Tsunami treasures

While writing about the shore temple at Mahabalipuram which survived the
tsunami, we mentioned about the mythology about six other temples which were
destroyed and also about the marine archaeology discoveries in the region. Now the tsunamis have unearthed some priceless historical artifacts in Mahabalipuram.

“The sea has thrown up evidence of the grandeur of the Pallava dynasty. These have been buried for centuries,” the archaeological body’s superintending archaeologist, T. Sathiamoorthy, said late on Thursday. “We’re all very excited about these finds.”
Among the tsunami “gifts” found in Mahabalipuram, 70 kilometers south of Madras, are the remnants of a stone house and a half-completed rock elephant, archaeologists say. There are
also two giant granite lions, one seated and another poised to charge. The statues are each carved out of a single piece of granite stone, testifying to the carver’s skill. The archaeologists
are also excited about a report from locals that just before the waves struck on December 26, the sea withdrew a great distance baring the sea bed on which lay a temple structure and several rock sculptures. “We’ll
be exploring the sea bed to document these Pallava relics,” Sathiamoorthy said, adding the Archaeological Survey of India would dispatch a team of marine archaeologists next month to the area.
Experts are examining as well a 15-centimeter tall bronze Buddha found inside a bamboo basket attached to a raft to determine its age and origin. The figure with Myanmarese writing on its back is seated lotus style and holds a begging bowl on his lap. [Tsunamis reveal ancient Indian sculptures via Zinken]

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