EXCAVATION AT ANCIENT CHOLA CITY

  • Archaeological excavations at Maligaimedu near Gangaikondacholapuram is set to end on Friday amid calls for scaling up the exploration to cover more areas in the ancient city that King RajendraChola I (1012-1044) had built after his victorious expedition up to the Gangetic plains.
  • This season’s excavation, inaugurated by Chief Minister M.K. Stalin on February 11, led to the exposure of more brick structures of what is believed to a medieval palace.
  • More significantly, broken pieces of a bracelet made of gold and copper, a figurine made of ivory and a copper coin were found this year.
  • Besides these, Chinese ware, iron nails and broken pieces of other copper objects were found. Brick structures were also found in most of the 19 quadrants opened.
  • With the licence granted by the Central Advisory Board for Archaeology (CABA) expiring on September 30, the team of archaeologists and workers have been busy covering quadrants with tarpaulin sheets over the past few days to protect the site during monsoon.
  • The process of documentation would continue over the next few weeks.
  • The Department of Archaeology is likely to continue the excavation at the site next year too.
  • Gangaikondacholapuram was the capital of the Cholas for about 250 years from about 1025 CE.
  • It is widely believed that palaces of Chola kings had existed there about 1,000 years ago but were destroyed during the Pandya invasions or later.
  • Excavations carried out in the 1980s by the Department of Archaeology, under the direct supervision of its first director late R. Nagaswamy, had already unearthed parts of a palace and the city.
  • During the excavation last year, more portions of the palace’s structure were exposed.
  • In the recent months, the excavation site had been attracting a steady stream of visitors, including tourists visiting the famous Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikondacholapuram.
  • Local residents and heritage enthusiasts feel that the scope of the exploration should be widened to cover more places around Gangaikondacholapuram.
  • “During the excavations, a few antique objects were found from a couple of trenches dug close to my field

SOURCE: THE HINDU,THE ECONOMIC TIMES,MINT

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