Abstract: Technology, defined as applied science, was well known to early humans, who developed technologies such as stone knapping, pottery technology, metal technology, textile manufacture, bead making technology and wood carving. Metallurgy can be defined as the extraction, purification, alloying and application of metals. The first evidence of metallurgy in the Indian subcontinent comes from Mehrgarh in Baluchistan, where a small copper bead was found which dates back to about 600 BCE; it is however thought to have been native copper, not smelted, melted or extracted from an ore. Archaeological excavations have shown that Harappan metal smiths obtained copper ore (either directly or through local community) from the Aravalli hills, Baluchistan or beyond. Through the ages the metal technology has developed in different forms (making of vessels, weapons and decoration materials, etc.), with the different metals such as copper, silver, iron, zinc, etc. This talk will dwell on understanding of the ancient metal technology with current practices across the country through a systematic field work. Focus on the related materials which were used and currently being used by metal craftsman. Correlate the community statues of the craftsman in different parts of the country would enclose the stylistic approach and comparative analysis of same metal technology in different regions.
About the Speaker: Dr S. Udayakumar working as a Post-Doctoral Associate, School of Humanities, NIAS. His research is on archaeo-experimental studies, archaeometallurgy, field archaeology and ethnoarchaeology. He has been awarded national and international scholarships and fellowships in the research of archaeometallurgy such as Nehru Trust Small Study Research Grant, New Delhi (2012 and 2016), Indian Council for Historical Research Junior Research Fellowship, New Delhi (2017), Akshara Foundation Grant for the Study of Ancient and Medieval Temple Architecture, Ahmadabad (2017), INTACH Research Scholarship Award, New Delhi (2016-2017), Indian Council for Historical Research Project Grant, New Delhi (2017) and The Tylecote Memorial award, UK (2015 and 2019).