Archaeology Updates (India)

Aatreya

Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
3,618
USA
Its moving slowly as far as I'm aware. They haven't even done a luminescence dating yet. The date they're giving out is just based off observation of the material etc.

Quite disappointing, I must say. Too much to even expect they'll correctly extract DNA and analyze that properly in a timely manner
It seems any analysis on excavation done in India goes to a black hole. Is it something political or is it that the people who work on such things cannot bring them to a closure?

How hard is to reconcile what lies in the ancient works with what they find? Perhaps we could form a multi-disciplinary team to address such problems.
 
May 2013
1,725
The abode of the lord of the north
It seems any analysis on excavation done in India goes to a black hole. Is it something political or is it that the people who work on such things cannot bring them to a closure?

How hard is to reconcile what lies in the ancient works with what they find? Perhaps we could form a multi-disciplinary team to address such problems.
A possible solution is as suggested, at least partially privatizing the Archaeology sector. It'll also produce more job opportunities and boost the pace at which the projects are done.
 
Oct 2015
1,138
India
It seems any analysis on excavation done in India goes to a black hole. Is it something political or is it that the people who work on such things cannot bring them to a closure?

How hard is to reconcile what lies in the ancient works with what they find? Perhaps we could form a multi-disciplinary team to address such problems.
Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is a exceptionally slow in excavations and publication of findings. One of the retired directors of ASI had come to Chennai to make a presentation and at the end in open house I asked him the reason for this problem.

His reply was: That the attention of top management in ASI is geared to organizing functions (seminars, workshops) in which top ministry people can be invited. Has to be true - at least partly.

My own observation is that there are about 5 or so levels within the ASI thru which an excavation report flows and then only it gets published. Each level takes time. As a result when we use archaeological excavations in last 5-10 years, we have to rely on newspaper reports - not on ASI Reports.

Secondly, the allocated budget is distributed over many projects - the important and the mundane. So progress is slow. If we pick up a copy of the annual ASI Report than lost of space is occupied with excavations in which I don't find of any interest. They probably do not believe in giving priority to headline projects.

I may add reporting of findings are of reasonably good quality as they go thru several levels. The presentation made by the director was also very professional. Quality is the only saving grace.
 

Aatreya

Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
3,618
USA
Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is a exceptionally slow in excavations and publication of findings. One of the retired directors of ASI had come to Chennai to make a presentation and at the end in open house I asked him the reason for this problem.

His reply was: That the attention of top management in ASI is geared to organizing functions (seminars, workshops) in which top ministry people can be invited. Has to be true - at least partly.

My own observation is that there are about 5 or so levels within the ASI thru which an excavation report flows and then only it gets published. Each level takes time. As a result when we use archaeological excavations in last 5-10 years, we have to rely on newspaper reports - not on ASI Reports.

Secondly, the allocated budget is distributed over many projects - the important and the mundane. So progress is slow. If we pick up a copy of the annual ASI Report than lost of space is occupied with excavations in which I don't find of any interest. They probably do not believe in giving priority to headline projects.

I may add reporting of findings are of reasonably good quality as they go thru several levels. The presentation made by the director was also very professional. Quality is the only saving grace.

Thank you Rajeev. The insight you gave about the process in ASI is very informative.
 
Oct 2015
1,138
India
Three 'Hero Stones' and one Sculpture found in Tirupur District, Tamil Nadu, India. These are about 500 years old.

Act of Bravery:

Two hero stones feature a man with spear and a tiger in attacking posture. It is likely that the two men died while trying to kill the tiger to protect people and/or cattle. Today tigers are on endangered list in India because of centuries old man-animal conflict due to expanding human habitat. Third has a man with folded hands - so his act of bravery is not clear. [1]

Dress:

The three hero Stones depict men wearing wearing necklace, bracelet and anklet. In Indian culture men also wore ornaments which can be seen in Stupa sculptures dated to BCEs, though now mostly women do.

