The Department of Ancient Indian History, Culture & Archaeology has a history of five decades. It was founded in 1962 and is presently a part of the Faculty of Oriental Studies. The aim of the department is to make the study of archaeology and culture interdisciplinary. While its area of research in Indology, it also focuses on related areas of cultural growth of India down the ages. The department has a distinction of being one of the few in the country to offer a course on archaeology and museology at the undergraduate level. The foundation and advanced level courses are offered in Indian history, culture and archaeology. The department employs various mechanisms for the further generation of knowledge such as field explorations and awareness of cultural heritage.
Research undertaken by the department has contributed to the development of the discipline of Indology in the country. Its faculty members to name a few, Acharya Ram Dev, Chandragupta Vedalankar, JaychandaVidyalankar, HariduttaVedalankar, StyaketuVidyalnkar and B.C. Sinha made notable contribution to the field by writing a number of volumes on various aspects of history and Culture of South Asia and South East Asia. In the field of archaeology, the department conducts archaeological explorations in Western Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, so that we now have an excellent picture of upper Gangetic plain archaeology. Apart from this the department has provided information on the ancient use of landscape and settlement history. The data generated has fueled analytical research necessary to provide a more concrete picture of the human past.
The department’s aim is that knowledge should not be confined. The dissemination of knowledge relating to human antiquity and cultural development is provided at formal and informal levels through the departmental museum. This department is also one of the few in the university to have an archaeological museum which has huge a collection of antiquities from proto-history to modern age. The faculties have been able to make use of the department’s audiovisual infrastructure to provide an interactive and visually rewarding learning experience to the students. The department also provides Libnet facility for students. The department has a digital library with a collection of books related to history, culture, archaeology and associated disciplines. Apart from this department has a separate rich library.
Ongoing research interest at the departmental and individual levels includes studies relating to field archaeology, art and architecture understanding of the regional elements of cultural adaptation during various periods.