Following the 2004 tsunami, marine archaeology was done at Poompuhar and it was found to be a big port dating back to 3rd century BCE. Due to lack of funds, the excavation was stopped. The good news is that excavations are going to start again.
Before a full-fledged excavation is undertaken, a geophysical survey of the areas to be excavated would be conducted using echo-sounders (to detect objects on the sea bed), side-scan sonars (to scan the sea bed) and sub-bottom profilers (that function like an echo-cardiogram and detects objects beneath the sea bed).
“After a geophysical survey, we send down divers,” said Kamalesh Vora, scientist-in-charge, marine archaeology centre, NIO. Equipped with diving gear, underwater cameras, excavation tools, special plastic sheets and pencils, and measuring tape,
NIO divers will scour the ocean bed, at 20 metres depth, to explore and document sunken towns and their treasures. [Post-tsunami, raising the lost treasures of Poompuhar challenge divers]
2 thoughts on “Excavating Poompuhar”
Its a pity, that it takes a Tsunami for Indian Archealogists to realise that Poompuhar was a big port. One need not go very beyond but look into early tamil texts of the Sanga “Kaalam” Era to find masses of evidence of that and the early marine explorations and abilities of the people of that day & age.
I only hope that the Archealogical Society of India does some earnest work and brings to light the lost history & cultural heritage of ancient india into light. & Hope it is not hamstrung in its efforts for lack of funding.
In addition to Poompuhar, I would like to know whether the Archealogical Society of India is having any idea of finding out the sunken ‘Kumar Kandam’ or ‘ KADAL KONDA THEN NADU’, which will reveal the history and culture of india around thousands of years ago.- S.MAHIMAIDOSS.