JAMMU, Dec 6: Bench Mark Lecture under RUSA-Phase II was organized here today by Jammu University on “Recent Debates in Indian Pre-History Arising from Research in Tamil Nadu”.
The speaker was Prof Shanti Pappu, an eminent archaeologist-cum historian of international repute. She spoke about the debates in Indian prehistory, based on recent research in this field, arising from recent archaeological, geochronological and other studies, set against the background of the story of human evolution.
Prof. Pappu, provided a brief introduction to the subject of prehistory and its relevance and significance in the modern context. An introduction to the study of human evolution, climate change over the Pleistocene was also provided highlighting the richness and diversity of Indian prehistory.
The importance of the study of stone tools was highlighted, for which a short clip from videos of stone tool manufacture by Dr Kumar Akhilesh of the Sharma Centre for Heritage Education(SCHE) served to depict the complexity and thought involved in this process. The second half of the talk highlighted recent research in Tamil Nadu, directed by S Pappu and K Akhilesh and their team that has led to new discoveries as regards early Lower and Middle Palaeolithic cultures of India. New paradigms on prehistoric behavioural strategies, on the chronology of occupation of these populations in India, and on past environments were discussed.
The third part of the talk dealt with issues in heritage management of prehistoric sites, where her team, used satellite remote sensing data along with field studies to map impacts on prehistoric sites arising from modern land use and to suggest remedies for conservation. She also highlighted efforts of the SCHE in public archaeology, especially for children and teachers, to bring prehistory alive through workshops, museum programs, and traveling exhibitions and online.
The Lecture was presided over by Vice Chancellor, Prof Manoj Dhar while the presidential remarks were made by Prof R K Ganjoo.
Earlier, Prof Shyam Narayan Lal, Head of the Department of History, introduced the guest speaker and Ranjeet Kalra, teaching faculty, UGC-HRDC, offered the welcome address .
The vote of thanks was presented by Neha Sharma. The lecture was attended by academic fraternity of the university, scholars, students and members of civil society.