NIAS Public Lecture: "Archaeological Places: Negotiations between Local Communities, Archaeologists, and the State" by Prof. Jaya Menon and Dr. Supriya Varma, Lecture Hall, NIAS, 930hrs
National Institute of Advanced Studies
Indian Institute of Science Campus, Bengaluru 560 012
Invites you to a
‘Archaeological Places: Negotiations between Local Communities,
Archaeologists, and the State
Prof. Jaya Menon
Professor and Head of the Department of History, Shiv Nadar University, Dadri
Dr. Supriya Varma
Associate Professor, Centre for Historical Studies, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University
Chairperson: Prof. Sharada Srinivasan, NIAS
Date: Wednesday, 25th July, 2018
Time: 9:30 AM
Venue: Lecture Hall, NIAS
Abstract: In South Asia, local communities most often live near or amidst archaeological places. Their lives are in many ways framed and structured by these places. At the same time, these places too are impacted by the communities that live nearby. This symbiotic relationship is often a result of the high population density in the Indian subcontinent. This story gets further complicated by legislative practices of preservation related to ancient monuments and archaeological sites, as well as the custodianship of antiquities and art treasures. In order to bring out the complexities of these issues, we will be focusing on the archaeological site of IndorKhera, as well as some others in South Asia. Of the varied reasons for the preservation of archaeological places in the subcontinent, the role of local communities, though often ignored, is most critical. The challenge, thus, lies in formulating ways of involving local communities in the protection and preservation of archaeological sites in South Asia.
About the Speakers: Jaya Menon is Professor and Head of the Department of History, Shiv Nadar University, Dadri. She has been teaching and practising archaeology for the last twenty years. Having worked at several archaeological sites since 1983, and have co-directed explorations and excavations at the sites of Indor Khera and Rohana Khurd in Uttar Pradesh. Her interests on crafts and ancient technology began with her doctoral research on the South Asian Bronze Age, and was carried forward during the excavations at Indor Khera, which gave evidence for a household-based craft economy in an urban context. She is also interested in the use of domestic space, both within Harappan and early historic urban settlements in the Indian subcontinent. Her interest also lies in making archaeological data accessible to a larger audience, through pedagogical interventions such as the writing of school and university-level textbook chapters, and the devising of digital methods to project the excavation evidence from Indor Khera.
Supriya Varma is an Associate Professor at the Centre for Historical Studies, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University. She has been teaching and practising archaeology for the last twenty years. She was the recipient of the Homi Bhabha Fellowship, along with many other prestigious awards. Her research interests include settlement archaeology, social archaeology, ethnoarchaeology, historical archaeology, archaeological practices in India. She has been one of the few archaeologists in India who has drawn attention to children, playing and learning as seen in the archaeological record.
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