Saturday, January 13, 2018

Chronology of Indian Culture since the Beginning of Holocene through Scientific Evidences, 16 July 2016

Participants - 25 leading scientists of India


(One day Conference in CSOI, Vinay Marg, Chanakyapuri on 16th July, 2016)

Program details -

Registration & Welcome – 9.40 AM to 10 AM

Inaugural Address by Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister of Culture and Tourism at 10 AM followed by Welcome Tea at 10.30 AM

Forenoon activities – (forenoon sessions will be chaired by Shri K N Dikshit, Chairman, Indian Archaeological Society)

·        Objectives and Expectations from the Conference: need for continued research, writing books, compiling chronological reports from different disciplines - Saroj Bala

·        Latest excavations in Rakhigarhi etc. push back antiquity of Indian Culture; Archaeology and Chronology from 6th millennia BC onwards: an Overview - Dr. Vasant Shinde, Vice Chancellor, Deccan College, Pune

·        Humans march from 8th millennia BC towards Vedic Harappan Civilization; Archaeology and Chronology: an Overview – Dr. R S Bisht (Padma Shri), Former Jt. DG, Archaeology Survey of India

·        Archaeology and Chronology of 2nd and 1st millennia BC, including the times of Buddha and Mahavir: an Overview – Dr. B.R. Mani, Secretary General, Indian Archaeology Society

·        Recent findings on Saraswati River System - Dr. A.R. Chaudhri, Prof. of Geology, Kurukshetra University - Geology FULL PAPER- View full paper


Short break – 12.15 to 12.30 Noontime

·        Astronomical Dates of planetary references in Mahabharata and supporting scientific evidences: a brief presentation – Smt. Saroj Bala,  Full Paper Link- View Full Paper

·        Carbon dates of timber trees mentioned in Ramayan & Mahabharat and found in Indian subcontinent before 2500 BC - Dr. Chanchala Srivastava, Scientist, archaeobotany, Birbal Sahni Institute of Paleo Sciences, Lucknow

·        Chronology of archeo-botanic data in Indian sub-continent; presentation of a sample and suggestions for comprehensive compilation – Dr. C.M. Nautiyal, Scientist, Radiocarbon Dating, BSIP, Lucknow

·        New data and perceptions of ancient history worldwide: need for rediscovering Vedic Civilisation - Shri Come Carpentier, Indologist and Convener, Editorial Board, World Affairs


Lunch – 2.00 to 2.30

·        Chronology of ancient Indian culture since Vedic times through deciphered Indus Script Corpora: an overview - Dr. S Kalyanaraman, author of several books on deciphering of Indus Script and on River Sarasvati.

·        Rise and decay, appearance and disappearance of ancient rivers in Indian sub-continent during Holocene; compilation of data based on remote sensing imagery – Dr. J R Sharma, Scientist ‘H’ and former CGM, ISRO, RRSC - W, Jodhpur

·        History and culture of ancient India during last 15000 years through genetic studies – Dr. Premendra Priyadarshi, MD, MRCP, Fellow of Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and author of ‘In Quest of the Dates of Vedas’ Full Paper Link- View Full Paper

·        Submerged and re-emerged settlements around Indian sub-continent – their date sequence during Holocene –DR Rajiv Nigam, Dr. Sunderesh & Dr. Loveson – senior scientists from National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), Goa

·        Impact of melting of glaciers on water volumes of the rivers of Indian sub-continent during the Holocene – Dr. R K Ganjoo, Director, Himalayan Institute of Glaciology, Jammu

Tea Break – 5.10 to 5.30 PM

·        Some inputs on genetic continuity and genetic similarities of various Indian populations during the Holocene – Dr. Gyaneshwar Chaubey, Estonian Biocentre, Tartu, through video conferencing

·        Short film produced by Shri Gaurav Garg, IRS probationer and Shri Rahul Shankar, alumni of IIT, Mumbai, both are Advisors of I-SERVE.

·        'Scientific knowledge in Vedic and Post Vedic literature – Baldevanand Sagar

·        Inputs/comments by representatives from the Ministry of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences and Ministry of Culture and other participants on the Subject followed by informal interaction –

Dinner – 8.00 PM
Compeering by Prof. Bandana Pandey from GJU, Hisar.

