Tsunami may have revealed lost city

Date: 1/4/2005

The mighty Boxing Day tsunami has revealed what archaeologists believe to be the lost ruins of an ancient

city off the coast of Tamil Nadu in southern India. The 30-metre waves shifted thousands of tonnes of sand

to unearth a pair of elaborately carved stone lions and a stallion near the famous 7th century Dravidian

temple on the coast at Mahabalipuram, south of Madras. Indian archaeologists believe these granite

beasts once guarded a small port city that may have been submerged since the last Ice Age.

The two metre high lion statues, each hewn from a single piece of granite, appear breathtakingly lifelike.

One great stone cat sits up alert while the other is poised to pounce. Two man-made foundation walls

also remain visible beneath the murky waters, now measurably shallower. The tsunami also de-silted a

large bas-relief stone panel that had been buried in sand for centuries, close to the shore temple.

The half-completed sculpted elephant was effectively scoured clean by the great waves and now attracts

mobs of visitors who touch its eroded trunk as a good luck talisman.

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