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Research Projects

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BALATHAL (Udaipur) Excavation


Balathal, a Bronze Age settlement is located about 42 km east of Udaipur town. Archaeological excavation was conducted at this site for 7 years (1993 to 2000) jointly by JRN Rajasthan Vidyapeeth, Udaipur and Deccan College Pune under the general direction of well known archaeologist Prof. V.N. Misra. For the first time, a massive fortified enclosure was discovered belonging to the rural Bronze Age society also known as Ahar culture. It was primarily a mud rampart riveted on either side by stones with rectangular bastions at the corners. It was built right in the centre of the settlement spread in an area of about 1.50 hectare. The area inside the enclosure was about 5600 sq m. The Ahar culture flourished in southern Rajasthan between 4th and 2nd millennium BC. About 110 villages of this culture have been discovered in the districts of Udaipur, Dungarpur, Chittorgarh, Kota, Bundi, Bhilwara and Ajmer. Scores of Radio Carbon dates and ceramic analysis have established that Balathal is one the oldest village settlement in the country outside the Harappan universe. The radio carbon dates bracket the settlement between 3200 and 1500 BC. Also was proved that the Ahar people inovated the technique of residential structures out of stone masonry. The excavations also proved that these first farmer of this tribal region of Aravallis had trade and cultural contacts with the neighboring Harappans. Several joint and individual research publications at regional, national and international journals have appeared on Balathal and Ahar Culture.



ISWAL (Udaipur) Excavation


Iswal is an Iron Age settlement at a distance of 20 km north west of Udaipur town. It was excavated for four years located between 2000 and 2004 under the general direction of Dr. Lalit Pandey. It was a join collaboration of JRN Rajasthan Vidyapeeth and Deccan College, Pune. It is one of the largest iron smelting-cum- residential site in the district of Udaipur and has yielded two fold cultural sequence i.e., Early Historic and Medieval. The excavation unearthed several iron smelting furnaces, residential structures and large number of minor artifacts, besides ancient pottery. Among the minor objects, discovery of a gold inlay, a variety of iron objects and large number glass bangles is extremely important. It is for the first time any where in western India an ancient iron smelting cum residential settlement was studied. The smelting of iron continued at this place right from the early centuries of the Christian era down to medieval times. Several research papers have been published in the regional and national journal about the discoveries of Iswal. Several undergraduate and post graduate students of archaeology participated in this excavation and were trained in field techniques.



GILUND, (Rajsamand) Excavation


Gilund, a multicultural site, ranging from the Mesolithic (Stone Age) to Historic period, is located in Rajsamand district of Rajasthan. It was excavated jointly by JRN Rajasthan Vidyapeeth, Udaipur, Deccan College, Pune and University of Pennsylvania, USA under the general direction of Prof. V.S. Shinde between 2000 and 2004 for four years. The most exciting discovery of Gilund, the largest known Bronze Age settlement of Rajasthan, is that it had a city wall and twin mounds like the Harappan settlements. The rich archaeological discoveries made at Gilund suggest that it had grown in large township. The discovery of hundreds of seals and seal impressions is indicative of long distance trade net work. The Bronze Age community was preparing their residential structures by mud bricks and stones like the Harappans. The idea of state and stratified society had emerged in South Eastern Rajasthan way back 4500 ago, exactly at the same time when the Harappans were flourishing in the north western part of the Indian sub continent. The discovery of long narrow chambers at the site is amazing as their function is yet to be identified.





Nathara ki Pal is also an Iron Age settlement which is located about 60 km south east of Udaipur town. It was excavated between 2007 and 2009 by JRN Rajasthan Vidyapeeth, Udaipur under the general direction of Dr. Lalit Pandey. It is located close to chavand the capital of Maharana Pratap. Discoveries of large scale iron smelting and residential structures have been made from the excavation. An outer enclosure was also exposed during the excavation. It seems that it was made for the protection from floods because the site is located close to the proximally of the river.



Exploration in Chatrikhera, Rajsamand


The objective of the proposed exploration was to document the density of remains of ancient settlement systematically, prepare topographic maps and to conduct systematic controlled excavation of the site. The exploration lead by Dr. Lalit Pandey and assisted by Dr. Namilta Sugandhi of Lehman College, City University of New York, Dr. Teresa P. Raczek, University of New Hampshire, USA and Dr. Prabodh Shivalkar, Deccan College, Pune. During the survey the Topographic maps of the site were prepared and chronological sequence was understood on the basis of remains exposed on the surface. Minor objects like variety of pottery types of Bronze and Iron Age, beads of faience, terracotta bull figurine, iron slog and so on was recovered. Besides experts, students and researchers from all these institutions participated in the exploration project.