Saroj Bala, Director,

I-SERVE Delhi Chapter

Summary of the proceedings of Conference on
(One day Conference in CSOI, Vinay Marg, Chanakyapuri on 16th July, 2016)

The conference was attended by several eminent scientists and scholars from all over India; a list of the participants is attached along with a list of the presentations made during the Conference. The Sessions were chaired by Shri K N Dikshit, Chairman, Indian Archaeology Society. The program was compeered by Dr Bandana Pandey, Director, HRDC from GJU, Hissar.

The Conference started with the screening of a short introductory film titled ‘Rigveda to Robotics’, produced by Shri Gaurav Garg, IRS probationer and Shri Rahul Shankar, alumni of IIT, Mumbai, both are Advisors of I-SERVE. This set the tone for the proceedings of the day and the film was widely appreciated. Thereafter, followed the presentations on various subjects.

A. To begin with, a brief report on the activities of I-SERVE was presented by Smt. Saroj Bala, clarifying the objectives behind and the expectations from the Conference, which are summarized as under –

1.       The Institute of Scientific Research on Vedas (I-SERVE) was established in 2004 under the patronage of Late Shri R. Venkataraman, former President of India, with the noble mission of establishing synergy between our scientific knowledge and the modern scientific inventions. I-SERVE Delhi Chapter had undertaken a research project titled, ‘Determining Cultural Continuity from Rigveda to Robotics through Scientific Evidences.’

2.       Inaugural address for the first Seminar was delivered by H.E. Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam four years back on 30th July, 2011. Thereafter, we had published the books titled, ‘Historicity of Vedic and Ramayan Era: Scientific Evidences from the Depths of Oceans to the Heights of Skies’ and वैदिक युग एवं रामायण काल की ऐतिहासिकता in 2012. This publication was very well accepted and its reviews were published in several important journals and newspapers.
Team I-SERVE made intense efforts for about five years and finally succeeded in generating sequential sky views of events narrated in Mahabharata, which also support the traditional view that Kali era conjunction was observed 36-37 years after Mahabharata war, somewhere around 3102 BC. A very large number of multi-disciplinary scientific evidences were gathered, which support the conclusion that indigenous culture has been developing in India for last 9000 years!

3.       With the object of sharing the outcomes of such path-breaking research with the scientists, scholars and common people of India, I-SERVE had put up an Exhibition titled ‘Cultural Continuity from Rigveda to Robotics (Skyviews of astronomical references and supporting scientific Evidences) in Lalit Kala Akademy on 17th – 23rd  September, 2015. The Exhibition was inaugurated by Dr Mahesh Sharma, Hon’ble Minister of  Culture and Tourism and it received substantial positive coverage in print and electronic media. It was also put up in GJU University of Science and Technology, Hissar on 3-4 February, 2016, combined with an invited presentation on the subject by Mrs Saroj Bala, Director of I-SERVE.

4.       During last 30-40 years, several new scientific tools and techniques have been developed which are capable of determining the dates of ancient events/references in a scientific and rational manner. These include -
        I.            Planetarium software for astronomical dating of planetary references
      II.            Radiocarbon & Thermo Luminescence dating of archaeological finds
    III.            Palaeobotanical and Palaeoclimatic studies
    IV.            Geographic and Geological research tools
      V.            Satellite based Remote Sensing techniques
    VI.            Underwater explorations and geospatial technologies
  VII.            Human Genome studies, biological and cultural Anthropology

5.                  Making use of these tools and techniques, researches have been carried out during last 30-40 years and a very large number of research reports are already available with different departments and various organizations under Govt. of India. Some multidisciplinary and scientific research reports, examined by I-SERVE have revealed that indigenous civilization has been developing in India for last 11000 years; that references in Rigveda pertain to the period 7000 BC to 5000 BC & those mentioned in Ramayan relate sequentially to dates around 5100 BC; whereas those of Mahabharat refer to dates around 3100 BC. The way in which archaeological, palaeobotanical, palynological, genetic, oceanographic, geological, ecological and remote sensing research reports corroborate the astronomical dates is amazing!

7. Examination of several DNA studies has revealed that Dravidians, north Indians and Tribals of India share their genetic profile; Dalits and Brahmans, Hindus and Muslims also share their genetic heritage. The scientific knowledge of these facts has the potential of generating shared pride in the antiquity and continuity of our culture and civilization during last 10000 years. Therefore, a combined study deserves to be undertaken at a very large scale by the Ministry of Science & Technology and Earth Sciences and Ministry of Culture and Tourism with the support of scholars of Sanskrit and Pali.

