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INDIA HERITAGE TRUST

Bangalore

Presents

ACTION ARCHAEOLOGY
Emergence of a sub discipline
Prof. S. NAGARAJU

Paper presented at

Department of History, School of Social Sciences & International Studies Pondicherry University

National Seminar on Emerging Trends in the Study of Indian History and Archaeology

ACTION ARCHAEOLOGY

ACTION ARCHAEOLOGY
Is practically Applied Archaeology
Is utilizing past wisdom for future development Transforms a pure academic discipline into a utilitarian technology Is an approach which opens up new opportunities to the Archaeologists Makes Archaeology more relevant

ACTION ARCHAEOLOGY

The theoretical premise for Action Archaeology is derived from the Anthropological perspective of cultural evolution Culture itself in all its manifestations of acquired ability of man is a special strategy developed by the human species for its survival and success Its character is determined by the way man negotiates with the environment in which he has to live

ACTION ARCHAEOLOGY
Neither the basic needs and aspirations of the humankind nor the general environmental situation on this planet has changed significantly, at least within the Holocene The progressive stages of cultural evolution as revealed by archaeology demonstrates how varieties of strategies, both material and ideological, were chosen to suit to different environmental situations The efficacy of this pluralistic approach is proved by the very success that man has achieved on this planet so far

ACTION ARCHAEOLOGY
The logic behind Action Archaeology is that, successful experiments done in the past for efficient use of specific environmental resources for fulfilling human needs could guide future planning too It is here that the field knowledge and insights gained by the archaeologist can become an important input for sustainable development This is especially of great relevance for such of the geographical regions where we find long civilizational continuity, as in India and China
This line of thinking is not just an academic exercise, but a serious attempt to resolve several problems that have cropped up in man-environment relationship in recent years

ACTION ARCHAEOLOGY
e.g. Ancient knowledge Vs Modern practice 1. Town planning in windy deserts

2. Structural patterns in cyclone prone areas


3. Water management strategies in monsoonal regions

ACTION ARCHAEOLOGY
RELEVANCE OF ACTION ARCHAEOLOGY IN EVOLVING LAND USE POLICIES

Agricultural lands Vs Industrialization

ACTION ARCHAEOLOGY
Agri Culture V/S Industrial Culture
The difference between the past and the present and also the foreseeable future is not in the basic feature of man-environment interface, but only in terms of quantity, i.e. in terms of the ever expanding population. For an orderly and peaceful continuation of the human species, perhaps it is this part that science and technology have to concentrate upon

ACTION ARCHAEOLOGY
Effects of establishing Industries using modern operating procedures for infrastructural development
Agriculturally productive lands are lost Extensive construction activities involving large scale use of cement & steel causes environmental pollution and global warming Large scale dislocation of population, uprooting them from their traditional ways of livelihood Growth of industrial clusters with high density population resulting in imbalance of demand & supply of esential resources like water, energy, increase of transportation, etc putting further pressure on the environment

ACTION ARCHAEOLOGY
Present situation in India 1. Total agricultural land available 2. Agricultural land converted for 73.5 cr acres

industrial use in past 5 yrs


3. Number of families dislocated

1.97 cr acres
1 crore
Source Dr. Mahadevappa

ACTION ARCHAEOLOGY
Action Archaeology alternative Settlement pattern studies by Archaeologists & Silpa sastra works reveal two basic principles 1. all human settlements (villages & towns) are located close to cultivable lands & perennial water sources 2. all other activities not connected with the day to day living of the larger populace are located away from the above (military establishments, monasteries, large kilns, mines, etc)

ACTION ARCHAEOLOGY
In this context Indian Hill Forts & Rock Cut Architecture, created in hard bare rocky hills, provide excellent solutions for location of industrial & such other activities (SEZs) Advantages No loss of agricultural land Raw material is local rock only, without involving long distance transportation No wastage, all bye products can be reused Structures permanent & long lasting and are almost maintenance free Self Air Conditioned, maintaining uniform temperature & humidity Aesthetically pleasing Basic needs like water & light can be harnessed locally

ACTION ARCHAEOLOGY
Satara fort

An example of non polluting land use

ACTION ARCHAEOLOGY
Mehrangarh, Jodhpur

Creating opportunities in a bare rocky hill

ACTION ARCHAEOLOGY
Barabar Hills, Bihar

The earliest rock cut caves in India

ACTION ARCHAEOLOGY
Bhaja

Chaitya cave & residences


Work space & residence in a single unit !

ACTION ARCHAEOLOGY
Karle

Dimension possibilities 126 ft deep, 46 ft wide & 46 ft high

Floor area covers ~ 5800 sq ft, interior space ~ 2,60,000 cu ft

ACTION ARCHAEOLOGY
Ellora

Three storied rock cut vihara Floor area covered ~ 20,000 sq ft

ACTION ARCHAEOLOGY
Ellora

Lighting arrangement for the interior

ACTION ARCHAEOLOGY
Kailasa Rock Cut Temple, Ellora

A full scale structure cut in rock Rocky trench ~ 120 ft wide, 120 ft deep, 90 ft high

ACTION ARCHAEOLOGY
Kailasa Rock Cut Temple, Ellora

Another view

Gigantic as well aesthetic

ACTION ARCHAEOLOGY
Undavalli cave temple

Even Khondolite yields to rock cut architecture

ACTION ARCHAEOLOGY
Ajanta Chaitya Hall 9

Aesthetic excellence, intricately carved faade

ACTION ARCHAEOLOGY
Mahabalipuram Rathas

Why not a township cut in hard granite?

ROCKY ARCITECTURE
IDEAL IN THE MODERN CONTEXT
FOR Special Economic Zones Manufacturing & Service Industries Schools, Colleges & Research Institutions Hospitals & Trauma Recovery Centers Assembly Halls, Prayer & Meditation centers Civilian Storage facilities & Military Warehouses Special Purpose Spaces viz. nuclear & fallout shelters, aircraft hangers, etc and umpteen other uses one may imagine

ACTION ARCHAEOLOGY
FEASIBILITY All parts of India Except Punjab,

Haryana and
Uttar Pradesh

A Chinese Experiment

Dongzhong primary School Guizhou province

A Chinese Experiment

Dongzhong primary School Guizhou province

A Resort in Cappadocia, Turkey

ACTION ARCHAEOLOGY

Thank You All

S. NAGARAJU