Senior archaeologists believe that the result of any proposed excavation at the disputed Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid site in Ayodhya cannot be the last word on the religious quarrel.
A special bench of the Allahabad high court hearing the proceedings in the Ayodhya dispute case had favoured an extensive excavation in and around the disputed site by the Archaeological Survey of India.
The purpose is to determine whether a temple ever existed there before the construction of the 16th century Babri Masjid, which was pulled down by a frenzied mob on December 6, 1992.
But archaeologists say the contending parties can still raise questions over the results of the excavations.
"Every layer at an archaeological excavation site is the story of an era," a senior archaeologist, who wished to remain anonymous, said. "So if an ASI team excavates the disputed site and finds the remains of a temple, it would still not settle the question of the existence of a Ram temple."
The expert pointed out that in Ayodhya, the foundations of buildings used to be of brick, which rules out the possibility of still finding a temple foundation.
Further, he argued, "How can it be proved that the mosque was built after destroying a temple? How can the possibility of a major time gap between the destruction of the temple and the construction of the mosque be ruled out? Maybe the temple had decayed and a new ruler constructed a mosque using its pillars and other stones?"
Excavation at the disputed site, he insisted, would not provide definite answers to these and many other questions.
Archaeologists have further raised questions about the feasibility of using ground-penetrating radar systems or geo-radiology to make a preliminary survey of the area, as directed by the court.
"Ground-penetrating radar systems or geo-radiology cannot be of much help in this case," another archaeologist said. "These systems only tell us about shapes or the presence of structures at a certain depth. They cannot locate anything if there is a lot of material between the ground surface and the deeper layers, which is the case at Ayodhya."
Meanwhile, ASI spokesperson A C Grover said the organisation was yet to receive the court's directions and would act on it accordingly.
VHP also opposes excavation at disputed site
Paramhans opposes excavation at Ayodhya
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