HISTORICAL REMAINS found during excavation at the site for the Aarey Metro III car shed will now be collected and studied by archaeologist from the University of Mumbai. Some of it may be displayed ina museum.
The Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL) is planning to call experts from the Centre for Extra-Mural Studies (CEMS) of the university to study the historical artefacts found during the excavation work.
The MMRCL’s initiative comes after the CEMS in its year-long survey of the city found various structural remains and artefacts in Aarey Colony that date Mumbai’s history back to the Shilahara dynasty.
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“The CEMS was independently doing a study in the Aarey colony area. The idea came up in a joint meeting and we are now in discussions with them. Nothing has been finalised until now. The proposal is that in case we find any historical artefacts during our excavations for the Metro III car shed we will then seek their expertise,” said R Ramana, Executive Director, Planning, MMRCL.
Meanwhile, plans to sensitise engineers on historical artefacts are underway, said Mugdha Karnik, Director CEMS. Ramana also suggested that to help the engineers identify artefacts during excavations, they may go through some preliminary training.
“We will sensitise the engineers on what to look for when excavating in the area and how to handle the structures found,” said Kurush Dalal, an archaeologist from the CEMS.
While the MMRCL has not yet decided on what will happen with the relics found, there are preliminary plans of displaying them in a museum.
“It is too early to decide how the artefacts will be exhibited but depending on the number of artifacts we collect and on their public interest value we will decide whether to have a museum,” said Ramana.
These proposals were discussed in a meeting between MMRCL, CEMS and India Study Centre (INSTUCEN) Trust soon after the CEMS revealed the findings of the Salcette Survey in July this year.
The team from CEMS, which had scouted for relics and artefacts in Mulund, Bhandup, Nahur, Vidyavihar, Sion and Kurla, found that the area was rich in historical remains.
“Aarey’s proximity to Marol, which became the capital of the Shilahara kingdom after Mahim, makes it a place of historical importance,” team member Vinayak Parab had said.
The team had said that many of these relics would be lost to construction of the car shed.