Since its inception, the Centre has conducted research projects in disciplines as varied as materials science, isotope analysis, optical, polarizing and SEM microscopy, petrology, archaeometallurgy, palaeobotany, palaeoenvironment, ethnoarchaeology, metrology, remote sensing, ground penetrating radar, geosciences, and more.
- ❖ A Study on the Iron Artefacts from the Megalithic Sites of Dhamna Linga and Dhaulameti of Vidarbha — Oishi Roy
Ceramic typology and petrology
- ❖ Ceramics from Dholavira: a typo-technological study — Vinod V.
- ❖ Mapping Purdalpur: the final stage of one of the most predominant glass bead industry of the world, 2016-2018. External support: Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) — Alok Kumar Kanungo
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- This research work led to the ‘Martand Singh Memorial Awards’ being bestowed on the craftsmen Mr. Sattar Bhai and Mr. Hasain Bhai.
- ❖ Cultural identity of the Nagas vis-à-vis their origin – Alok Kumar Kanungo
- ❖ Investigations into Dholavira Rohri Chert Materials — Ruman Banerjee
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- ❖ Material characterization of steatite from Karanpura — V.N. Prabhakar
- ❖ Study of metrological aspects of Harappan town-planning – Michel Danino
- ❖ Archaeological investigations at the Sorath Harappan and Medieval site of Bhagatrav (Bharuch district, Gujarat) — Alok Kumar Kanungo
- ❖ Study of palaeo-environment and palaeoclimate of Harappan sites (Rupnagar, Karanpura and Dholavira) through samples of phytoliths, pollen, diatoms, and carbonized grains — V.N. Prabhakar and Sandhya Mishra
- ❖ Palaeobotanical and Palynological study of excavated floral remains from the Early Historical site of Kopia — Sandhya Mishra and Alok Kanungo
Scanning electron microscopy
- ❖ Harappan bead-drilling technology at Dholavira, Karanpura, Sanauli and Daimabad — V.N. Prabhakar
- ❖ Palaeoproteomic approach to identifying animal species use for the worked bone industry at the Bronze Age settlement of Dholavira - Sharada C.V. 2021-2022. External support: Association of Environmental Archaeology.
- ❖ Multi-element isotopic investigations to reconstruct human-animal interactions at the Indus Civilization site of Dholavira, Gujarat, India — Sharada C.V. 2022-2025. DST- SERB POWER grant
- ❖ Dholavira worked bone assemblage: a study of its typology, technology, experimental reproduction and digitization — Sharada C.V. 2021-2023. External support: Indian Council of Historical Research.
- ❖ Mapping Kapadvanj Glass: the Last Surviving Traditional Tank Furnace in India - Alok Kumar Kanungo 2021-2023. External supports: Corning Museum of Glass Rakow Grant, International Commission on Glass CTC Project Fund, and National Science Foundation.
- ❖ Cultural heritage as a facilitator for the sustainable development — Claire Smith and Chris Wilson (Flinders University), Alok Kumar Kanungo and Nishaant Choksi (IIT Gandhinagar). 2019-2022. External support: Ministry of Human Resource and Development, Govt. of India.
- ❖ Traditional glass-making in India: rediscovering the manufacturing of Reh Glass — Laure Dussubieux and Alok Kumar Kanungo. 2021-2022. External support: Negaunee Foundation, Field Museum
- ❖ Reconstruction of manufacturing patterns through elemental and isotopic characterization of raw materials — Laure Dussubieux, Thomas R. Fenn, Shinu A. Abraham and Alok Kumar Kanungo. 2018-2022. External support: National Science Foundation, USA.
- ❖ Further research in metrology and Harappan town-planning — Michel Danino
- ❖ Morphodynamics of Markanda River using chronology and sediment provenance of fluvial terraces near Harappan sites in northwest India — Ajit Singh in collaboration with Vikrant Jain and Michel Danino (all IIT Gandhinagar) | completed
- ❖ Impact of sea level fluctuations, climate change or tectonic activity on the decline of the Harappan settlement of Dholavira, Kutch, India — Vikrant Jain (IIT Gandhinagar), in collaboration with Jyotiranjan Ray (Physical Research Laboratory), Vimal Mishra, Amit Prashant, Saptarshi Dey, V.N. Prabhakar (all IIT Gandhinagar) | ongoing
- This project, funded by DST under Science & Heritage Research Initiative (SHRI) funding programme, aims to understand whether, and to what extent, the sea/base level changed during the existence of the Harappan city of Dholavira (Rann of Kutch); it will also study the impact of tectonics on Dholavira’s vicinity and of seismic activity on the city’s evolution. Besides these possible factors, it will look at evidence of the impact of climate change (with the monsoon weakening ~ 4 ka) on the decline and abandonment of Dholavira.
