Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Archaeologists excavating underwater city uncovered by tsunami

Post Gazette: "Three rocky structures with elaborate carvings of animals have emerged near the coastal town of Mahabalipuram, battered by the Dec. 26 Asian tsunami. As the tsunami's waves receded, the force removed sand deposits that had covered the structures, which appear to belong to a port city built in the seventh century, said T. Satyamurthy, a senior archaeologist with the Archaeological Survey of India.

The six-foot rocky structures that have emerged in Mahabalipuram, 30 miles south of Madras, include an elaborately carved head of an elephant and a horse in flight. Above the elephant's head is a small square-shaped niche with a carved statue of a deity.

Another structure uncovered by the tsunami has a reclining lion sculpted on it.

According to archaeologists, lions, elephants and peacocks were common motifs used to decorate walls and temples during the Pallava period in the seventh and eighth centuries."