Theory:

Archaeology
 
Archaeology analyzes the physical remains of the past in pursuit of a broad and comprehensive understanding of human culture. In other words, it is a scientific study of historic or prehistoric people and their cultures by analyzing their artefacts and other such remains, especially those that have been excavated in ancient history.
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Definitions of Archaeology
 
Basic definition of archaeology: Archaeology is the study of the past with the material remains left by ancient men.
"Archaeology is the scientific study of human's past, their culture and their relationship with their environment. The purpose of archaeology is to understand how humans in the past interacted with their environment and to preserve this history for present and future learning."
-Larry J. Zimmerman
One of the major activities of the Tamil Nadu Archaeological Department is to carry out archaeological excavations in historically important sites in the state. The Department excavated 40 sites, of which 36 excavation reports were brought in the book form.
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The list of excavated sites:
 
1. Korkai Tuticorin 1968–1969.
2. Panchalankurichi Tuticorin 1968–1969.
3. Vasavasamudram Kanchipuram 1969–1970.
4. Anaimalai Coimbatore 1969–1970.
5. Pallavar Medu Kanchipuram 1970–1971.
6. Karur Karur 1973–1979, 1994–1995.
7. Panayikulam Dharmapuri 1979–1980.
8. Boluvampatti Coimbatore 1979–1980, 1980–1981.
9. Kovalan Pottal Madurai 1980–1981.
10. Thondi Ramanathapuram 1980–1981.
11. Gangaikondacholapuram Ariyalur 1980–1981, 1986–1987, 2008–2009.
12. Kannanur Tiruchirappalli 1982–1983
13. Kuruvanmedu Thanjavur 1984–1985
14. Palayarai Thanjavur 1984–1985.
15. Alagankulam Ramanathapuram 1986–1987, 1990–1991, 1993–1994, 1995–1996, 1996–1997, 1997–1998, 2014–2015.
16. Tirukkovilur Villupuram 1992–1993.
17. Kodumanal Erode 1992–1993, 19926–1998.
18. Sendamangalam Villupuram 1992–1993, 1994–1995.
19. Padavedu Tiruvannamalai 1992–1993.
20. Thiruthangal Virudhunagar 1994–1995.
21. Poompuhar Nagapattinam 1994–1995, 1997–1998.
22. Maligaimedu Cuddalore 1999–2000.
23. Tirunelveli Ramanathapuram 1999–2000.
24. Mangudi Tirunelveli 2001 – 2002.
25. Perur Coimbatore 2001–2002.
26. Andipatti Tiruvannamalai 2004–2005.
27. Modur Dharmapuri 2004–2005.
28. Marakkanam Villupuram 2005–2006.
29. Parikulam Thiruvallur 2005–2006.
30. Nedungur Karur 2006–2007.
31. Mangulam Madurai 2006–2007.
32. Sembiankandiyur Nagappatinam 2007–2008.
33. Tranquebar Nagapattinam 2008–2009.
34. Rajakkamangalam Tirunelveli 2009–2010.
35. Talaichankadu Nagapattinam 2010–2011.
36. Alamparai Kancheepuram 2011–2012.
37. Srirangam Trichy 2013–2014, 2014–2015.
38. Ukkirankottai Tirunelveli  2014–2015.
39. Pattaraiperumbudur Tiruvallur  2015–2016.
40. Keeladi Sivagangai  2017–2018,  2018–2019.