Our threatened archaeological heritage: A case study from the Tamil Nadu Coast
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From the beginning of the Christian era, a number of sites having contact with the Roman world were in existence on the coastal belt of India. There are several indirect references in the literature which suggest that the shifting of shoreline was one of the major threats to habitaion. The present paper deals with the archaeological evidences for the shifting shorelines on the east coast of India. The basic data were collected during underwater archaeological exploration of Poompuhar (Tamil Nadu, India) during the last five years. A reference to the ancient map of Tranquebar prepared by Danish rulers in mid 17th century has been made to establish the shoreline shift. We present here information about archaeological structures on the Tamil Nadu Coast which have withstood the test of time but are nevertheless in danger of being destroyed during the present time. The reason for this is discussed and we are of the opinion that they are due to the combination of man made and natural causes.
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