Archaeology needs to reinvent itself, says ASI chief

"It is time for us to rethink our own ideas and concepts of archaeological analysis in order to combat the worldwide crisis in the discipline," said Dr Gautam Sengupta, director general, Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

Dr Sengupta was in the city to attend the seventh convocation ceremony of the Deccan College which awarded 66 students with P G Diploma and M A and PhD degrees on Wednesday.

On the future of archeology in the country, Sengupta said, "The subcontinent with its diverse material aspects and rich philosophical tradition is a fertile ground to give a new dimension to archaeological research but archeology needs to reinvent itself. This is just the beginning and there is still a long way to go. This is the beginning to a more critical, interpretive, self-reflexive and holistic archaeology which wishes to understand the various dimensions of human behaviour in the past and the present." Speaking about his association with the college, he said, "The Deccan College has had an uninterrupted history of sound scholarship. There also have been scholars like S M Katre, Iravati Karve and Hasmukh Dhirajll Sankalia who have made immense contributions in the field of archeology. Even if I have not have the privilege of joining this respected college either as a student or as a member of the faculty, I have always looked at myself as one of them due to the profound influence of the intellectual contribution of this institution on our generation."

Meanwhile, Professor Radhavallabh Tripathi, vice-chancellor of Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan and a senior scholar in South Asian studies, was given the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters.

"It is a matter of great honour that I am being offered this respected degree from an institution of such great repute," Prof Tripathi said.

Some of the other people present at the program were G B Deglurkar, president of the university, and senior dignitaries like Shobhana Gokhale, S N Rajaguru and M K Dhavalikar.

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