Home :: Archaeology

Archaeology studies the story of man’s past through his material remains. The word archaeology comes from the Greek word 'Archaios' – Ancient and 'logos' – theory or science.

Archaeology is essentially a method of reconstructing the past from the surviving traces of former societies. Both archaeology and history are concerned with the study of human past. Archaeology presents another method of approach to history, a study of human cultures through the material remains.


The Department identifies and carries out excavations at historically important sites. It has so far excavated 32 sites and unearthed various artefacts. Geological facts of the excavated area is also studied. Some of the excavated sites have been converted into site museums

Excavated Site with exposed Structure & 
Ring well

Under water Archaeology

Under Water Archaeological survey has been carried out in coordination with National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), Goa, in four phases; a shipwreck and other important artefacts were found in the Poompuhar region of Nagapattinam District. Further efforts are on to carry out this survey through National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT), Chennai.

Under Water Exploration – Poompuhar 

Pre-historic Archaeology /Geological Survey

To understand the Pre-history of Tamil Nadu as a whole and the Palaeolithic age in particular, the Department has established a site museum at Poondi for the benefit of the public, students and scholars. It is the only museum of its kind in India, featuring the Pre-historic heritage of this region.

Cave of Palaeolithic Man at Gudiyam near Poondi, Tiruvallur

Geological formation of the area- Gudiyam near Poondi

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