8. The books /comprehensive reports on individual subjects, giving chronology of Indian culture for last 10000 years, need to be written. A very important component of this chronology is dating of the times of Buddha and Mahavir, study the cultural aspects and put these in proper perspective of history of ancient India. These efforts deserve to be supported by the Ministry of Science & Technology and Earth Sciences and Ministry of Culture. There is need to write a scientific history based on pure scientific evidences, which should have nothing to do with traditional history. To achieve this objective, scientists and experts from different fields like those of archaeology, palaeobotany, palynology, oceanography, genetic studies, astronomy, remote sensing etc have been invited to participate in the Conference.

B. Dr. Vasant Shinde, Vice Chancellor of Deccan College, presented a paper on ‘The Latest excavations in Rakhigarhi etc. push back antiquity of Indian Culture; Archaeology and Chronology from 6th millennia BC onwards’. He explained that 'Saraswati’ was the name of a great river on the banks of which the Rigvedic sages composed the hymns. Recent excavations of a few sites in the 21st century revealed cultures earlier to Harappa civilization thereby suggesting that indigenous Indian Civilization evolved in this region. A pre-Early Harappan level was confirmed in excavations at Kunal, Bhirrana, Girwad, Farmana and Rakhigarhi. The excavations at Rakhigarhi near Hissar, in the ‘Lost’ Saraswati plain in India, provided for the first time a stage of cultural development from dwelling pits to the primary stage of a settled life whose antiquity on the basis of radio-metric dates goes back to the time bracket ranging in date between c. 7380 – 6201 BCE. (This data compares well in the Indo-Pak sub-continent only with similar neolithic levels at Mehargarh, 6500 - 4500 BCE).

DR. Vasant Shinde, being Chief Excavator of this exceptionally impotant archaeological site located in the ancient Saraswati - Drishadwati basin, gave trenchwise details of excavations. He displayed pictures of several antiquities excavated from Site, including skeletal remains of human beings, terracotta items, jewellery, copper arrows, metals, bone and stone tools etc. These have been transported to the Deccan College Lab for carbon dating, anthropological and genetic analysis. Some initial dates received relate some of these to the period around 6000 BC.

C. Dr. R S Bisht, Padma Shri, presented a paper titled – ‘Humans march from 8th millennia BC towards Vedic Harappan Civilization; Archaeology and Chronology’. He elaborated that it is now abundantly clear that Harappan Civilization did not belong to an isolated period of 2500-2000 BC but its birth and development was a logical culmination of a long cultural process, which had started in 8th / 7th millennium BC. This cultural process originated and flourished in the upland valleys of Balochistan, in the Greater Indus plains and in Saraswati region. Forces of rapid integration brought about an overriding unity in the mid 3rd millennium BC under the mighty Harappans, who had developed and standardized: village/city Settlement planning, monumental buildings, Impressive architecture, water structures, sanitation, stamp seals, weights and measures, pottery, art in the forms of terracotta, bronze, stone, etc. They had also standardized Jewellery made of gold, silver, copper, bronze, ivory, shell, bone, clay, semi-precious stones, steatite, impliments made of metals, stone, shell, bone etc.
Dr Bisht added that In 7000-5500 BC, these (Vedic) Harappans had started growing wheat, barley and cotton and had started living in mud-brick houses, with paintings in some houses. They had developed lithic tools and were making ornaments of Steatite beads, Lapis lazuli and Sea-shells. During next 1700 years (5500-3800 BC), they had developed new varieties of wheat and barley, invented potter's wheel and made exquisite designs of pottery. They had developed copper technology and gold jewellery. During next 1200 years i.e upto 2600 BCE, there was tremendous increase in the number of settlements and they had developed storage jars, pucca brick houses, canal irrigation and grape cultivation etc. Needless to add, that almost all these things have been mentioned in Vedas and Epics, indicating continuity of culture since Rigvedic period.

