Madurai: The Tamil Nadu government has allotted 72 cents of land for a site museum at Keeladi village in Sivaganga district where the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has unearthed 5,300 artefacts which brought to light the first Vaigai river bed civilisation in Tamil Nadu dating back to some 2,000 years ago.
While stating that the state government is totally against moving the relics excavated at Keeladi village out of Tamil Nadu, the Commissioner of Department of State Archaeology, TN on Tuesday told the Madurai bench of Madras High Court that the collector, Sivaganga has also identified two acres of land within the perimeter of the archaeological site.
"The collector, in consultation with ASI official's allotted 72 cents of land for site museum at Keeladi village..,"the commissioner told the division bench comprising Justices S Nagamuthu and Govindaraj.
When the ASI requested the court to allow them to close the excavated sites temporarily to preserve the artefacts from rain during the Northeast Monsoon, the judges allowed it, but with a condition that no artefacts should be moved from the site. The court allowed collecting the samples of artefacts from the site for the purpose of carbon dating. The interim order passed by this court would continue still the next hearing on scheduled on November 2.
The archaeological excavation, conducted exclusively by the ASI, has its own act and rules — The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Site and Remains Act 1958 and Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Site and Remains Rules 1959.
Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, direct that any such antiquity (or) any class of such antiquities shall not be moved except with the written permission of the Director General'.