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Archeological Approach in Community

Participation
In the context of Bikaner
Emerging Paradigms

Sushant Bharti
SPA/NS/AC/780
INTRODUCTION
Archaeologyinitiated and driven bycommunities living in the proximity
an archeological site of historical value is termed as Commun
Archeology.

Participation inarchaeologyallowscommunitiesto work together, le


together and grow together through the excitement of discovering someth
new about their shared past.

It has conferred an alternative dimension on conventional archaeolo


and heritage management, empowering previously powerless peop
particularly the indigenous and local communities that have lost rights
their heritage through the course of time.
It has helped in
accepting the role
local communities can
play in a better
understanding of the
past and
preservation of the
past heritage, being
involved directly with
the archaeological as
well as heritage
OMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT IN ARCHEOLOGY IN

The concept of direct community involvement in archaeology


(as well as subsequent management of the archaeological sites,
heritage spaces and structures has been an established practice in
Europe, North America, Australia as well as in some parts of
Africa and Asia.

The concept stems from the emergence of post-processual


theory in archaeology during nineteen eighties and nineties where
interpretation of past material culture has been
democratized by
allowing the possibility of expressing different perspectives and
dimensions, that gives a varied range of meaning to a single
artifact, or a landscape (Simpson & Williams, 2008).

The concept has gradually gained ground in Europe, North America


and Australia, and many such projects are being successfully
conceived and run by universities, private archaeology and
heritage management companies as well as local community
archaeology groups.
ARCHEOLOGICAL CONETXT OF BIKANER
Bikaner region has given the evidence of both Pre-
harappan culture in the lower layer and harappan
civilization in the upper layer with Kalibangan
being the most important site of the region.

One of the oldest cultivation pattern was found


here along with a lot of diverse pottery patterns.

Currently Bikaner has few national protected


monuments notified by the ASI and a lot of other Courtesy : Rims
archeological sites which are being excavated from
time to time.
ASI REGULATION ZONE IN BIKANER REGION
AND CITY
ASI POLICIES FOR ARCHEOLOGY IN INDIA
HOW TO INVOLVE COMMUNITY?
The community should know about their
past. They should know about the
history of the present place where they
are inhabited . The cultural
transformation in and around any
community is the unavoidable
phenomenon which takes place during
the course of time about which a
community should be informed well. Courtesy : Lok

Corresponding with th
representatives of the loc
community and local
heritage groups on a regular bas
informing them about every stag
of
excavation and welcoming the
suggestion and participation, a
well as
circulating plain language repor
Courtesy : ASI Jaipur Circle
at different stages.
archeological findings with the present context. They should know that
whatever is being witnessed today has a strong bond with the past .
Employment and training of local people in the
project to assure the continuity of the project as
well as taking crucial decisions about display
strategies of the finds on behalf of the community

Courtesy : Shivam Dubey

Public presentation of the


finds and allowing the
community to interpret
them
Courtesy : Shivam Dubey
Along with the archeological findings community should also be made
aware of the heritage just near the living precincts. People should know
about the historical remains near by then and try to associate with them
Interviewing the local people about
memories and folklores related to the
site.

Courtesy : Lokayan

Courtesy : Lokayan

Courtesy : Lokayan

Providing education resources


organizing heritage walks, publica
of books relating to the site
OSSIBLE OUTCOMES OF THE COMMUNITY APPR
With the large number of tangible and intangible heritages, and the
supervising body, the ASI or the State Archaeology departments being
inadequately staffed to maintain and conserve most of them properly.
Accepting community involvement in archaeology could be a solution to the
problem (or excuse) of too much heritage.

Courtesy : ASI Jaipur


OSSIBLE OUTCOMES OF THE COMMUNITY APPR
The exclusion of the local community from archaeological excavations mus
also be reconsidered. The locals normally feel a fear induced skepticism
regarding the motives of archaeological surveys or excavations, since they
fear that their lands would be taken over by the government; or, even they
suspect that the project is directed by the motive of a treasure hunt and
subsequent profit from it.

Community involvement provides a platform for reconciliation for both the


groups. By allowing openness in an archaeological project by the way of
informing the communities and involving them directly in the planning and
execution of the project, as well as by training them in archaeological and
conservation methods and allowing them engage with their local heritage
ultimately generating a positive interest, this unhealthy mutual mistrust ca
be reconciled.
CONCLUSION
It must be mentioned that working with the local community would never be
from challenges while trying to accommodate the interests of both parties.

However, this might bring about a better workability of archaeology and


heritage management sectors in India, and open a new avenue of research in
community heritage methodologies.

Further, the spread of heritage awareness would be a much easier and


continuous process, as opposed to the present practice of holding occasional
heritage awareness drives, where people often fail to connect themselves due
an overtly generalized focus.

Finally, this would provide a solution to the problem of unemployment, that


young archaeologists face in India, as community archaeology is expected to
create local government bodies to help organize and drive these community
initiatives.
REFRENCES

Community Involvement in Archaeology and Cultural Heritage


Management
By Shadreck ChirikureandGilbertPwiti.(2006)

The Concept of Community Archaeology and Heritage Management in


India
By Tathagata Neogi (2011)

Community boundary, secularized religion and imagined past in


Bangladesh
By S.Sen (2002)

Evaluating community archaeology in the UK in Public Archaeology


By Simpson, F. & H. Williams (2008)