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Archaeology dept comes up in Cotton College

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, May 3 - The Cotton College State University (CCSU) has set up its department of archaeology to give impetus to the study of archaeology, considering the archaeological importance of the northeastern region.

CCSU Vice Chancellor Prof DJ Saikia said in a statement here today that a lot remains to be done in the area of archaeology in the Northeast. Therefore, besides offering a master�s programme, the department has plans to focus its research interests on the developmental stages of diverse cultures in pre-historic and historic periods in the Northeast and its neighbouring Himalayan regions.

In-depth studies on the origin and development of rice cultivation focusing on paleo-botanical evidence would also be an important area of research. Using modern technology to date archaeological layers and analyses of metal objects, the department hopes to make significant advances in understanding the region�s past.

The department will also take a lead in heritage management, conservation of cultural properties and gradually also offer applied archaeology courses, in addition to areas such as museology, said Prof Saikia.

The department is currently headed by Dr Manjil Hazarika, who did his PhD on ethno-linguistic pre-historic archaeology from the University of Berne, Switzerland. He is part of the Indo-French team studying human origins in the Indian subcontinent, which discovered animal fossils bearing man-made cut marks dating back 2.6 million years in the Shivalik Hills. This pushes back the antiquity of human presence in India by about a million years, said Prof Saikia.

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