Archaeologists fight to get back Neolithic Indian artifacts

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KOCHI: Archaeological findings dating back about 3,000 years discovered in the Kalady area are in peril. The Neolithic relics have ended up in private custody, prompting the State Archaeology Department to initiate a move to recover them. An archaeology enthusiast K.A. Ali had recovered 43 stone axes (Neolithic Celts) and a grinding stone from a tributary of the Periyar.

Two teachers of a private college in the region reportedly took possession of the major portion of the finds, which prompted the Archaeology Department to act.

In south India, the period between 4000 B.C. and 1000 B.C. is considered Neolithic age. Though a large number of stone tools from the age were collected from Tamil Nadu during the second half of the 19th century, only a few were collected from the State, archaeologists said.

Mr. Ali collected the Celts from a paleo-channel (old river channel) which flows through Mekkaladi near Kalady.

The department is understood to have written to the teachers to return the finds considering the archaeological and historical value of the find, they said.

A number of stone tools were recovered from the banks of the river channel Kottamnam Thodu.

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