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Central Antiquity Collection


Exploration is a pre-requisite of archaeological research and this process leads to the discovery of antiquities, pottery and other invaluable vestiges of the human past. In India, the explorations started from the inception of the Asiatic Society in 1784. The explorations and excavations increased after the founding of the ASI in 1861. Both ASI under Alexander Cunningham and the then Provincial Governments carried out extensive surveys. This led to the discovery of innumerable number of antiquities.

Sir John Marshall created many site museums in 1906 to house these antiquities, besides the objectives of collection, preservation and documentation of them. The objective was to cater to the needs of students, scholars and educate the common public on the rich cultural heritage of India.


The Central Antiquity Collection (CAC) is a centre for the collection of the explored and excavated pottery and other antiquities of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). The CAC was created in the 1910s to mainly house the explored antiquities from Sir Aurel Stein’s Central Asian Expeditions (1906-1916). The CAC was initially established in the main building of ASI at New Delhi, which was later shifted to Safdarjung Tomb complex in 1958 and later to the present location, i.e., Purana Qila in 1974.


In addition to the antiquities and pottery housed in the cells of Purana Qila, such items are also housed in Humayun’s Tomb and Safjardung Tomb.


Nayan Anand Chakraborty
Asst. Superintending Archaeologist
Archaeological Survey of India
Central Antiquity Collection
Purana Qila, New Delhi
Ph: +91-11-24351329, 24358981

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