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Excavations at Fatehpur Sikri: A National Project

R.C. Gaur

ISBN 10: 817305178X / ISBN 13: 9788173051784
Editorial: Aryan Books International, 2002
Usado Condición: Good Encuadernación de tapa dura
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Título: Excavations at Fatehpur Sikri: A National ...

Editorial: Aryan Books International

Año de publicación: 2002

Encuadernación: Hardcover

Condición del libro:Good

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The Government of India launched a National Project of excavation to examine the ruins buried under debris at Fatehpur Sikri. This task was assigned to the Department of History, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), Aligarh, in collaboration with the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), the major work of which was done under the direction of Professor R.C. Gaur of AMU. Fatehpur Sikri is situated about 37 km west of Agra on two extended ridges of the Vindhya range. Emperor Akbar visited this place for the first time in 1568-69 while returning from Ajmer after ziyarat, to meet the great saint Shaikh Salim Chishti, who resided here on the barren ridge. The Shaikh then predicted that the Emperor would have three sons who till then had no male issue. After the birth of Prince Salim, the grateful Emperor decided to build his palace-complex and the seat of his administration in the vicinity of the place chosen by the Shaikh for constructing the grand mosque and his khanqah. A walled town was also planned and built below the palace area. Akbar could not stay for long at Fatehpur Sikri as he left for his north-west frontier to safeguard it. On his return, Akbar preferred to stay at Agra. After a long gap, Emperor Jahangir stayed here for three months in 1619, because plague had erupted at Agra. This city once again witnessed some activity when Mohammad Shah 'Rangeela' was crowned here in 1719. Since then, no worthwhile account is available till the English East India Company took over Agra in 1803 and established an administrative division at Fatehpur Sikri which continued up to 1850. During this period, except the major part of the palace building (Daulat Khana) which still stands preserved, most of the buildings turned into ruins, so much so that it became extremely difficult to visualize the original plan of the town. Gaur and his team did their best to bring to light major evidences which remained unknown so far, like the shops and roads, noblemen's house complex, extended part of royal haram-sara, residence complex of the commoners, etc. Gaur worked at the site for 11 years (1978-88). How far he has been successful will be evaluated by the medieval historians after going through the results of excavations described in this book.

About the Author:

Professor R.C. Gaur (b. 1929), who retired as the Chairman of the Department of History and Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aligarh Muslim University, received advance training in Field Archaeology at the famous Institute of Archaeology, London. Gaur is the founder of the Archaeological Section and its Museum in the Department of History. He initiated archaeological studies for which he received full support and cooperation from (late) Professor S. Nurul Hasan, the then Head of the Department. Gaur came in close contact with Sir Mortimer Wheeler since 1971. On Gaur's initiative, Professor Hasan organized a Seminar on Archaeology, which has the distinction of being the first seminar at the Center of Advanced Study in History, Aligarh Muslim University, of which Gaur was the convener. Gaur has excavated many sites, including Atranjikhera (district Etah) and Lal Qila (district Bulandshahar) - the two well known proto-historic sites in Uttar Pradesh. He also directed the excavations at Fatehpur Sikri - a National Project in collaboration with the Archaeological Survey of India. He has contributed immensely to the field of archaeology and published a large number of papers in various national and international journals. He has travelled extensively, visiting archaeological sites and delivering lectures in the USA, some countries of Europe including Britain, Egypt, Middle Eastern countries and the former Soviet Union. On behalf of the Government of India, he visited Cyprus to seek the possibility of cooperation in archaeology between the two countries. He is a Life Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, and International Union of Prehistoric and Protohistoric Sciences (CIPSH, UNESCO), Indian Archaeological Society, Indian Society for Prehistoric and Quaternary Studies, and Numismatic Society of India. He is a Senior Fellow of the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) to write the Report on Fatehpur Sikri Excavations. He is also a member of other learned bodies. He was elected unanimously the President of the Indian Archaeological Society in 1988, the Annual Section of which was held the same year in the month of December at Santiniketan.

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