Aranmula: Ten days after villagers stumbled upon terracotta artefacts from along the Pamba river of south-central Kerala, experts from the National Centre of Earth Sciences Studies (NCESS) inspected the site to study its ecological aspects and predicted the possibility of finding more such historical objects.
Three scholars from the environmental science department of the Thiruvananthapuram-based autonomous research centre arrived at Anjilimoodu Kadavu to primarily learn more about the post-flood geological changes that have occurred along the banks of Kerala’s third-longest river. The baked clay pieces were found by local people in end-September, one-and-a-half months after the deluge that had Pamba waters overflowing.
The NCESS team was led by its environmental science head Dr D Padmalal, along with scientists Arun Bilaji and Jithu Shaji. Accompanying them was N K Sukumaran Nair, who is general secretary of the Pamba Parirakshana Samithi that is campaigning for the conservation of the 176-km river flowing westward from a hill in the Peerumade plateau of the Western Ghats and empties into the Vembanad lake.
The team, after its first round of study on Tuesday, estimated the antiquity of the objects at no less than 500 years. They projected chances of more such artefacts lying in a depth of 90 centimetres to 150 metres. The terracotta pieces, at the caved-in portion of a bridge that is under construction, were found beneath a tree that had its roots exposed after the floods of August.
The 1978-founded NCESS under the Kerala government carries out studies in environmental impact assessment, coastal and estuarine management and terrain analysis among other tasks.