Department of History, Christ University in collaboration with Archaeological Survey Of India, Bengaluru Circle organised a two day National Seminar on South Indian Archaeology on 25-26 November, 2013 with the main aim of enhancing perceptions about History, Archaeology, Architecture and Heritage as it coincided with World Heritage Week that was celebrated in India from 19-25 November, 2013.
The seminar was broadly divided into Pre-History, Mesolithic, Neolithic, Chalcolithic, Megalithic, Architecture of South India, Archaeological excavations of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh , Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Marine Archaeology, Archaeological excavations and Roman trade with India. This two day National Seminar was segregated into 6 slots exclusive of the inauguration and valedictory.
The seminar was inaugurated with an address by Dr. Anil J. Pinto, Registrar, Christ University, key note address by Dr. Prof. K. S. Mathew, Director, Institute for Research in Social Sciences and Humanities, concept note by Dr. S. P. Vagishwari, HOD History, Christ University. With the Presidential remarks by Dr. John Joseph Kennedy, Dean, Humanities and Social Sciences, Christ University. This formal session concluded with Dr.Fr. Jose C.C., Associate Professor, Department of History, Christ University thanking the gathering.
Session 1 of the seminar began at 11.00am to 12.15 pm during which Prof. A. Sundara ,Rtd. Professor, Karnataka University, Dharwad presented his paper on South Indian Megalithic Culture with reference to Bengaluru:Some highlights, in which he focussed on 90+ megalithic sites in Bengaluru. The next paper was by was Dr. Jenee Peter, Assistant Professor, Union Christian College, Aluva on ‘From Megalithic to Early Historic:The changing notions of space and time in South India’ which discussed the on issue of empirical evidence from the archaeological sites of Kerala. The session on Maritime Archaeology and Roman Trade saw two research papers. The first one by by Dr. Sila Tripathi, Marine Archaeological Centre, National Institute of Oceanography, Goa was on ‘Maritime Archaeology of South India : Prospects for Maritime Archaeological Researches along the South Indian Coast’. The paper examined various maritime activities and underwater explorations at Poompuhar, Tranquebar, Pondicherry, Mahabalipuram and Manapad waters. Another paper of the session was presented by Dr. Fr. Jose C.C., Associate Professor, Department of History, Christ University entitled ‘Indo-Roman links :Evidences from Archaeological Findings’. His paper focussed on literary references that are extensively available to understand the pattern of trade between India and Rome.
Session 3 titled as Art and Architecture had Mr. T.M. Keshava, Dy. Superintending Archaeologist, ASI, Bengaluru presenting his paper on Glimpses of Karnataka Architecture which brought to the forefront religious architecture of the state from 2nd century BC to 16th century highlighting the participation of major dynasties and changes they brought into the varied style of architecture. The second paper was ‘ Deconstructing the Perceived Truths’ by Dr. S. P. Vagishwari, Associate Professor and HOD ,Department of History, Christ University. Through her paper, she challenged the western notions of stagnation ,decadence and tasteless in relation to classical Indian sculpture and architecture by arguing as to how perceptions of change ,progress and aesthetics are relative.
Day two on 26 – 11 – 2013 started with the 4th session titled as Pre History and Excavations in India during which 4 papers were presented. First by Prof. Ravi Korisettar , Rtd Prof. Ancient Indian History and Epigraphy, Karnataka University , Dharwad titled as ‘Prehistory of South India :A tribute to Robert Bruce Foote’ which summarised current knowledge of stone cultures in southern India. Second paper was by Dr. V.N. Prabhakar, Superintending Archaeologist ASI, Excavation Branch, Purana Quila, New Delhi on Recent Excavations at a Harappan settlement in Karanpura, District Hanumangarh, Rajasthan. Next paper of the session was by Prof. Sharada Srinivasan NIAS, Bengaluru on Metallurgy in Archaeology where she mapped out the metallurgical knowledge of Ancient India.
Mr. C.B. Patil, Dy. Superintending Archaeologist, ASI, Bengaluru, spoke on Archaeological explorations and excavations - Principles and Methods. The final session titled as Archaeology: Theory and Practice saw three papers. Dr. Nambirajan, Superintending Archaeologist, ASI,Bengaluru focussed on Major Archaeological Excavations in India whereas Mr. N. Nikhil Das, Assistant Archaeologist ASI, Bengaluru drew possible connection between the rock art and Megaliths in South India, an appraisal on Kerala Rock Art. The last paper of the national seminar was by Ms. Sujana Stephen, Assistnat Archaeologist, ASI, Bengaluru on Major approaches in Archaeological Research with special reference to Landscape archaeology.