Indian Numismatic, Historical and Cultural Research Foundation (INHCRF) has been conducting a unique Hands-on Training Programme on “Understanding Prehistoric Stone Tools” at its campus in Anjaneri, Nashik since 2009. The residential workshop is curated in such a way that the participants get a complete on-field experience delivered by scholars and professionals.
Usually, anyone can register for this workshop on a first-come basis to avail a seat. However, the INHCRF on request of the HOD of Department of Archaeology, Tripura University (a Central University) for their post-graduate students held a special workshop between 29th February and 6th March 2020.
The training programme had sessions on geo-archaeological survey methods, archaeological sampling techniques, use of topographic sheets and Global Positioning System (GPS) in archaeological investigations. The participating students were taken on a trail through local rivulets and given instruction on concepts of the drainage basin and fluvial geomorphology. The workshop had a PowerPoint-based lecture on human evolution, typo-technological aspects of stone tools followed by a practical session on stone knapping. The students were also taken on a visit to the famous Acheulian site of Gangapur to understand the stratigraphic context of prehistoric artefacts, following which they also dug a mock trench on the banks of a second-order stream to learn excavation techniques.
Besides these, the workshop included an interesting practical session on morphometric analysis of stone tool followed by learning techniques of lithic illustrations and photography.
The main objective behind the workshop was to provide practical training, a feature sadly lacking for students of archaeology and anthropology at many of our universities. Participating students simply loved the course and gave jolly feedbacks. The Head of Department even wrote a letter of appreciation on the University’s behalf.
INHCRF looks forward to keep hosting such exclusive programmes and hopes that more and more students will come forward with demands for such practical training courses.