In all three only the lower part of the body is covered with dress. This too was the Indian tradition - what else can expect in a warm /hot climate? The upper body of men was generally bare. If covered - as one would expect for wealthier men - then they would either cover it with extension from lower garment [ii] or have separate garment which could be called a 'shawl' in modern language. [1]

Memorial Stones:

Tamil Nadu has lots of Hero Stones and news of finds constantly pours in. [2], [3], [4]. In the figure at [2] one can see the sword going right thru the tiger's neck but the hero probably missed the centre of tiger's neck and ended up losing his own life.

In addition Hero Stones were erected in memory of war heroes and also in memory of wives committing Sati after husband's death.

The Sculpture:

The sculpture found is of a Devi (Goddess). Indians worship Goddesses in myriads of forms. Here also she is unique with a cow on her two sides and a whip in one hand. However, sculptural style is typical: "sitting with her left leg in folded position and the right leg hanging in front. She is holding a child, which rests on her right thigh, with her right hand".

References:

[1] Hero stones, ancient sculpture found in Tirupur village - Times of India

[2] 400-year-old hero-stone found

[3] Hero stones, Tiruppur, Tamil Nadu - Indpaedia

[4] File:14 th Ccentury A.D Hero Stone, a Hero fighting with a tiger.JPG - Wikimedia Commons
 
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Oct 2015
1,138
India
Dear All,

Reporting of archaeological finds in India is un-coordinated. So request to post details of finds here.

For finds in Pakistan, have seen reports of archaeological finds in their newspaper 'Dawn'. Reports are pretty neutral. It has some sort of collaboration with 'The Guardian' of UK, which to me is the better one on UK.

News from Bangladesh is rare.

Archaeology being the solid base history, kindly consider taking time and posting here.

Regards

Rajeev
 
Oct 2015
1,138
India
Dear All,

Here is a video on interview of Dr Rakesh Tewari, who was Director General of Archaeological Survey of India. He talks of

(i) His contributions in archaeology: Establishing that iron-making technology / industry flourished in East India from c. 1500 BCE and did not come from West. Establishing that rice was grown in Ganga River basin from 7th millennium BCE.

(ii) Contributions of other field archeologists in India over last 70 years since independence. He lists many and I note only one of them: One of them is that Dr Rajan (Pondicherry) has established that Brahmi script was available in South India in c. 6th century BCE. Hitherto it was believed that it was first used by Ashok and originated in 3rd century BCE.

Unfortunately the interview is in Hindi so only people in some people in India and Pakistan will benefit out of it. Must say I am impressed by the man and the efforts he has put in. If someone wants, I will make an outline in English and post it here. There is another video on Youtube of a presentation he made in Austria. Just listening to it.

Regards

Rajeev

 
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Aatreya

Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
3,618
USA
Dear All,

Here is a video on interview of Dr Rakesh Tewari, who was Director General of Archaeological Survey of India. He talks of

(i) His contributions in archaeology: Establishing that iron-making technology / industry flourished in East India from c. 1500 BCE and did not come from West. Establishing that rice was grown in Ganga River basin from 7th millennium BCE.

(ii) Contributions of other field archeologists in India over last 70 years since independence. He lists many and I note only one of them: One of them is that Dr Rajan (Pondicherry) has established that Brahmi script was available in South India in c. 6th century BCE. Hitherto it was believed that it was first used by Ashok and originated in 3rd century BCE.

Unfortunately the interview is in Hindi so only people in some people in India and Pakistan will benefit out of it. Must say I am impressed by the man and the efforts he has put in. If someone wants, I will make an outline in English and post it here. There is another video on Youtube of a presentation he made in Austria. Just listening to it.

Regards

Rajeev

Awesome Rajeev! Thank you so much for this.
 

Aupmanyav

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,858
New Delhi, India
Aurel Stein travelled thousands of miles even in enemy territory and Cunningham traveled extensively in North India. Is that kind of work being done by ISI or the universities? In Western countries, it is the university Professors and students who do extensive archaeological research. Here in India, the universities do not have that kind of funding, you can get a doctorate by collating information from a few books. For research, there has to be dedication.