MAJOR ARCHEOLOGICAL EXCAVATIONS IN ARIKAMEDU
Guilaume Le Gentil
The earliest reference to the ruins of Arikamedu is found in the travel records of a French astronomer Guilaume Le Gentil , who visited Pondicherry in 1768-71 and records that along the high bank of Ariyakuppam river, digging had revealed some foot high walls built with large size bricks , which were one foot long and seven to eight “thumbs” large and were put together by mortar . He also mentioned seeing vestiges of wells exposed along the high river bank , which according to him were originally at least 20 feet deep and four feet wide made from a series of earthenware vessels placed above each other.
The historical importance of the site and its connection with the
Krishnaswamy Gowdar ( Kichanassamy Cavoudar) owner of a plot of land along the northern river front , dug an area of 60x 30 meter to a depth of 0.80 m for the purpose of
Planting coconut trees . From the debris , several artifacts were collected including fragments of Mediterranean shipping amphora, which were brought to the attention of Jouveau- Dubreuil.
A. Ayyappan ,
Small excavations undertaken by French scholars under the direction of L.Faucheux and K.Sarleau ( Les Recherches Archeologigues 1942: 180-188 , 1943 : 77-97).
French Government declared Arikamedu as Archeological site
The colonial French government declared part of the site as Archeological monument. The reports on the findings by French archeologists were published in yearly administrative reports 1945-46.
Sir Mortimer Wheeler
The most outstanding excavations were conducted by Sir Mortimer Wheeler, during a short season in summer 1945. He as the director of the Archeological survey of
Wheeler’s excavations are the most publicized ones both in
An important contribution of Wheeler’s work at Arikamedu was the preparation of a contour map of the site and the surrounding area, which was published with the excavation report.
J.M.CASAL excavated fairly extensive area more than any other archeologist. During his three ( 3) excavation seasons extremely reliable data were obtained , but selectively published by hum in his two publications on his work in the Pondicherry area ( Casal 1949, Casal 1956) Casal’s works went unnoticed largely by wheeler and Indian Archeologists .
-A brief article on the dating of the Terra Sigillata was published by L.Ohlenroth ( 1952)
- Studies of the Brahmi and Tamil inscriptions and pottery shreads by M.J.Filliozat
- I.Mahadevan ( 1973-1966)
- A brief article on glass rods by B.B.Lal ( 1958)
- Archeological studies of Five bricks from the site by K. Ramassamy , R.Balasubramaniam and G. Chandrashekhar ( 1976-80)
Peter Francis Jr. studies on beads
John Guwlnnet & Leonard Gorrelick
E.Marianne Sterns on Roman Glass
1983, 1986, 1988, 1989
Vimala Bagley & Team