Dr. B.R. Mani, Secretary General, Indian Archaeology Society, shared the information based on some latest excavations through his presentation titled, ‘Archaeology and Chronology of 2nd and 1st millennia BC, including the times of Buddha and Mahavir. With his informative presentation, supported by latest archaeological data, he explained that the settlements had developed in northern Indian sub-continent, which are comparable to the Vedic janas before the third millennium BCE. These were transformed into janapadas and mahajanapadas before the end of the second millennium BCE, much before their normally accepted period of the sixth century BCE by which time they had been fully established with various urban centers.
He presented detailed archaeological evidence of several city sites of the great Mahajanapadas going back to the second millennium BCE (2000-1000 BC), which provide valuable data –
                                I.            Sarai Khola and Pushkalavati (Charsadda) in Gandhara,
                              II.            BMAC and Gandhara Grave Culture sites in Kamboja;
                            III.            Bairat, Gilund and Ojiana in Matsya
                            IV.            Mathura, Sonkh and Noh in Surasena
                              V.            Hastinapura, Hulas and Alamgirpur in Kuru
                            VI.            Ahichchhatra, Atranjikhera, Kannoj and Kampilya in Panchala
                          VII.            Ujjain, Kayatha, Nagda, Ahar in Avanti
                        VIII.            Eran and Tripuri in Chedi
                            IX.            Kaushambi and Jhusi in Vatsa
                              X.            Rajghat-Sarai Mohana in Kasi
                            XI.            Ayodhya, Sravasti, Lahuradewa, Siswania in Kosala
                          XII.            Rajdhani, Narhan, Sohgaura in Malla
                        XIII.            Rajgir, Chirand and Juafardih (Nalanda) in Magadha
                        XIV.            Vaisali and Lauriya Nandangarh in Vrijj
                          XV.            Champa and Oriup in Anga
                        XVI.            Adam and Inamgaon in Asmaka

             All these Mahajanpadas have been mentioned in Ramayan and have been repeatedly referred to in Mahabharat. In view of the archaeological evidence from the sites of these Mahajanapadas, it could be authentically concluded that these political principalities and states were well established before the second millennium BCE, though the settlements started at many of these sites much earlier. Drawing inferences from the detailed data presented, Dr Mani concluded –
·         The Pre-NBPW cultures flourished all over the country in the end of 3rd and beginning of 2nd millennium BCE and continued till the emergence of NBPW in the end of 2nd millennium BCE and till the time of the rise of Buddha and Mahavira around 5th – 6th century BC.
·         The existence of the 16 Great States could also be placed in this time period. The latest archaeological evidence suggests that there is no break in cultural continuity of Indian culture and civilization.
·         In view of the above, there is no dark age as such after the disappearance of Harappan civilization and before the time of the Buddha. This is very well suggested by the new dates of NBPW which  go back to the end of the 2nd millennium BCE.

Dr. A.R. Chaudhri, Prof. of Geology, Kurukshetra University shared the information through his paper entitled ‘Recent findings on Saraswati River System’. He made a very informative as well as interesting presentation giving details of underground waters found from various parts of Haryana along the route of ancient Saraswati river channels; at many places such waters were found at just 3-4 meters depth. On testing, these were found to be Himalayan waters. Supported by various pictures, he highlighted the involvement as well as excitement of locals. He gave a glimpse of the efforts being made by the government to revive some of the ancient channels of Sarawati River.
Dr Chaudhry invited the attention of the participants to the references to Saraswati River in Rigveda and Epics, revealing the different phases of rise and decay of this mighty river system. Thereafter he discussed the evidences from remote sensing, geology, archaeology and hydrology which fully supported such references, leaving no doubts about the existence, grandeur and decay of Saraswati river system.