Chandravati Excavation (2012-2018)


Chandravati, a late historical and medieval township is located near Abu Road in Sirohi district. The surface survey of this site was carried out by M.S. University way back in 1979. It was undertaken for excavation due to the invitation of the State Department of Archaeology of Rajasthan. It is a joint venture of Sahitya Sansthan and Archaeology and Museum Govt. of Rajasthan under the direction of J.S. Kharakwal, Director Sahitya Sansthan. We have successfully completed three field season’s work and have discovered three fold cultural sequences which include three forts, a few watch towers, remains of about three dozen temples, residential and royal structures, inscriptions and so on. The discovery of township here is extremely important because it may have been controlling a variety of trade activities in and out of the Aravallis. This project will continue until 2018.



Kanmer Excavation (2014-2017)


Kanmer is a unique Harappan township located in Rapar tehsil of Kachchh district of Gujarat. It is an Indo-Japanese research project, the first phase of which was spearheaded by J.S. Kharakwal, Director Sahitya Sansthan. Currently Doshisa University, Kyoto, Japan, Department of Archaeology, Government of Gujarat and Sahitya Sansthan are the collaborators of this project under the general direction of Y. S. Rawat. Kanmer is a small Harappan township and has a very strong fortified settlement. After the decline of the Harappans, the historic and medieval settlements were also found the site. We have identified that the Harappans were doing resource management at the site since it is located very close to the little Rann of Kachch. The first phase of excavation (2005-06 to 2008-09) is over and its bulky report has already been published from Japan. The second phase of work is in progress. We plan to wind up this project by 2017.



NMMA (National Mission for Monument and Antiquity)


It is a pan Indian project launched by National Mission of Monument and Antiquity of Archaeological survey of India (ASI). As we have archaeological material from a very large number of sites in Western India including Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Haryana we are the only institution active in field archaeology in the state, therefore our institute was identified as the nodal agency for this project by ASI in Rajasthan. The idea of this project is to document, digitize and launch variety of minor antiquarian object on the web page so that everyone can access them. In our center we have documented 5000 objects and the detail has already been submitted to archaeological Survey of India. The second phase of the project is to begin very soon. This project will continue until 2017.



Jawasia Excavation (2014-15)


It is a microlithic site in which excavation was conducted only for one field season jointly by Kennosa State University, USA, Deccan College, Pune and Sahitya Sansthan under the general direction of Teressa Rajjak, Lalit Pandey and Prabodh Sirvalkar.  



Pachmata (2015-16)


It is a Ahar culture settlement in the valley of Banas. It is under excavation of a joint Indo-US team. The first season of the project is over and beautiful Ahar pottery has been discovered at the site.

The institute initiated collaboration with several Indian and foreign universities, particularly for archaeological field research and documentation of material housed in the institute. We have undertaken excavation at Balathal, Gilund, Chhatrikhera, Pachchmata, Jawasia, Iswal, Nathara-ki-Pal, Kanmer (Gujarat) and at Chandravati.  



National and International Collaborations and funding agencies


1. Deccan Collage, Post Graduate and Research Institute, Pune

2. Birbal Sahani Institute of Palaeobotany, Lucknow.

3. National Mission on Monuments and Antiquity, ASI Ministry of Culture, GOI, New Delhi,

4. Gujarat State Department of Archaeology, Gujarat

5. Museums and Archaeology department, Government of Rajasthan

6. University of Pennsylvania, USA

7. Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, Kyoto, Japan

8. Lehman Collage, City University of New York, USA

9. University of New Hampshire, USA

10. International Research Center of Japanese Studies, Kyoto

11. Indira Gandhi National Center for the Arts, New Delhi.

12. National Mission for Menuscripts, ASI, New Delhi.

13. Indian Council of Historical Research, New Delhi.

14. Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan, New Delhi.

15.  Academies of Hindi, Sanskrit and Rajasthani in Rajasthan State.

17. University Grant Commission, New Delhi.

18. Kendriya Hindi Sansthan, New Delhi

19. Doshisha University, Kyoto, Japan








touched by s1l3nt
4th October, 2021