Telangana's Department of Archaeology and Museums is all set to spearhead an in-depth exploration of archaeological sites and monuments in the state that came into being on June 2 last year and look for possible new sites and inscriptions, officials said.

As part of the ambitious venture, an extensive re-survey would be carried out soon in all 10 districts of the state by engaging research teams, involving history students, who would study samples through field survey of the sites in different places, they said.

"There is a need to conduct re-survey of all 10 districts, so as to build a comprehensive data bank on the explored and unexplored monuments, sites, inscriptions and heritage buildings. It is proposed to create a data bank on sites, monuments, inscriptions and heritage buildings in the state as a project on top priority," Director of Archaeology and Museums (Telangana) B Srinivas said.

"The aim of the project is to document all 336 protected monuments of Telangana state with their location, description, inscription and sculptural evidences along with photographs, so as to know the exact number of the monuments and archaeological sites and remains and also to identify new sites, inscriptions and monuments in the state," he said.

The objective of this project is to collect complete data which would be utilised by the department for revising the list of protected monuments and sites.

"The new sites which are collected by the explorers, on the basis of their archaeological potentiality, will be proposed for excavation to fill the gaps in the history of Telangana state," Srinivas said.

It is proposed to involve history students, graduate and post graduates, research scholars from Osmania University and Hyderabad Central University here, besides members of INTACH and retired junior lecturers and degree college lecturers (as part of explorers) to cover 461 mandals spread over 10 districts.

It is proposed to employ four explorers for such work in each mandal. "Hence, we require a total of 1,644 explorers to complete the project. We will conduct training classes of one week for research team members before they are sent to the villages. They will be asked to take photographs. We will remain in touch with them on a regular basis and guide them. If they come across objects we will tell them if they are of historical importance or not."

The survey will also help in information on encroachments and conservation works needed.

"We will do fencing and land will be taken in possession and ownership will be transferred in archaeology department's name for enabling necessary conservation measures.

"If the sites are found on private lands we will purchase them. We expect to get information of new sites, new inscriptions apart from local culture besides megalithic burial sites,}" Srinivas said.

"If any pottery or bricks are found during surface collection, a trial excavation will be carried out in such areas and based on the finding large-scale excavation will be done," he added.

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