Archaeology Updates (India)

Jul 2017
395
Sydney
#21
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.
We need an ecosystem and at the moment that is missing, sadly

We can't expect ASI to explore and excavate each and every interesting site

It needs to be decentralized so that the universities in each state can explore the sites in their areas
 
Oct 2015
709
India
#22
@Aupmanyav @Kadi

Indian Universities:

Of late contribution of universities has reduced. Here are Universities Rakesh Tewari names in his video:

Translated into English: 'From South India, Mr HD sankalia from Deccan College, Prof Goverdhan Rai Sharma from Allahabad University, These were times when in addition to ASI, universities also did a lot of work. Calcutta University, Pata University, BHU - all did. Now-a- day, Shantiniketan University has done good work on Paleolithic period. Latest contribution is by K Rajan of Pondicherry University.' Listen from 17:30 to 20:00

Foreign Universities:

In corporate career, I had worked on bringing two British Institutions to India for certifications of Indian civil engineers and mechanical engineers. The impression I got was that these institutions have excellent processes for developing and assessing engineers. They also had good methods for keeping them technically updated. Membership were very expenses for an average managers but the company helped. And managers tend to get absorbed by day-to-day job-pressures, daily 12 hour work schedules, so leave being active after sometime.

Due to above experience on instilling technical excellence, I have a strong feeling that either ASI or Indian Universities, or both, should associate foreign universities in excavations. Funding from India will be a constraint but I guess some Foreign Universities will be ready to put in money to train their students as getting ancient sites are ample in India but perhaps not as much elsewhere.
 
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Bart Dale

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
6,866
#23
Note, before archaelogoy became s profession it was done mostly by amateurs has a hobby. Perhaps more Indians could take up archeology as a hobby. With Indians ancient history, I bet you often would not have to go far to find site.
 
Sep 2015
382
Sri Lanka
#25
Just to keep your interest alive: Joint burial and imagined romance found in burials in Rakhigarhi excavations (Haryana, India).

Anyway, good that excavations at this important site are continuing.

In a first, ancient couple found in Harappan grave - Times of India
Rajeev ,
Thank you for keeping our interest alive in " Indian Archaeology" with your "Romantic Imagination" of the first ancient couple excavated from a "joint Burial" site in India --- I guess, the couple must had belonged to Ror tribe of Haryana ;)

"......................Ancient Joint Burial sites have always evoked interest. In a Neolithic burial site in an Italian village, Archaeologists found a man and a woman in an Embrace. In another joint burial reported from Russia, the couple were holding hands and facing each other. Nearly 6,000-year-old skeletons in Greece were found Embracing each other, with their legs and arms interlocked.
Secrets of ancient 'mystery couple' revealed
 
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Sep 2015
382
Sri Lanka
#27
Yes, they found a joint burial in Lothal also if I am not wrong.

Lothal burials
This site is located in the Delta of Sabarmati River, Gujarat. When S.R. Rao discovered this site, only habitation site was identified at first. However, the cemetery of Lothal was discovered later, as a result of systematic probing on the western periphery of the mound undertaken in 1958. The cemetery was situated at the northwestern part of the habitation mound. Although the site was disturbed due to ploughing activities, 19 burial pits were unearthed until 1960
Single skeleton was discovered from most of the burials. However, there were also a few "joint burials "containing two individual skeletons in each burial. In fact, this is the only Harappan site where" joint burials "have yet been discovered (Fig. 2E). It should be also noted that chopping marks were noticed on the tibia collected from the cemetery site; and in another skeleton, skull and legs had signs of fractures. .
 

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Oct 2015
709
India
#28
Some historical structures have been discovered in Melkote town (Mandya District, Karnataka, India). These includes a Step-well or it may be a "Kalyani". [1]

Step-Wells are famous in Rajasthan & Gujarat which are water-scarce areas. Famous are Rani ki Vav in Gujarat (Unesco heritage site) and Chand baori in Rajasthan. Such structures to reach ground-water deep inside earth's bowels dont exist anywhere else in the world.

Kalyanis, on the other hand, are water ponds attached to temples - they may be natural or artificial. The above mentioned discovery in Karnataka is most likely a Kalyani. Picture of it is available in the print-edition of the newspaper but not in the online article which is linked below.[1] The structure discovered is small and seems to be a rather ancient Kalyani.

