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Government Museum, Chennai

Introduction:The life of ancient man in India is depicted in the Pre-history Gallery of the Chennai Museum by a wealth of artifacts, stone, copper or bronze and iron ages.In 1878, Surgeon General G.Bidie, the then Superintendent of the museum, made Ethnology a museum subject to be illustrated by pre-historic antiquities and ethnographic materials.World famous collections of Palaeolithic and Neolithic tools, ancient pottery, ornaments of beads, weapons, agricultural implements and utensils and other ritual objects of the early iron age associated with urn burials and stone monuments or megaliths help us in understanding the culture of the ancient South Indians.The Pre-historic antiquities of the museum are exhibited in the ground floor of the front building. It includes the large classical collections made and catalogued by the pioneers of prehistoric studies in India, J.W.Breeks, Robert Bruce Foote and Alexander Rea.The objects from Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa are exhibited partly in the first floor of the New Extension at the entrance of the museum.The Breeks collection together with the collections of Cardew, Rea and others were catalogued in 1901 by R.B.Foote.