Officials buy antique coins from collectors at Tangasseri harbour

The Archaeology Department will open a camp office at the Tangasseri harbour complex from Tuesday to ensure that no treasure hunt takes place there.

An ongoing dredging activity at the port is bringing out huge quantities of valuable archaeological artefacts to the surface.

People from far and near are reaching the dredging site to get hold of the artefacts, which include a good quantity of antique coins. An Archaeology Department team, headed by its Director G. Premkumar, retrieved about 90 antique coins from people who had collected them from the dredging site.

The department took over the coins by making a small payment to those who handed over them.

One man handed over more than 45 coins and he was paid Rs.500 for it. A good amount of pottery was also collected. Mr. Premkumar said the age of the artefacts collected from the site could be determined only after scientific studies.

But preliminary examinations show these are of Chinese origin. He said the artefacts are the property of the government and its collection will be ensured by the department through the cooperation of the local people and the district administration.

He said that the camp office will function purely as a collection centre and will not engage in any excavation. The history of the artefacts collected will be delved into with the cooperation of historians.

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