Smt. Saroj Bala, Director of I-SERVE, made a comprehensive presentation displaying the relevant sky views on the subject, ‘Astronomical Dates of planetary references in Mahabharata and supporting scientific evidences. Reminding the learned participants that entire ancient history revealed through Vedas and Epics could be scientifically reconstructed with accuracy, she reiterated that astronomical references in Rigveda could be observed in the sky between 7000 BC and 5000 BC, whereas those of Ramayan could be observed sequentially around 5100 BC.
            She conceded that the dates of Mahabharata presented on behalf of I-SERVE in February, 2014 Seminar had been almost unanimously criticised as deficient, which were also considered by the participants as internally inconsistent with the story. Working tirelessly for next two years on the suggestions received from scientists and scholars, more intense efforts were made to arrive at the true dates of sequential astronomical references in Mahabharata, which are described as under-
      More than one lakh slokas contained in 9 volumes of Mahabharta (Parimal Publications) were scrutinized and astronomical references were extracted sequentially. Only those which were found in Critical Edition as well were identified for sequential dating. All translations were redone with the help of Sanskrit scholars and referring to dictionaries as some of the traditional translations were found to be not fully correct.
      Astronimical references from Sabha parva, Vana Parva, Udyog Parva,  Bhisma Parva, Shalya Parva, Shanti Parva, Mausal Parva have been dated sequentially by making use of Planetarium software (Fogware). The internal consistency of astronomical dates with the text of Mahabharta was ensured.
      In Vana Parva of Mahabharata (3.230.8), Rohini is called the elder sister/ first nakshtra, which means at that time asterisms were being counted from Rohini as equinox was on that.  Astronomically there is precession of equinox by one degree in 72 years.
       Today Spring equinox is in 3rd quarter of Purva Bhadrapad Asterism; thus equinox has moved by more than 5.25 naksatras (Krttika, Bharani, Asvini, Revati, Uttara Bhadrapada) since this reference in Mahabharata. This means that more than 5040 years (960 X 5.25) have passed. This took our research period for dating of Mahabharata references to 4000 BC – 3000 BC).

Eleven sequential sky views covering a period of 52 years from 3153 BC to 3101 BC were displayed, using planetarium software, which exactly matched the descriptions in Mahabharat and were internally consistent and sequentially accurate. She clarified that in fact, more precise translation of all the relevant slokas of chapters 2 and 3 of Bhishma Parva, had enabled such accurate depiction of sequential sky views. She explained that the sky view displayed below should be able to set at rest all controversies regarding the dating of Mahabharat war –

 Sequential date chart of eleven important sequential sky views presented by her, is given as under, along with all relevant references -
Discription of Event / Sky view
Nov. 18, 3153 BC, 10:25 hrs / Hastinapur (Meerut)
Solar eclipse observed when Pandavas were
 leaving Hastinapur for 13 years of exile after losing in
 the game of dice. War started after 14 years appx.
Aug. 31, 3139 BC; 11:10 hrs / Hastinapur
M.B. 6/2/23
Lunar eclipse followed by solar eclipse within 14 days; foreboding widespread destruction before war               
Sep. 14, 3139 BC
22:15 hrs / Hastinapur
M.B .6/3/28-32
Solar eclipse observed within 14 days ( 13th tithi) of
 lunar eclipse. On next Amavasya, Mahabharata war
 actually started. Just six hours before the eclipse all the positions of stars and planets described in Udyog Parva & Bhishma Parva could be observed in the sky.
Sep. 25, 3139 BC
M.B. 5/83/6-7
Lord Krishna leaves for last peace mission in Kartika
 month, Revati Nakshtra.
Oct. 3. 3139 BC
M.B. 9/34/5-6,
After failure of Krishna’s peace mission, Balram leaves
 for pilgrimage in Pushya Nakshtra. 3-4 days later, Krishna
 tells Karna that war could begin on next Amavasya.
Oct. 13, 3139 BC 6:15 hrs / Hastinapur
Amavasya within 13 days of Kartik Purnima , moon near Jyeshta  (Scorpius / vrishchika) – war started after the failure of Sri Krishan’s last peace mission.
Nov. 14, 3139 BC 06:50 hrs / Kurukshetra
With Shalya’s fall war came to an end on 31st October . Duryodhan went into hiding  in Dvaipayana lake. Pandavas could locate him only after 12-13 days. Balram comes back after 42 days in Shravana Nakshatra. Duryodhana gets killed in Gada yuddha  with Bheema
Dec. 19, 3139 BC
07:20 hrs / Kurukshetra
M.B. 13/167/26-28
Occurrence of Winter Solstice on Magh Shukla Saptmi. Next day on Magh Ashtami was Bhishma’s demise. This was 68th  day after beginning of the war on 13th Oct.
March 3, 3102 BC 10:30 hrs / Dwarka
Solar Eclipse on 13th tithi after Purnima  again in the 36th year of war indicating; annihilation of Yadavas and destruction of Dwarka, proving Gandhari’s curse true
Jan. 22, 3101 BC Delhi 10:47
M.B. 2/1//19-91; Dasagitika 3
Spectacular assemblage of Sun, Moon & Five Planets around Aries when Kali era Began 37 years after the Mahabharat war

