Tamluk is the headquarter of East Medinapur district, West Bengal and is situated at a distance of 100 kms from Kolkata connected by road. The nearest railway station is Mecheda lying on Kolkata – Kharagpur route of the south eastern railway. Situated on the right bank of Rupnaryan river, Tamluk is found mentioned in ancient Pali and Sanskrit literatures in different names such as Tamralipta, Damalipta, Tamralipi, Tamraliptika or Velakula. It functioned as an important port from where Indian sea-faring vessels sailed to distant lands.
Tamluk also founds a place of mention in the works of Pliny and the great geographer Ptolemy as Taluctae and Tamalites respectively. Renowned Chinese pilgrims like Fahien, Hiuen Tsang and Itsing who visited this place have left vivid accounts of the flourishing port city. Besides a prosperous commercial city, it was great religious centre also. The antiquity and importance of the site have been established through excavation from time to time. Assessing the importance of the site, Archaeological Survey of India in the year 1954-55 undertook systematic excavation to reveal its cultural sequence. The excavation revealed the earliest occupation from Neolithic up to modern times. Period I ascribed to Neolithic culture was characterized by finding of Neolithic celts along with ill fired grey pottery.
Tamluk has gained fame in the realm of terracotta art due to its unique terracotta plaques datable to the Sunga epoch. The displayed terracottas mainly depict exquisite female figures popularly known as Yakshis in jataka stories. The Kushana period terracotta art is represented by human forms and toy carts datable from 1st – 5th century AD. Terracotta seals and sealings of the post Gupta period, antiquities of Pala period are displayed in the collection.