Corporates are volunteering to preserve heritage structure. They can fund thru either obligatory CSR budgets or Trusts set up from personal wealth of promoters. Here Infosys is willing to assist, and Govt or ASI should accept such offers. [2]

Incidentally, Gazette of Karnataka Government gives a broad outline of the history of Karanataka. [3]

[1] Archaeologically significant structures unearthed in Melkote
[2] Infosys Foundation to help restore Melkote monuments
[3] https://www.karnataka.gov.in/Gazett...Book of Karnataka 2015/Chapter 02 History.pdf
 
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Dec 2014
3,269
USA
#29
Some historical structures have been discovered in Melkote town (Mandya District, Karnataka, India). These includes a Step-well or it may be a "Kalyani". [1]

Step-Wells are famous in Rajasthan & Gujarat which are water-scarce areas. Famous are Rani ki Vav in Gujarat (Unesco heritage site) and Chand baori in Rajasthan. Such structures to reach ground-water deep inside earth's bowels dont exist anywhere else in the world.

Kalyanis, on the other hand, are water ponds attached to temples - they may be natural or artificial. The above mentioned discovery in Karnataka is most likely a Kalyani. Picture of it is available in the print-edition of the newspaper but not in the online article which is linked below.[1] The structure discovered is small and seems to be a rather ancient Kalyani.

Corporates are volunteering to preserve heritage structure. They can fund thru either obligatory CSR budgets or Trusts set up from personal wealth of promoters. Here Infosys is willing to assist, and Govt or ASI should accept such offers. [2]

Incidentally, Gazette of Karnataka Government gives a broad outline of the history of Karanataka. [3]

[1] Archaeologically significant structures unearthed in Melkote
[2] Infosys Foundation to help restore Melkote monuments
[3] https://www.karnataka.gov.in/Gazetteer/Publications/Special Publications/A Hand Book of Karnataka 2015/Chapter 02 History.pdf
Great news Rajeev!

Melkote is the center of VishistAdvaitis (RAmAnuja's followers) in Karnataka.
 
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Oct 2015
709
India
#30
Megalithic Burial Site Discovered on outskirts of Nagpur (Maharashtra, India):


A megalithic burial site dated approximately to 1000 BCE has been discovered on outskirts of Nagpur city (Maharashtra, India) and is being excavated by archaeologists from Deccan College, Pune.

Unique Finds:

Unique find are the two skeletons found, which is generally not the case with ancient Megalithic sites in Vidharbha (a region in Maharashtra state). As the archaeologist explains in Hindi video [1] the soil in Indian Deccan is acidic (Black Cotton Soil) which corrodes skeletal remains. On the other hand in Harappan civilization burials, where very ancient skeletons have been discovered, the soil is alluvial which is less-acidic & therefore more preservative. Similarly, skeletons have been found in Africa and Tanzania because they are in volcanic ash which also preservative / less-acidic. Further, the College intends to do a DNA analysis. He says that to avoid contamination on the remains once should not touch them by hand (use gloves and brush etc), should not even breathe on them (use masks)etc.

More details:

Two important persons were buried here as suggested by larger than usual Megalithic burial with good amounts of grave goods. One was male while while the bangles discovered tell that the other was a female. Site belongs to Iron Age in India (oldest evidence of iron in India is 1800 BCE) because an iron sword with copper handle has been found.

Belief in Life after Death:

Presence of ample grave goods suggest that the people believed in life after death.

Megalithic Culture - an Enigma:

Megalithic cultural remains have been found all across India, from Assam to Gujarat, and Kashmir to Tamil Nadu. It is still not well understood. Same applies to hundreds of pre-historic sites belonging to Copper Hoard Culture.

Archaeology in India:

The good thing is archaeology students were personally doing the excavations. It is only such hands-on work which can build a good cadre of professionals who will unearth more of our heritage. They are studying in Deccan College, which is a Post-graduate and Research Institute. It is "only University in the country specializing in past and present Heritage of the county ". [5]

References:

[1] Has four short videos in Hindi. Listen to the last one, a working translation of it is included in para. Video: 3000-year old ‘stone age’ objects found in Gorewada Forest

[2] Informative report in local media: Artefacts Of 3,000 Years Ago Found While Excavating Gorewada Forest Reserve

[3] Sketchy report in national media: Over 3,000-year-old dagger, bangles found in Gorewada - Times of India

[4] One archaeologist goes on his own interpretational fantasy (Sati, Right hand cut-off before so that they do not return as ghosts). I am not sure whether pic by newspaper is from this site. Written description is not bad: Sati may have existed among megalithic people

[5] Deccan College Post Graduate and Research Institute (Deemed University)
 
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