Correct Answer : Option (B) - Nirmala Sitharaman
Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday (6th August 2023) laid the foundation stone for an archeological museum at Adichanallur in Tamil Nadu’s Tuticorin district.
Adichanallur was one of the five archaeological sites declared to be developed as ‘Iconic Sites’ in the Union Budget 2020-21. Adichanallur is an archaeological site located on the banks of river Tamirabarani in this district.
“The main objective of the museum would be to focus on establishing the significance of the archaeological sites identified as part of the cultural landscape of the Tamirabharani valley, not limiting to the site of Adichanallur. The museum will be built as a tribute to the history of Iron Age culture in Southern India, in the context of Adichanallur,” her office said in one of a series of tweets.
Sitharaman was accompanied by local MP Kanimozhi Karunanidhi among others.
The museum will house the excavated artefacts, the archaeological significance of the site and history of the region, another tweet on her official handle said.
The building will house display galleries, an audio-visual hall, a souvenir shop, a cafeteria apart from administration spaces.
As part of the development plan, fresh exploration/excavation of archaeological remains has been taken by the ASI, Trichy (Tiruchirappalli) Circle.
“The extensive urn burial site at Adichanallur was first discovered by Dr Jagor of Berlin Museum in 1876. Englishman Alexander Rea excavated a good number of urns during 1910s and discovered gold diadems with parallels from Mycenae, bronze objects, notably lids with exquisite finials depicting many animal forms, iron objects besides thousands of potsherds,” her office said.
The excavation was resumed during 2003-04 and 2004-05.
“Carbon dating of samples excavated in 2004 from the Adichanallur site has revealed that they belong to the period between 1000 BC and 600 BC. In 2005, around 169 clay urns containing human skeletons were unearthed that date back to at least 3,800 years. The archaeological excavation at Adichanallur again commenced on October 10, 2021 as part of Iconic Site development,” it added.
Meanwhile, an official release quoted Sitharaman as saying that as part of a concerted effort to preserve India’s rich cultural heritage, the government was working tirelessly to repatriate artefacts belonging to Adichallanur from abroad with a focus on items currently held in Berlin, Germany.
So far, the government’s efforts have resulted in the return of over 350 ancient artefacts and items of historical importance to India.
She also highlighted various comprehensive efforts taken by the Centre to honour, preserve, and showcase India’s rich cultural heritage for both present and future generations.
Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership, numerous heritage sites, including Somnath, Kashi Vishwanath Temple, have been revitalised.
She further stated that over 3.3 lakh manuscripts containing 3.4 crore pages have been digitised..
Source : Daily Excelsior