インドの水中考古学

Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)がインド周辺の海域調査に鳴り出しています。考古学者は年輩の人が多くあまり海に出ることを好まないようで人材が不足しているようです。しかし、しっかりとプロジェクトなどを通して発展をしています。
最初に情報を集めることが大切で文献、サーヴェイ、または地元民からの情報の提供が主な内容です。ASIに水中考古学機関が設立されて5年になりますが、2002年にはLakshadweepにおいてヨーロッパの沈没船(1792年)を調査しています。現在はLakeshadweep周辺のサーヴェイなどを中心に行っているようです。ASIではインド周辺に何100隻もの沈没船、港跡、水没遺跡などが存在していることが予想されると話しています。

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has a major plan for collecting data about shipwrecks that have taken place around India. However its plan will have to overcome a human resource problem — there are just four archaeologist-divers in the organisation.

Alok Tripathi, Superintending Archaeologist of ASI’s Underwater Archaeology Wing, is one of the four. He explains the paucity, saying, “Age is an important factor. If we get archaeologists, they are old and not keen on going into the sea.”

The archaeologist-diver, as the name suggests, must be both an archaeologist and a diver. “The person must not only be an archaeologist but also must be adventure loving, must be ready to be trained in diving and must be young,” says Tripathi.

Generally cultural remnants and shipwrecks are found in shallow waters around 40 metres under the sea. According to Tripathi, if the ship is covered and is at a good site, it is much better preserved than cultural heritage found on land.

The first stage in the work is collecting information. Tripathi says, “We plan to collect information regarding shipwrecks from the archival records and from field surveys all over the country to find out from the local people in coastal areas about shipwrecks”.

The five year old Underwater Archeology Wing of ASI had carried out an exploration and excavated Princess Royal, a 1792 European ship, in 2002 off the Bangaram island in Lakshadweep. It is now exploring other islands in the Lakshadweep chain.

The ASI estimates there are hundreds of ancient ports and shipwrecks dotting India’s coastline.

HindustanTimes.com

引用元:http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_1722716%2C0035.htm

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