Mrs. Saroj Bala thereafter presented archaeological and paleobotanic evidences from the sites excavated in Saraswati region and middle Ganga plains, like Rakhigarhi, Bhirrana, Kunal, banawali, Lahuradeva, Jhussi etc., here terracotta, jewellery, utensils, beeds, weapons, plants and grains etc. Have been found which exactly match the references in Mahabharat; and have been dated as belonging to the period more than 5000 years back i.e. earlier than 3000 BC. Another interesting component was display of Mahabharat Map plotting the kingdoms which participated in the war on behalf of Kauravas and those which fought on behalf on Pandavas –

She thereafter added that these were the territories of Bharatvarsh more than 5000 years back and therefore it will be a matter of utter ignorance to say that India as a country with defined boundaries was born only in response to British colonialismin 19th-20th century. In fact territorial boundaries of India have only squeezed over thousands of years; Afghanistan separated only in 400 AD, whereas Bangladesh and Pakistan got carved out of India only in 1947. Indigenous Vedic civilization has been indigenously developing in India for last more than 9000 years. Vedas are the compilation of knowledge whereas Epics have recorded the historical events of remote ancient past of India.

Dr. Chanchala Srivastava, Scientist, Birbal Sahni Institute of Paleosciences, Lucknow made a brief presentation on Carbon dates of some timber trees mentioned in Ramayan & Mahabharat and found in Indian subcontinent before 2500 BC. Some of the trees found in or around this period included – Arjuna, Babul, Bamboo, Banyan, Coconut, Deodar, Pine, Rosewood, Sal, Sandalwood, Sisso and Sagwan etc. She also elaborated that there is need to correlate data from multiple sources to prepare comprehensive chronology of presence of such trees in Indian sub-continent.

Dr. C.M. Nautiyal, Scientist (Radiocarbon Dating) in BSIP, Lucknow made a presentation on, ‘Chronology of archeo-botanic data in Indian sub-continent; presentation of a sample and suggestions for comprehensive compilation’. At the outset, he explained that  a lot more efforts will have to be put in for compiling such data chronologically after collecting the same from different sources. He also clarified that most of the times it may be difficult to identify the specie because Genus level identification is possible with stem and leaf or pollen but Species can be identified based on flower and in some cases from pollen, which are rarely preserved!

Presenting the sample data, Dr Nautiyal explained that in Lahuradeva, Jhussi and Tokwa etc., a rich collection of rice, barley, dwarf wheat, horse gram, linseed, anwala etc. was found during excavations, which are dated back to 8000 - 6000 BC. There have been evidences of sowing of Rabi and Kharif crops in India for last more than 4000 Years.

Shri Come Carpentier, Indologist and Convener, Editorial Board, World Affairs presented ‘New data and perceptions of ancient history worldwide: need for rediscovering Vedic Civilisation.’ Shri Carpentier that based on 19th century Biblical belief that Adam and Earth came to earth in 4004 BC, mankind was held to have emerged from primitiveness only 2000 or 3000 years BCE. Therefore any evidence for advanced artistic, technical and socio-economic activity, earlier than 2500 years BCE and that also away from the “fertile crescent” was regarded with great suspicion. In fact so far the usual western presumption that “many third world people like Indians etc. had no history until christianisation, islamisation or western colonization gave them one” is invoked to establish the frontier of history. Latest scientific evidences have proved that Aryan Invasion theory was also an imagination of this mindset.

 Since latest scientific evidences have proved that dynamic and rich cultures have developed and expanded over millennia across large areas of Indian sub-continent and that Vedas and Epics refer to some to historic events of remote past, it has to be admitted that Sindhu-Saraswati civilization referred to in Rigveda has been flourishing many millennia before 2500 BCE. From this the inference gets automatically drawn that the evolution and movement of humans on the planet earth may have occurred very differently from what has been believed so far. The genetics have now proved that people from the Indian subcontinent went to Australia more than four thousand years ago. The more ancient a civilization, the lesser its vestiges and these are harder to find. If such traces and evidences are any indication, this is time to reconstruct and rediscover the Vedic civilization, which probably would turn out to be the oldest civilization of the world.

