State wants IIT, NISER to start course in Archaeology

Bhubaneswar: With Odisha housing a large number of ancient monuments, including temples dating back to 10 AD, the state government has urged two premier institutes here to start advanced courses on archaeology, official sources said.

Directors of IIT and National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER) were recently invited to a meeting where Chief Secretary B K Patnaik suggested that they open such course for better conservation and preservation of ancient monuments.

The heads of Utkal University and Archaeological Survey of India joined the deliberations.

It was agreed in the meeting that there was a strong need to have an advanced and inter-disciplinary study centre for archaeology in Odisha, an official said.

There are over 3,000 ancient monuments, more than 30 excavated sites and over a dozen ancient mounds in the state.

Odisha has the earliest epigraphical record in India as inscribed at Dhauli, Jaugada and Khandagiri hill,sources said.

It was deliberated at the meeting that advanced archaeology was a multi-disciplinary science encompassing subjects like civil engineering, chemistry, numismatics, fine arts, designing, geology, epigraphy, exploration, excavation along with its traditional segments like pre-history, proto-history and historical archaeology.

Experts felt there are few institutes in India which impart professional courses in allied Archaeology, sources said.