A local history study group in Kunnathunadu near the Kodanad village has identified an assemblage of stone tools, iron slag and pottery sherds from Kathrikkadu teak plantation in Malayattoor Forest Division on the Periyar banks. The group, consisting mainly of Alattuchira Dhanya Library activists, were recording the local history of the area, when they stumbled upon the stone tools in Kathrikkadu forest area. “The tools we found were all made of stones, shaped into sharp chisels. We also found a lot of pottery sherds and iron slag. We tend to think that this area, now a teak plantation, was inhabited long ago,’’ said M P Prakash, who was involved in the work. The team, coordinated by Sunil C A, undertook surface survey in the region too, with active academic support from the Kerala Council for Historical Research (KCHR). When they came across the remains of Iron Age burials, they took the initiative to educate the local people on the need to safeguard their village heritage, possibly as a village museum in the library building. ‘’We wanted to publish the local history as a book too and had been visiting the elders in the region, even those living in remote areas,’’ said M P Prakash. The stone tools collected from the elevated Kathrikkadu plantation area are different from the usual neolithic type. The presence of iron slag can be an indication that the context is from the Iron Age period, probably an industrial one, feels the experts at the KCHR. “In the backdrop of the Pattanam excavations, these finds have special significance because this could be part of a satellite site that played a facilitating role in the trans-oceanic spice and forest goods trade from Muziris in the early historic period. These finds might even lead the researchers to a habitation or industrial context of the then Muziris zone,’’ said KCHR director P J Cherian. KCHR experts also feel that it is possible that the site represents Neolithic - Iron Age transition phase - the 2nd millennium BCE extending to the first half of the 1st millennium BCE. “We are intrigued because similar tools and potteries were found at a couple of sites nearby and there are also these ancient ‘muniyara’ and pottery sherds at Mundamthuruth, which is nearby. However much more detailed studies are needed to actually date the tools,’’ said Prakash. The KCHR has requested the local history research collective not to disturb the site and to properly label, document and conserve the collected artifacts. KCHR research team will be visiting the site to make an on-the-spot preliminary assessment and documentation.