The first edition of the Kerala Archaeological Series (KAS), a bi-annual official publication of the Department of Archaeology, was released by Education and Culture Minister M.A. Baby here on Sunday.

Modelled on the Travancore Archaeological Series published between 1910 and 1938, the KAS is aimed at compiling and publishing archaeological and epigraphical studies in Kerala initiated by the department.

Speaking at the function, Mr. Baby said the revival of the archaeological series after a gap of 71 years would help in generating interest in the history of Kerala apart from benefitting researchers and scholars in the field.

“Awareness and reverence for its history is one of the biggest assets of any society. Unfortunately, the lack of sense of history amongst the younger generation and in our society in general is one of the biggest predicaments of our times. The publication of the Kerala Archaeological Series gains greater relevance in this context,” he said.

Historian and Kerala State Higher Education Council Vice-Chairman K.N. Panikkar presided over the function. He said that the KAS should not be restricted to a few editions but should evolve into a rich resource on archaeology and history of Kerala.

Honorary editor of the KAS M.R. Raghava Varier said that the series would try to make available in the public realm original sources pertaining to the history and culture of Kerala.

“This edition of the KAS has focussed on the archaeological trends and epigraphy in the 18th and 19{+t}{+h} century Kerala,” he said.

Archaeology Department superintending archaeologist S. Hemachandran, Mahatma Gandhi University Vice-Chancellor P.M. Rajan Gurukkal and Kannur University Vice-Chancellor Michael Tharakan were also present at the function.

Communist ideologue P. Govinda Pillai handed over a cash award of Rs.25,000 to A.K. Ali, a painter from Kalady, who contributed part of his private collection of Neolithic tools, that he discovered from the banks of the Periyar, to the department