Mortal remains of Georgian Queen found in Goa: ASI expert

Hyderabad, Sep 22: N Taher, Superintending Archaeologist, Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), Hyderabad Circle, today said the mortal remains of Georgian Queen Ketevan have been found in Goa, bringing to light the 16th century connection between Georgia and the coastal state, a part of the Deccan peninsular.

According to a release by city-based Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANNU), Taher, referring to a 26-year-long research project said, "We have been able to establish that the remains found in St Augustine Complex in Goa were that of Queen Ketevan of Kakheti in Georgia."

He was delivering a lecture at the varsity, organised by HK Sherwani Centre for Deccan Studies, a research institution of MANUU. Ketevan was the queen of Kakheti during the 1600s. The city was attacked and her husband killed.

The Persian ruler Shah Abbas seized the kingdom and took Ketevan as a prisoner. She was held in Shiraz for 10 years where she died a mysterious death. Her remains were smuggled out of Iran to Goa.

Later Ketevan was canonised as a saint by the Georgian Orthodox Church, it said. Georgia wanted to find where the relics of their Queen were. The investigation was started by ASI and 26 years later it was revealed that her remains are in Goa, he said.

It was for the first time that DNA testing was done on a bone relic in India at CCMB, the statement said. The lecture also formed an important part of the Centre's geographical jurisdiction of five states in the Deccan—Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Goa, the release added.


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