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]