Testing Ancient Indian Traditions: On the Touchstone of Archaeology


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About the book:

It has become almost a ritual on the part of self-proclaimed intellectuals to dub ancient Indian traditional history as figment of imagination. They do not hesitate to put the two Indian epics, .namely the Mahabharata and the Ramayana, in this category.

By marshalling the evidence of archaeology, this book establishes that the Mahabharata is based on historical reality, even though it got inflated from an original 8,800 verses to present-day 100,000 verses. Similarly, the archaeological evidence shows that Manu’s Flood is not a myth. The same applies to other topics dealt with in this book.


About the Author

A world-renowned archaeologist, Prof. B.B. Lal was the Director General of the Archaeological Survey of India from 1968 to 1972. In the latter year he took voluntary retirement to pursue his research programmes independently. First he joined Jiwaji University, Gwalior, as a Professor and later the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, of which he was also the Director.

Professor Lal’s excavations cover a very wide range – from palaeolithic times to early historical. At Kalibangan, Rajasthan, he unearthed a prosperous city of the Harappan Civilization. The excavations at Hastinapura, Indraprastha, etc. have established that there was a kernel of truth in the Mahabharata, even though the epic is full of interpolations. Likewise, his excavations at Ayodhya, Sringaverapura, etc. have indicated that the Riimiiya1J.a too has a basis in history. In 1961, he conducted excavations in Egypt also, which threw welcome light on Egyptian prehistory.

His publications include over 150 seminal research papers, published in scientific journals, both in India and abroad: USA, UK, France, Italy, Russia, Egypt, Afghanistan, Japan, etc. Amongst his latest books are: Historicity of the Mahabharata7: Evidence of Literature, Art and Archaeology (2013); The Riguedic People: ‘Invaders’? /’Immigrants’? Or Indigenous (Evidence of Archaeology and Literature) (2015); Kausdmbi Revisited (2017). In 1994, Prof. Lal was awarded D. Litt. (Honoris causa) by Institute of Archaeology, St. Petersburg, Russia. The same year he presided over World Archaeological Congress. He has been Chairman and member of several committees of UNESCO. In 1982, Mithila Visvavidyalaya honoured him with the title of Mahamahopadhyaya. In 2014, the Deccan College, Postgraduate and Research Institute, Pune (Deemed to be University) conferred on him D. Litt. (Honoris causa). In recognition of his contribution to archaeology, the President of India honoured


  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Aryan Books International (1 April 2002)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Pages ‏ : ‎ 108
  • Weight: 340 gm


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