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A thousand cannon balls uncovered on school site.

More than a thousand cannon balls dating back to the era of British rule have been excavated at a school in south India.

The balls, of various sizes, weighed between 3lb and 26lb each. Most of the smaller ones were reportedly loaded with gunpowder, but the larger ones were empty.

The cache is thought to be 150 years old.

The ammunition was found during preparation work for a new building for the primary section of Government Boys' High, Trishul Park, in Secunderabad.

The building was reportedly a stable block during British rule, of which nearly 50 stables were converted into classrooms.

Archaeology and museums director, Chenna Reddy, said officials from his department visited the site and measures would be taken to move the cannon balls.

The ammunition was found last week by a digger driver who was removing some earth.

Officials who counted the balls said that 807 of them were small and 320 were bigger.

The local administrator, B Krupakar, said: "We will preserve the cannon balls in a room. The collector will take a decision on what to do with them."

"The British had stocked them during their stay at Bollarum (in Secunderabad). The dilapidated Government High School was dismantled recently to construct a new primary government school."

Meanwhile, the deputy commissioner of police has inspected the area and asked local police to keep a watch on the storeroom until the ancient ammunition is moved to a permanent location.

Secunderabad was founded in the late 18th century as a British cantonment. The area, formed through a pact be-tweethe Nizam of Hyderabad and the East India Company, was named Sikandarabad and later Secunderabad.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Aug 19, 2009
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