Bhartiya History

Reexamining history from a Hindu perspective and exposing the colonial distortion of their Vedic heritage that fails to recognize the spiritual root of Indic civilization.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Tsunami throws up ancient city

Surajit Dasgupta in New Delhi

Feb. 23. – The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) here has confirmed the finding of a new ancient site near Mahabalipuram, about 48 kilometres south of Chennai.

Expecting an entire lost city, the archaeologists began underwater excavations, on Thursday, of what is believed to be an ancient city and parts of a temple uncovered by the tsunami off the coast of a centuries-old pilgrimage town.

Three rocky structures with elaborate animal carvings have emerged near the coastal town of Mahabalipuram, which was battered by the tsunami.

The force of the tsunami waters removed sand deposits revealing structures, which appear to belong to a port city built in the seventh century, said Mr T Satyamurthy, a senior archaeologist with the ASI, Chennai office.
“The tsunami has exposed a bas relief which appears to be part of a temple wall or a portion of the ancient port city. Our excavations will throw more light on these,” Mr Satyamurthy said.
The six-foot rocky structures that have emerged in Mahabalipuram include an elaborately carved head of an elephant and a horse in flight. Above the elephant’s head is a small square-shaped niche with a carved statue of a deity. Another structure uncovered by the tsunami has a reclining lion sculpted on it.

According to archaeologists, lions, elephants and peacocks were commonly used to decorate walls and temples during the Pallava period in the seventh and eighth centuries thus making them infer that the discovered structure must have been a temple wall. “These structures could be part of the legendary seven pagodas,” Mr Satyamurthy said.


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