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Delving into the past

For over 40 years, K.V.Raman has been passionately unravelling the history of South India through excavations. He was recently honoured by the Indian Archeological Society.


DID YOU know that king Parameswara founded Malacca? Or that Padukaraja was the name of the chief minister of Malacca during the reign of Mahmud Sond, and successor of Ibrahim? These and many other fascinating facts are available in a paper "Indian influences in Southeast Asia as reflected in personal names" authored by K.V.Raman in the "Ancient and Medieval Commercial Activities in the Indian Ocean: Testimony of Inscriptions and Ceramic-shards" a report of Taisho University of Japan's research project 1997 - 2000.

As the chairman of ancient section of the National Science Academy, Raman has worked not only on scientific and technological terms in ancient Tamil inscriptions from epigraphical and archaeological data available, but has also connected them to the literary evidence. It is in appreciation of his service in the field of archaeology and history that he has received the prestigious Dr. V.S.Wakankar Award for Excellence in Field Archaeology for the year 2002" from the Indian Archaeological Society, New Delhi. Kunnavakkam Vinjimur Raman, hailing from Chenglepet, did his M.A. from the Madras Christian College and Diploma in Archaeology from the School of Archaeology, New Delhi. His doctoral thesis was on the Sri Varadarajaswami temple in Kanchipuram. He has many interesting stories to tell about his excavations at the ancient site of Kaveripattinam in Poompuhar between 1963 and 1968, at Kanchipuram in 1962, in Karaikadu in 1985 and Arikamedu in 1989 to 1992 and Cranganore in Kerala. At Poompuhar, his explorations brought to light many parts of the ancient city and structures. In the excavations at Kanchi, Raman discovered coins, antiquities and many ancient structures belonging to the Satavahana and Pallava periods.

At Arikamedu and Cuddalore, many Greco-Roman artefacts and coins belonging to the first three centuries of the Christian era were discovered. His explorations in Madurai region brought to light several Mesolithic and Megalithic sites.

His discovery of cave paintings at Mallapdi was the first of its kind in Tamil Nadu. He received the UNESCO regional Educational Award for his discoveries at Kaveripattinam in 1970.

He has also authored a popular textbook "Principles and Methods of Archeology." He has been the president of the Ancient India section of the Indian History Congress, general president of the Numismatic Society of India, general president of the Indian History Congress, Tamilnadu History Congress and has travelled around the world With so much to his credit, Raman wears his achievement with humility. He continues to work in the fields of archaeology, art history and literature with a passion that is admirable.

V. R. DEVIKA

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