The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi and President Mr. Francois Hollande paid a joint visit to the Government Museum and Art Gallery in Chandigarh, as part of their engagements during the State Visit of President Hollande to India on 24 January 2016.
The two Leaders viewed the displays of archaeological findings from the foothills of the Himalayas which suggest human activity possibly dating back to 2.6 million years ago, making them among the oldest known remnants of human existence. This significant discovery is the result of seven years of extensive research and collaboration between the Prehistory Department of the National Museum of Natural History of France and the Society of Archaeological and Anthropological Research of Chandigarh undertaken under the auspices of an “Agreement of Collaboration between Society for Archaeological & Anthropological Research, India and French National Museum of Natural History”.
The archaeological discovery comprises about 1500 fossil finds, including 200 quartzite tools collected from several locations spread over 50 acres of area in Masol region near Chandigarh. The research work relating to this archaeological discovery is being published in the form of articles in the Palevol Review.
The Prime Minister and President Hollande congratulated the Indo-French team for their joint research work leading to this discovery. They underlined that this example of successful bilateral collaboration illustrated the long-standing cultural ties and enduring collaboration between India and France in rediscovering, preserving and promoting our shared cultural heritage. They hoped that such discoveries would lend further momentum for more joint endeavours in the future.