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Georgian Queen's remains in Goa can promote spiritual tourism

Jan. 21, 2014

The research into the remains of Queen Ketevan of Georgia has implications at the international level and can help build a bridge between India and Georgia, N Taher, superintending archaeologist of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), said.

The DNA study on the bone relics dug out 10 years ago from the ruins of St Augustinian Church complex in Old Goa has indicated that they could possibly belong to the Georgian queen. Literary records have clearly pointed out that Augustinian Friars, who were closely associated with her in Iran, had brought them to Goa in 1627.

"It (the finding) can create goodwill and help initiate an international dialogue between the two countries through archaeological research," Taher said, while delivering a lecture at the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), Dona Paula, on Friday.

Taher said the development will promote a cultural dialogue and further exchanges between the two, especially of spiritual tourism.

A few delegations of Georgians had visited the former capital since 1982 and interacted with ASI and government authorities after the excavations commenced to locate the queen's remains.

Taher spoke in detail about the challenges faced by him and his team during his Goa stint (2003-2009) and others in the laborious search for the relics.

The DNA analysis report was published online in a reputed journal, Mitochondrion. "Though we have completed our research, we have opened a platform for further confirmation of the findings, if needed," Taher said.

Regarding carbon dating as a means of confirmation, he said it may not be accurate, as the variation in time period could be plus or minus of 100 years.

Source: UCAN

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