南インドの水中遺跡 本格的に発掘始まる模様

南インドのMahabalipuramの水没遺跡(神殿など)については何度かここでも紹介しています。インドの考古学者が最近になりまた新たに水没遺跡を発見したようです。ここでは岩を積み上げた、もしくは長方形に切り取った跡などがあり、本格的に調査を始めるそうです。
この地方では紀元3-7世紀ごろに最も栄えたそうで、その頃の遺跡と考えられています。この地方では現在5-6件の水中遺跡の調査が行われており、さらに地域の水中遺跡の把握に貢献しそうです。

Sunday, November 19, 2006 (New Delhi):

Rocks with step-like cuttings, a wall and carved blocks have been found under the sea in the southern coast near the heritage site of Mahabalipuram.

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) came across the remains while recently conducting excavations underwater at the site in Tamil Nadu.

“Mahabalipuram is a historical place. We started detailed excavation 500 metres from the shore in the sea and recently came across different types of rocks, which indicate human activity,” said Alok Tripathy, Superintending Archaeologist of ASI’s Underwater Archaeology Wing.

“We have also found a wall running from the shore into the sea,” he added.

The rocks, which were covered with a lot of vegetation were examined by experts and the cuttings on them were found to have many similarities with carved rocks on the shore, he said.

“There are rocks having step-like cuttings and holes on them. All these designs are similar to the rock cuttings found on the shore near the main existing temple which is famous for its rock art,” he said.

More excavation

“These rocks endorse the belief of the people that there were another six small temples near the place. We have found stonewall running from east to west, from the shore into the sea. We will excavate till the end of the wall,” Tripathy said.

He said remains of a damaged structure have also been found, indicating there was a port or an early settlement at that place which might have got submerged underwater in the course of time.

In addition, rocky ridges have been found beneath six to eight feet of water. These ridges, covered with a lot of vegetation, are similar to the ridges on the ground,
Tripathy said.

The excavation, currently being conducted at four to five places under the sea in the area, is expected to unravel more facets about the history of the place.

There are references to Mahabalipuram in Sangam literature up to 3rd century AD.

However, there are not many references about the place during the period from 3rd century AD to 7th century AD, when the Pallavas came to power.

“Now we have to examine issues like whether there was an early settlement or a port in the area. Most importantly, we have to study the character of the sea and the coast so that we can take steps for conservation of existing monuments,”
Tripathy remarked.

The ASI has been excavating the area since 2001. However, since last year, detailed excavation has been undertaken.

The excavation has also revealed the remains of two temples on the shore.

The base of one temple has been found, while the remains of the superstructure of the second temple have been discovered, he said.

“There may be some more temples in and around the area. We will try to find out how the structures got damaged,” Tripathy said.

The excavation is being conducted with the help of the Indian Navy, which provides ships and other equipment for the archaeological operations. (PTI)

引用元:http://www.ndtv.com/morenews/showmorestory.asp?category=National&slug=ASI+finds+carved+rocks+near+Mahabalipuram&id=96647

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