Ground penetrating radar
- ❖ Ground Penetrating Radar study of areas adjacent to Lingaraj Temple (Bhubaneswar, Odisha) — Silky Agrawal in collaboration with Amit Prashant and V.N. Prabhakar | completed
- GPR survey near Lingaraj Temple, Bhubaneswar: IIT Gandhinagar (Silky Agrawal under the direction of Prof. Amit Prashant and with archaeological inputs from V.N. Prabhakar) carried out in April 2021 a GPR survey on plots adjacent to the Lingaraj Temple, Bhubaneswar, at the request of Government of Odisha, as levelling activities had brought to light ancient structures there. Prof V.N. Prabhakar interpreted anomalies detected by the survey in terms of man-made structures in all three surveyed areas. The project concluded that to ascertain the nature of these anomalies, further investigations and archaeological excavations are required.
- ❖ Ground Penetrating Radar study of an area of Dholavira close to the East Reservoir — Silky Agrawal and Mantu Majumder in collaboration with Amit Prashant (all IIT Gandhinagar) | completed
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- ❖ Ground Penetrating Radar study of two areas at the historical city of Vadnagar (Mehsana district, Gujarat) — Silky Agrawal in collaboration with Amit Prashant (all IIT Gandhinagar) | completed
- ❖ Cultural Heritage Preservation and Restoration using Digital 3D Models — Shanmuganathan Raman in collaboration with Gaurav Srivastava, Vineet Vashista, Nithin V George, Michel Danino (all IIT Gandhinagar) and Vinay P Namboodiri (IIT Kanpur) | ongoing
The objective of this IMPRINT-funded project (with Nvidia as industry partner) is to demonstrate and spread awareness about the conservation and restoration of cultural artifacts and monuments by providing researchers, professionals, and hobbyists with a place to learn about and work with 3D models.
In particular, the project will develop a complete framework for the efficient construction of accurate 3D models of existing Indian cultural heritage sites and artifacts. It will also develop a restoration framework that could quickly fill missing parts in the digital models of cultural heritage sites and artifacts using mesh-processing tools.
Of great concern to urgent requirements in all aspects of heritage management, the techniques developed by this project will permit the printing of 3D models of artifacts, with the potential to supply replicas to museums, libraries, Indian embassies, schools, and various cultural institutions. Besides, those techniques will make it easy to create online repositories of 3D models of Indian monuments and artifacts for public and government uses, such as documentation, archiving, fingerprinting, showcasing, research, education, etc.
As of now, different laser scanners suitable for monuments and artifacts have been acquired along with 3D printers. Test runs with artifacts from a few nearby museums have enabled us to refine scanning techniques and make plans for the scanning of a wide range of artifacts and structures from different cultural heritage sites and museums, beginning with those in Gujarat.
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Surveying and mapping techniques
- ❖ Multi-Sensor Drone Survey and Mapping of the Harappan Site of Dholavira — Vikrant Jain, Pradeep Srivastava, Vimal Mishra, Amit Prashant, Shanmuganathan Raman, Michel Danino (all IIT Gandhinagar) | 1st phase completed
- A 3D drone mapping of the entire Harappan site of Dholavira in the Rann of Kutch, as part of a project funded by Archaeological Survey of India. Data generated by sensors for normal light, infrared and laser (LiDAR) was used to develop a 3D Digital Terrain Model (DTM), a high resolution map of the fortified area of the site and some surroundings, and also to identify shallow subsurface features.
❖ 2018, July. Experimental Extraction of Zinc using Ancient Technique, under the supervision of Dr. A.K. Kanungo.
❖ 2016, January. Experimental smelting of copper ores collected from Ambaji mines, Gujarat, under the supervision of Prof. J.M. Kenoyer.
❖ 2016, January. Experimental melting of two grades of iron to obtain crucible steel, under the supervision of Prof. J.M. Kenoyer
On the Blackboard