Indian Institute of Archaeology (IndIA) is the new academic centre of KCHR in Pattanam, Ernakulam District, Kerala, where the “Post Graduate Diploma in Archaeology: An Interdisciplinary Programme in Material Culture Studies” was launched in 2015-16. This fully residential Post Graduate Diploma programme draws profoundly on its unique location in Pattanam, an archaic coastal village in Kerala that is a potential World Heritage Site and has been excavated by KCHR since 2007. The Pattanam site has produced a plethora of artefacts belonging to the Indian Ocean, Red Sea and Mediterranean littoral indicating an extensive transoceanic network in the Early Historic period. Presumed to be an integral part of the legendary Muziris, the “first emporium of India,” the Pattanam site provides a unique learning opportunity. The seven acres of KCHR plots and assets at Pattanam are in the process of transforming into an international academic campus specializing in interdisciplinary Material Culture Studies, with an advanced multidisciplinary library, multi-speciality archaeo-science laboratory, museums and interpretation centres.
• The centre for archaeology at Pattanam is committed to scientific learning with a human face.
• The primary focus of the curriculum is to provide an alternative learning experience in archaeology following multi, inter and trans-disciplinary modes.
• The multi-disciplinary approach includes studies of early written sources, myths and legends; oral history and anthropology; archaeology, including archaeo-scientific processes; studies of early religious thought systems; and environmental science.
• Rooted in material evidence, the IIA programmes foster the exploration of the continuously reconstituting human relationships and their interface with the sociocultural/bio-physical environment, journeying from prehistoric cultures until today.
• As part of their academic pursuits, students of IndIA will engage in both theoretical and practical learning activities in the classroom and the field. There will be consistent effort to critique and undo the conventional modes and to seek innovative and alternative modes of learning.
• IndIA’s students are expected to hone their analytical and critical thinking skills, so that they will have the training to both pose new and challenging questions and to seek the answers to those questions.
The interdisciplinary perspective of this course seeks to integrate research methods and theories from the social sciences, humanities and physical sciences. With this in mind, the overall goal of this course is to provide training that will enrich the cultural understanding and research potential of the students. The programme aims to provide training or exposure to the students in a variety of professional contexts allied to archaeology and its practical implications in contemporary life. This rigorous academic exercise aspires to bring out the potentially subversive knowledge that archaeology can provide in the everyday and public life of the society.
The course consists of eight thematically-based teaching modules and a dissertation. These modules are:
1. Theories in Archaeology
2. Introduction to Indian Archaeology
3. Exploration, Excavation and Documentation Methods
4. Cultural Archaeology and Environmental Archaeology
5. Material Culture Studies: Key concepts
6. Trade, Exchange and Maritime History
7. Archaeo-Sciences / Site Conservation / Heritage / Museum Studies
8. Technology and Craft Production
The course has been divided into three semesters, each four months long. The eight teaching-based modules will be covered in two semesters, with periodic evaluations. It is mandatory for the students to participate in any fieldwork (excavation, surveys, field trips to other sites, exploration, etc.) and other workshops organized during the course. The third semester is set apart for the dissertation, which is a research output of 10,000 - 15,000 words on a topic chosen by the student.
Teaching / Learning / Evaluation Methods
The course will have 20 hours per week of classroom instruction, with the rest of the time devoted to self-study, group discussions, seminars, and practical training on documentation and research methods. Topical specialists or IndIA faculty members will deliver lectures and provide practical training in field studies for each sub-module.
For each module, the students will be evaluated based on their performance in required activities, including academic essays, critiques, presentations, book reviews, archaeoscience tasks, tasks relating to site conservation, Green Archaeology Projects, weekly films/documentary sessions, heritage initiatives, museum studies, etc. Evaluation will also be based on classroom/ field involvement associated with each module/ activity. Daily reports are mandatory and should reflect the day’s academic activities, reports or reviews and special thoughts of the day, if any. It is sort of compulsory diary writing which must be emailed by the end of the day and will be stored as an academic record of the student at Pattanam.
Post graduates from any discipline or professional graduates with a) a minimum of 60% marks or an equivalent grade in the point scale system and b) a proven interest in archaeology are eligible to apply. Socially/ physically deprived students will receive a 5% concession in minimum marks and are eligible for other due benefits. Selection Procedure Selection will be on the basis of interview and, if necessary, a written test. Proven interest in archaeology and an aptitude for methodological research will be the major criteria for selection.
A fee of Rs. 5000 per semester (Rs. 15,000 total) or the amount decided by the Academic Monitoring Committee will have to be paid at the beginning of each semester in addition to the establishment fees, examination fees, etc. as applicable to the Master level programmes in a state government professional institution. This is a residential program. Basic shared accommodation will be provided by the institute to all students, free of cost.
Each student will be provided with a monthly scholarship of Rs. 10,000. This amount is for the academic wellbeing of the students at Pattanam. Charges for the mess fee and other establishment charges, amounting to approximately Rs. 3,600, will be automatically deducted from the scholarship amount every month. The availing of scholarship is conditional on the student’s performance and IndIA/IIA reserves the right to discontinue it if the academic performance of the student is not satisfactory. A review of each student’s progress will be done every two months.Click here for more photos