A huge ancient stone sculpture resembling a lion was unearthed during digging and excavation works on the premises of historic Emar Mutt in Puri on Monday. The excavation was part of the Srimandir Parikrama project being undertaken by the State government.
A ancient sculpture found in two pieces seemed to have been seriously damaged during the digging works, sources said.
It was alleged that ground-penetrating radar survey (GPRS) was not undertaken at the site before carrying out digging activities which resulted in damage to the antique sculpture.
Earlier, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), in its affidavit to the Orissa High Court, had claimed that no GPRS was conducted to ascertain the archaeological and historical importance lying buried in the subsoil of 75m radius (Construction Zone) of Centrally Protected Monuments.
The damage to the ancient sculpture due to lack of GPRS has triggered sharp reaction.
Advocate Sarat Rayaguru alleged that many ancient items must have been unearthed from the site and those were disposed off before coming to the notice of the public.