A new archaeological find in Sunderbans indicates the existence of an ancient civilization in the mangroves dating back to the Mauryan period ( 322-185 BC).The civilization lasted for the next 500-600 years. The area was first mapped in 1764 afer British East India Company obtained proprietary rights from Mughal Emperor Alamgir II in 1757.The artifacts are collected from the Dhanchi and Bijwara forests in the tiger reserve area of Sundarbans over the last 22 years.A local fisherman Biswajit Sahu collected more than 15,000 artefacts and continues to collect more during fishing trips to different islands. The artefacts include several terracotta human and animal figurines dating back to pre and early centuries of the Christian era,terracotta lumps bearing impressions of seals dating back to the early historical period,terracotta rattles,toys and pendants etc.A large number of skeletons, bone fragments,skulls and teeth of wild ,domesticated and aquatic animals are also collected. An analysis indicates that a wide variety of antiquities date back to the Mauryan era ( 3rd century BC) and the early centuries of the Christian era. The civilization went on from the Mauryan era to the Sunga era and continued through the early Gupta era as per the Archaeologist Mishra.