The sixth phase of excavation at Keezhadi is all set to begin on February 19. According to a report in News7 Tamil, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami will be inaugurating the sixth phase via video conferencing on Thursday. Apart from Keezhadi, the State Archaeological Department has also decided to conduct explorations in Kondhagai, Manalur and Agaram villages. The department has also appointed 10 scientists, 60 research scholars and 200 workers in all four villages to conduct the excavation.
As per earlier reports, the department also had plans to engage the services of higher educational institutions to decode the discoveries they make in the sixth phase of excavations. The department has tied up with Madurai Kamaraj University‚Äôs School of Biological Sciences and the National Institute of Advanced Studies in Bengaluru for conducting DNA analysis on the findings and for metallurgical studies of the artefacts unearthed during the excavations respectively. The other institutes roped in by the department to conduct various studies on the excavated items include French Institute of Pondicherry and Pune‚Äôs Deccan College.
The sixth phase of excavation is considered significant since the fifth phase of excavation, which ended in October 2019, led to the discovery of over 900 artefacts. Fifty-one trenches were dug by archaeologists over four months during the fifth phase, after which the department released a report. In its report, the State Archaeological Department stated that there might be possible links between the scripts of the Indus Valley civilisation and the Tamil Brahmi script, which is a precursor to the modern Tamil script. The fifth phase of excavation also led to another important discovery of an urban civilisation in Vaigai, which is considered crucial, since it has been speculated for a long time that the people from the Indus Valley civilisation might have moved down south around 1500 BCE after the collapse of their civilisation. Experts have also speculated for a long time that the language used by those in Indus Valley could have been Dravidian, contrary to the popular belief that it was Aryan.