Application of Geology in the Conservation of the Prehistoric Sites in the South and Southeast Asia

Rakesh Kumar1, Ravish Lal2, Prabhas Pande2

1Department of History, Ram Lal Anand College, University of Delhi

2Department of Geology, Ram Lal Anand College, University of Delhi

South and Southeast Asia possesses unique topography, dynamic climate and tectonics, and hosts remarkable prehistoric sites that are renowned globally. It is considered to be an ideal study region to understand human dispersals and human adaptation to one of the toughest terrains, extreme climatic and tectonic regimes in the world. South and Southeast Asia also contains a diverse and complex later prehistoric and protohistoric archaeological record. The success of archaeological research depends largely on the preservation of prehistoric sites, which are presently endangered due to natural processes and insensitivity towards geo-diversity, leading to indiscriminate urban development, and rock and sand mining that directly threatens the regions geological and archaeological heritage. Geology plays a central role in archaeological research either through the analysis of stone artefact raw material acquisition or the choice of rock surface on which to exhibit art. Geological studies have illustrated past people’s knowledge of geology, or at least their understanding of the properties of stone, and the potential use/function of this raw material within different aspects of human life. Yet, many potential lines of geological investigation still remain under-represented in archaeological research. More complex and diverse analyses of the geology in and around archaeological sites has the potential to provide new insights into human behaviour, and the choices people/populations made in the past, be it location for stone tool production or settlement development. Furthermore, understanding geological process provides an additional method of assessing long-term states of preservation and aids in developing better conservation plans for our archaeological heritage. This session invites contributions that highlight the application of geology within multidisciplinary archaeological research, conservation and preservation through local or regional studies.


Geoarchaeology of a Few Harappan Mounds on the Haryana Plains of North West India

Apurva Alok, Naresh Chandra Pant, Hari Singh Saini, Rashmi Saini