Sharma Centre for Heritage EducationSharma Centre for Heritage Education

Research, Education and Legal Issues in India's Cultural Heritage
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Prehistoric Archaeology

Our research focus at present is on exploring many dimensions of India's earliest prehistoric cultures:- ranging from the Lower Palaeolithic Acheulian cultures to microlithic assemblages of the Terminal Pleistocene and Early Holocene. 

Our purpose is to understand prehistoric behaviour as reflected in the structure of the assemblages, lithic technology and changing ways in which landscapes were used over time. We seek to obtain a sequence of chronometric dates for sites in our areas of interest.  Areas where we have conducted excavations and research are in the state of Tamil Nadu, southeast India. Ethnographic studies have been conducted in Tamil Nadu and Bihar. Our research strategies involve excavations and explorations including use of satellite remote sensing and GIS.

This research includes our excavations at Attirampakkam and regional studies along the southeast coast of India comprising surveys and test-trenches.

Our field studies of over 8000 sq.km in northern Tamil Nadu, and recently in the extreme southern part of this state, has resulted in the investigation of issues related to site distribution, stratigraphy and chronology. We are examining issues related to technological changes through time from the Acheulian to the microlithic and causes thereof in terms of global debates on hominin dispersals across Eurasia.  These studies are currently in progress.  A database of over 200 prehistoric sites is being compiled. Our studies of the microlithic industries associated with red sand dunes called Teris in southern Tamil Nadu are in progress.

 

Collaborating Institutes

  • Indian Space Research Organization, ISRO and RRSC-South Physical Research Laboratory,
  • PRL, Ahmedabad,
  • SRM University, Kattankulathur, Tamil Nadu,
  • French Institute, Pondicherry,
  • Agharkar Research Institute, Pune,
  • Centre for Ecological Sciences,
  • Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru,
  • University of Pondicherry,
  • University of Mangalore
  • CEREGE, Marseille France,
  • University of New York and Williams College, USA,
  • Universite Lumiere Lyon-2, Paris