Jamshedpur : The second day programme of the School on Characterisation and Conservation of Archaeological Objects held at CSIR-NML witnessed class room lectures, display and demonstration of different techniques etc., at CSIR-National Metallurgical Laboratory, Jamshedpur.
Dr. U. Kamachi Mudali, Outstanding Scientist and Associate Director from IGCAR, Kalpakkam while delivering his lecture on Corrosion and Preservation of Metallic Objects said Corrosion is one of the major materials degradation mechanism by which all metallic objects undergo failure. Scaling of metallic surfaces in general protect them from further corrosion. However, in natural atmospheres of air, soil, water and humid conditions most of the metallic objects undergo severe corrosion with time as their scales do not continue to protect them.
Dr. CM Nautiyal, Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany, Lucknow delivered a thought provoking talk on Applications of Radiocarbon Dating in Archaeology. He said, “Radiocarbon dating can help in answering many questions such as : When a particular king ruled; when a certain dynasty came to an end, when a particular building was constructed; when climate changed; when the man, whose body is found, lived; when the pottery was made; when the metal was smelted to make a sword or a vessel; how k now when Harappa-culture flourished; how we know when paddy was cultivated in Ganga plains; how we find if a piece of cloth is really as old as claimed, when agriculture began , when certain fruit appeared in India; when the ship sank whose debris is found now; when vegetation changed vis-a’-vis climate and so on”.
He added Historians can study the relationship between climate and Society. Climate changes are known to have led to food surplus or food shortages, water scarcity and abundance as well as floods or droughts, and also advancements in technology propelled by improved prosperity.
Radiocarbon dating can help in it a lot and can be supplemented by palaeobotanic studies. Many of the changes in dynasties have been linked to climate changes and even societal unrests have been related to the historical years.
Dr. T. Jayakumar, Director, Metallurgy and Materials Group, Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, Kalpakkam, Tamilnadu delivered a talk on Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) Technique for characterization of Archaeological objects. He said a variety of complementary NDT techniques were applied at a number of locations on the Delhi Iron Pillar for comprehensive and statistical study to enhance the understanding of the ancient metallurgy and fabrication technologies adopted.
Dr. S. Maiti, former Director (Science), Archaeological Survey of India, Dehradun delivered a very interesting talk on Conservation of Stone and Archaeological monuments. He focused his presentation with reference to “Jagannath Temple”, Puri; “The Taj Mahal”, Agra; and the “Char Minar”, Hyderabad.
It can be mentioned here that a five day ‘School on Characterisation and Conservation of Archaeological Objects’, targeting students and faculties in archaeology, culture and archaeomaterials, has been going on at CSIR-NML, organized by the INAE Study Group on Indian Engineering Heritage on Metallurgy during 13-17 October, 2014.