The Tamil Nadu State Department of Archaeology (TNSDA) recently unearthed over 7800 artefacts from seven sites. These include 2200 from Keeladi, the Sangam Era site on River Vaigai where evidence of an industrialised, urban civilisation continues. If you are fascinated with excavations and their results, here are five sites you must visit in India.
Chandraketugarh, West Bengal
Located around 35km from Kolkata, Chandraketugarh served as the kingdom of King Chandraketu. The place dates back to the 3rd century, i.e. the pre-Mauryan era. However, another popular theory is that the area was a part of the ancient kingdom Gangaridai. Archaeological studies claim that the place was once an important port city with massive walls and people here were involved in several handicraft activities. Findings here include Northern Black Polished Ware (NBPW) relics, silver punch-marked coins and a few gold coins.
It was in 2014 that an archaeological excavation found evidence of a 3000-year-old early Iron Age habitation at this village located about 2km north of Kuhi taluka in Nagpur district. The site is spread over a 10-15 hectare area along the banks of the river Nag. Pottery, slipwares, and stone and iron artefacts were discovered. Other prime findings include many bones and bone beads.
Surrounded by rainforests, this medieval town in Assam served as the capital of the mighty Ahom kingdom for almost a century. In 2019, a centuries-old tunnel was discovered in Sivasagar, which reportedly houses monuments dating back to the Ahom era. In April 2022, a well was found at the sanctum sanctorum of the Shiva Dol, a group of structures comprising three Hindu temples. The excavation team also found evidence of water in the ancient underground royal well, which is believed to be used by the priest in the Ahom period to collect water for worship.
Located around 210km from Bikaner, this place was built on the banks of river Ghaggar, which is believed to be a remnant of the ancient Saraswati river. The town flourished from 3500 BC to 1750 BC and was discovered for the first time in the 1900s. Significant discoveries at the place include the world's first ploughed field and ritualistic fire altars.
This site located around 150 km from Delhi existed from 2600 BC to 1900 BC, but the excavation here started in 1963 and continues. During the excavation, it was found that Rakhigarhi was an exceptionally well-planned city with great roads and an urbanised sewage system. Several terracotta statues, bronze toys, and other artefacts were unearthed. Recently, the Haryana government announced that it would give licenses to Rakhigarhi village residents to open homestays in the area. It also directed ASI officials to complete the excavation work soon and formulate a master plan to secure the tourist site.