26-AUG-2019: Vice Chancellor unveils foundation stone of 'The Building of Archaeology Section', historic inscription, inaugurates exhibition and symposium
Aligarh, August 26: Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) Vice Chancellor, Professor Tariq Mansoor today unveiled the foundation stone of 'The Building of Archaeology Section' (C-11, Zakir Bagh, AMU).
He also unveiled an inscription of Balban's Koil Minar from 1245 AD at the Musa Dakri Museum, while inaugurating the exhibition on 'Tracing a Mughal Highway: Structures, Water Works and Inscriptions along the Lahore - Allahabad Route'.
Later, presiding over the inaugural function of the two-day symposium on 'Medieval Archaeology in India', at the Faculty of Arts Lounge, organised by the Centre of Advanced Study, Department of History, the Vice Chancellor said that AMU founder Sir Syed Ahmad Khan was a historian and archaeologist who could write with verve on the historical monuments of Delhi.
"Sir Syed in his famous work 'Asar-us-Sanadid', heralded the tradition of Indian archaeology. He collected rare artefacts, ancient idols and sculptures, and preserved them at a time when museums did not exist," said Prof Mansoor.
He pointed out that the Department of history has a big role to play in AMU's centenary celebrations.
"Research scholars can be encouraged to write Phd thesis on the history of Aligarh and its adjoining areas," said the Vice Chancellor adding that he recently read Dr Jamal Siddiqi's book throwing light on the possibility of a historical Minaret (tower) in the Upper Court area of Aligarh, which might have been destroyed during the British rule.
"The University will soon have a Dara Shikoh Chair and a Sir Syed Chair," said Prof Mansoor while further pointing out that the University administration is dedicated to all developments in the Department of History.
On the occasion, the Vice Chancellor with the guests also released books including the catalog of the exhibition at the Musa Dakri Museum and the Bulletin of the Sultania Historical Society.
Speaking on Medieval Archaeology, Emeritus Professor Irfan Habib (Eminent historian of ancient and medieval India) delineated resurgence of cities and traditions during the subsequent early historic and medieval periods.
He emphasised that textual traditions enliven archaeological studies and provide a broad-scale historical framework for interpretation.
Prof Habib discussed how people of the Indian subcontinent were engaged in thriving networks of cities, towns, and trade ports configured into regional political dynasties.
In his speech, the resource person, Prof Arvind Jamkhedkar (Chairman, ICHR, New Delhi) encouraged a combined approach between various disciplines to understand the Indian past.
He shared excavation experience of 19 sites with the students and teachers at the Arts Faculty Lounge and spoke about his background in traditional Indological studies based on languages, cultural studies, and archaeology, which has helped him to understand history and interpret the past.
Prof Syed Ali Nadeem Rezavi (Chairman and Coordinator, Department of History) said that Sir Syed collected historical artefacts from Aligarh, Hathras, Mathura and Fatehpur Sikri among other places.
"These rare monuments collected by Sir Syed include rare Hindu and Buddhist sculptures," said Prof Rezavi.
He added that it was decided in 2017 to revive the Archaeology Section and with the generous grants provided by the Vice Chancellor, the new Archaeology Section has come up.
Prof Rezavi announced that the Centre of Advanced Study, Department of History will soon start new diploma and certificate courses in archaeology.
Dr K N Dikshit (Director-General, Archaeological Survey of India) and Prof B P Sahu (University of Delhi) also delivered lectures on the first day of the symposium.
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Related PicturesVC Prof Tariq Mansoor unvieling the foundation stone of the building of Archaeology Section
VC Prof Tariq Mansoor with dignitaries releasing the catalogue of the Archaeological Holdings of the Archaeology Section
Prof Arvind Jamkhedkar and VC Prof Tariq Mansoor inaugurating the exhibition at Musa Dakri Museum AMU