Dr. S Kalyanaraman, author of several books on deciphering of Indus Script and on River Sarasvati, threw light on the ‘Chronology of ancient Indian culture since Vedic times through deciphered Indus Script Corpora’. He started with the words of Will Durant, an American Historian, who said, “India is our race and Sanskrit  is the mother of Europeans languages. She is the mother of our philosophy, mother through the Arabs, much of our mathematics. Mother through Buddha of the ideals embodied in Christianity, mother through village community of self government and democracy. Mother of India is in many ways, the mother of us all.”

By providing several examples from excavated seals and sealings, Dr kalyanaraman explained that Bronze Age Revolution also created an Age of Symbols, a writing system for data archiving in support of long-distance trade by seafaring merchants, for dissemination of knowledge systems and to create products of utility and exchange value. He added that Indus Script for metalwork catalogues continued to be used in historical periods, together with Kharoshthi and Brahmi scripts, which were designed to be syllabic scripts and hence, could record names of persons and places. Most significant use occured in mints of many Janapadas from Takshasila to Anuradhapura, since Indus Script hieroglyphs are metalwork signifiers as well.

Dr. J R Sharma, Scientist ‘H’ and former CGM, ISRO, and former Director, RRSC Jodhpur provided some valuable inputs on “Rise and decay, appearance and disappearance of ancient rivers in Indian sub-continent during Holocene; compilation of data based on remote sensing imagery”. Making extensive use of satellite images of palaeochannels of North Indian rivers, Dr. Sharma explained that thousands of years back, Saraswati was a mighty river system, of which Sutlej and Yamuna were the tributaries. However due to tectonic fault and many other factors, Sutlej drifted westward to join Indus through Beas whereas Yamuna shifted towards the East to join Ganga. He supported these assertions with umpteen numbers on archaeological, geological and hydrological evidences.The following satellite map of palaeochannels of Saraswati river was displayed to explain the drifting of Sutlej towards and Yamuna - 

Dr Sharma explained that ancient Saraswati - Drishadwati belt was passing through modern day Haryana territories; that explains the reasons for location of more than 1200 archaeological sites in this area, for which he displayed the following map –

Dr. Premendra Priyadarshi, MD, MRCP, Fellow of Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and author of ‘In Quest of the Dates of Vedas’ made a very learned presentation on the subject, “History and culture of ancient India during last 15000 years through genetic studies.” He initiated the discussion by saying that till 40-50 years back, Central Asia was believed to be the place of origin of European languages, whereas West Asia was considered to be the place for origins of farming culture.

Supported with latest DNA studies, data and details, he clarified that the recent genetic studies based on Y-chromosomal DNA haplogroups and some mitochondrial DNA haplogroups, have thrown up credible evidences to conclude that the Aryans were originals of India and farming culture also originated in India. The dispersal took place from India to Iran, Kurdistan, Turkey and finally South Europe. Excavations of world’s oldest farming sites from Ganga valley (Lahuradeva, Jhussi, Tokwa etc.), proving prevalence of farming practices in India in 9000-8000 BP, have provided the missing links in the story of evolution of farming.

Dr Priyadarshi elaborated that DNA studies of Y-chromosomes of man from Europe and Asia have confirmed that the marker DNA of farming and pottery migration (J and J2) originated in India. People migrated from India to Central Asia between 45000 BP and 20000 BP in two waves. Earlier it was suggested that R1a is a marker of Central Asian Aryan invasion on India, but the latest studies have proved that this DNA originated in India. Quoting from DNA studies by Oppenheimer and Underhill, Dr Priyadarshi added that, before 5500 BC Europe was inhabited by entirely different people, dark skinned, black-haired, hunter and food-gatherer people, without any idea of animal husbandry. Milk digesting genes appeared for the first time in Europe after 5500 BC.

