaigai where the State Department of Archaeology is involved in an excavation now.