The site of Khairadih having an imposing mound was excavated horizontally for several seasons by archaeologists of Banaras Hindu University. An extensive habitation with strong socio-cultural set-up with vibrant techno-economic activities was unearthed in excavations conducted for several seasons. The present report on the excavations gives a comprehensive account on life and culture during the Proto-historic-Early Historic period. The unique contribution of these excavations is evidence of technological activities in form of full- fledged workshops – complete with kilns, furnaces and forges etc. revealing information on ceramic technology, glass working, metallurgy and coinage.
This report emphasizes on scientific and analytical study of archaeomaterials belonging to Early-historic period in the Middle Ganga plain. Taking cognizance of technological achievements unearthed archaeologically, the present work attempts to evaluate the social response to technological developments. The social organization in the form of the varna system echoed in the social hierarchy perceptible in the specialized craft production. This process contributed in a big way to urbanization of Ganga Plain which evolved as ‘area of attraction’ giving rise to emergence of the Mahajanapadas by the sixth century BCE. In light of Khairadih excavations, issues like pattern of adaptation of technology, growing technological innovations and their wider social-cultural and politico economic ramifications have been closely evaluated in the larger context of socio-cultural life of the Ganga Plain here.
About the Author
Dr Vibha Tripathi (b. 1948) is Emeritus Professor in the Department of Ancient Indian History, Culture & Archaeology. She has worked extensively in Proto-historic and Early Historic Archaeology, contributing nearly 200 papers and ten books on various aspects of Ancient Indian History, Culture and Archaeology. Although she specializes in the field of ancient Indian technology, especially in ceramics and metallurgy, she emphasizes on holistic reconstruction of the past through her works. She is widely travelled participating and chairing sessions in National and International conferences, seminars and symposia. As a member of several National and International academic bodies, she contributes to National policies. Presently she is member of several societies and important national bodies for History of Science, Indian National Science Academy (INSA); Science and Heritage Research Initiative, Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India.
In recognition to her sustained contributions to the field of Ancient Indian Culture and archaeology, she has been bestowed several prestigious awards like the ‘Bharatiya Manisha Sutram’ Award and V.S. Wakankar Award (2017). More recently, she received Newton Funding award by STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Oxford and Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advance Scientific Research to undertake in-depth research in the field of archaeo-metallurgy.