A stone axe (Neolithic Celt) dating back to the Neolithic age has been unearthed during an exploration conducted by the state Archaeology department on the premises of Edakkal caves, in the Ambukuthy hills near Ambalavayal in the district. The axe weighing 550 grams, measures six inches in length with a cutting edge of three inches in breadth.

Though different kinds of tools dating back to the Neolithic period had been unearthed from other parts of district such as Mananthavadi and Panamaram, this is the first time a Neolithic axe has been discovered after the time of F. Fred Fawcett (former Superintendent of Police in Kozhikode) during the British rule, in 1894. He discovered a Neolithic Celt from Kuppamudi estate near the Edakkal caves, Dr. S. Hemachandran Nair, Superintending Archaeologist, State Archaeology department, told The Hindu on Wednesday.

Later, the findings of Dr. Fawcett led him to the discovery of the Edakkal caves in 1895, one of the treasure houses of historians and scholars in the world. Mr. Krishnaraj, the site officer of the Archaeology department said that the stone axe had been unearthed from Ponmudikkotta near the Kuppamudi estate, on the eastern part of the Ambukuthy hills. It is believed that Ponmudikkotta was the capital of the ancient Veda tribes and that a magnificent temple had been built by the Veda dynasty during their reign. It is also believed that later, this capital was conquered by Kottayam and Kurumbranad rulers of northern Kerala in a joint attack and the kingdom of the Veda dynasty was shared jointly.

It is said that during the invasions of Tippu Sultan, the famous ruler of Mysore, the temple was plundered and demolished. Though the temple was demolished fully in the invasion, the relics of the temple and the ruins of a huge earthen dam on top of the hill, believed to belong to this dynasty, are seen at the site.

Mr. Hemachandran said it was a significant discovery and the Archaeology department would continue its explorations in this area. During the excavations of the department in 2007 in the Edakkal caves, a round shaped stone chisel and some shards of pottery were found; an engraving in Brahmi script was also revealed after the excavation.

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