Tamil Nadu Minister for Industries, Tamil Culture and Archaeology Thangam Thennarasu on Tuesday said that the State government was keen about following a rigorous scientific approach in its archaeological excavations and subsequent studies happening in various places in the State.
Delivering the Dr Palani G. Periasamy Endowment Lecture organised by the Department of Archives and Historical Research, he said the government was very particular that all the archaeological studies is being carried out in a scientific manner as per standards accepted by the research community. “That is why we have no hesitancy in releasing our archaeological findings,” he said.
Mr. Thennarasu gave a bird’s eye view of the different archaeological sites in Tamil Nadu and the priority given by the DMK-led government towards excavations in many of these places. He highlighted the efforts being made to protect historically significant sites with stone inscriptions.
Pointing out that many were aware of the excavations in Keezhadi, he said that Tamil Nadu had more sites which were of significance archaeologically. For instance, he said that the prehistoric tools found in Athirambakkam in Tiruvallur district, which could be dated to 1.5 million years ago, made the place the oldest to be inhabited by human beings in present day India.
Similarly, he said that archaeological findings so far have shown Pattaraiperumbudur in Tiruvallur district to be the oldest and continuously inhabited place since stone age. He said that the findings of Keezhadi were crucial as it addressed the doubts raised by many over the antiquity of the Sangam age and the existence of a thriving civilisation with urban characteristics in Tamil Nadu.
G. Prakash, Commissioner of Archives and Historical Research, said that his department was working with a renewed focus. D. Karthikeyan, Principal Secretary, Higher Education, said that efforts have been made to ensure that researchers are treated with respect and given easy access to the archives.