Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami on Friday inaugurated an exhibition of artefacts excavated at Keezhadi in Sivaganga district during the fourth and fifth phases. The items have been displayed in Madurai and are open to the public.
Of the total 6,200 items excavated, the Archeological Department will be displaying about 70% of the items. This includes gold jewellery, pots and faces made of clay. Replicas of the scenes from the excavation themselves have been put on display, from wells to settlements. The exhibition will be open from 11 am and to 7 pm everyday.
Speaking to TNM, T Udhayachandran, Commissioner of TN Archeological Department, said, "When you visit the excavation site, you can see the live action but we couldn't display the items category wise. But in this exhibition we can categorise from iron objects to pottery. In addition to this, there will be cultural text showing evidences of links to Sangam literature. So you can get a better understanding of the items."
There will also be trained guides and members of the Archeological Department present there, to help visitors draw inferences.
"We have also set up a virtual reality corner where you can have the experience of walking over the excavated sites. So, in a single location you will get the experience of the entire site," said the commissioner.
The fourth and fifth phase of excavations at the site have led to major discoveries. Artefacts found there have determined a possible link between the scripts of the Indus Valley Civilisation and Tamil Brahmi, which is the precursor to modern Tamil. Another important discovery was that there was an urban civilisation in Tamil Nadu that was contemporary to the Gangetic plain civilisation.
The findings of the Archeological Department also indicate another major discovery â€” that an urban civilisation was thriving on the banks of the Vaigai River in Tamil Nadu in 6th Century BCE, around 2,500 years ago. What this suggests is that the Sangam era - considered Tamil Naduâ€™s golden age - began much earlier than what was once thought.
With the five phases of excavations at Keezhadi in Tamil Nadu providing a rich haul of material and data about the past, the next excavation at the spot would begin by the end of January 2020.