Dr Baldevanand Sagar made a short presentation on 'Scientific knowledge in Vedic and Post Vedic literature.’ Dr Sagar explained that for truly appreciating the scientific knowledge contained in Vedic and post-Vedic literature, a distinction has to be drawn between discovery and invention. Discovery is figuring out and explaining something that pre-exists, while invention is creating new objects, ideas or technology by making use of objects, pre-existing discoveries and ideas. Scientific discoveries would basically include identification of the laws of nature through keen observation and these are narrated in abundance in our ancient literature; some examples are as under-

o   Laws of gravitation and theory of relativity - The sun is holding the earth, rather the entire solar system, through its magnetic power i.e. Akarshan shakti (Rig/7/99/3, 10/149/1). The earth has gravitational force i.e. Adhah shakti and Aakrishti shakti due to which things fall on earth. Jwar Bhata is also caused due to this gravitation (Rig/10/123/2).
o   Magnetism and Electro-magnetic waves - Electro-magnetic Waves i.e. Maruth-gan have electricity, move around freely in the sky and create electro-magnetic fields (Rig/1/87/4, 1/88/1).
o   Omnipresence and transmission of energy - Energy can neither be created nor destroyed; it can be transmitted and transformed from one form to another (Yajur/12, 15).
o   Movement of planets of solar system and eclipses - The Earth revolves around its father-like Sun whereas Moon revolves around its mother-like earth (Rig/10/189/1 & Yajur 3/6). The cause of day and night, change of seasons are also explained.

Quoting some extracts from Sanskrit texts and relating the study so far conducted by I-SERVE, Dr. Sagar drove home the point that many scientific discoveries were recorded by Vedic Aryans around 8000 years back and by the Greeks around 6000 years back. These were reiterated and developed by Aryabhat , Bhaskaracharya and Varahamihir around 1500 years back. Many modern scientists made / re-recorded these discoveries again in 17th–20th century.  However, these modern scientists also expanded the scope of the scientific knowledge by making several important inventions like printing machines, computers, telescope, electricity, steam engine, aeroplanes etc.

Dr. Rajiv Nigam, Dr. Sunderesh & Dr. Loveson, senior scientists from National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), Goa briefed the participants about the ‘Role of Past Sea level fluctuations in deciphering emergence and submergence of ancient cities along Indian Coasts; reconstructing their date sequence during Holocene’. Dr. Nigam first displayed the sea level curve prepared by NIO to depict the fluctuations in the sea water level over last 15000 years.

With the help of this curve he demonstrated that, as compared to present, sea level was lower by ~100 m about 14,500 years BP, and ~60 m about 10,000 years BP. During 9000 BP to 7000 BP, sea level remained lower than the present, therefore some settlements of that period are lying submerged; whereas sea level was higher than present 6000 BP to 4000 BP because of which settlements of those days have re-emerged. Dr Nigam went on to explain that with the help of sea level curve and foraminiferal occurrence the following were proved –

·         that the rectangular structure at Lothal (a Harappan Settlement, near Ahmadabad ~4500 years old) was the first Naval dock yard of the world  and not a fresh water storage tank.
·         This curve explained the discovery of Neolithic settlements (at 30-40 m water depth) in Gulf of Khambhat - the oldest civilization site known to the mankind, dated as belonging to the period 8500 - 9000 BP.
·         Similarly this sea level curve also explained that Ram Setu was at walk-able sea level in 7100 BP, which is the time assigned to the important events in Lord Ram’s life by Smt. Saroj Bala and many eminent scientists, based on astronomic-archaeological evidences.
·         A recent study conducted by NIO has also proved that Dholavira in Gujarat was an island town when sea level was higher at ~5000 years back. This famous site also exhibit unusual thickness of wall (~18 m thick) of citadel, which is interpreted as tsunami protection measure - the first of its type anywhere in the world.
·         Structures found submerged in Mahabalipuram, which got revealed after Tsunami. The references in ancient texts, if any have yet to be identified.

With these examples, Dr Nigam concluded that sea level fluctuations played an important role in shaping the destiny of ancient cities in coastal areas. The understanding developed, about the signatures of the past sea levels helped to demonstrate that it is in public interest to respect implementation of coastal zone management plans of the country. At the same time mangroves and other coastal vegetations and sand dunes should be preserved as natural barrier against the ferries of the nature.

Dr. Nigam’s presentation was followed by a short presentation by Dr. Loveson on utility of Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) in Marine Archaeological Studies. He explained that it was a high resolution sub-surface mapping technique, which made explorations, faster and more accurate; therefore it makes sense to make extensive as well as intensive use of the same.

Dr. R K Ganjoo, Director, Himalayan Institute of Glaciology, Jammu made a presentation on ‘Impact of melting of glaciers on water volumes of the rivers of Indian sub-continent during the Holocene.’ He was of the opinion that fluctuations in water volumes of rivers do not appear to have any direct relation with melting of glaciers.

Dr. KVRS Murty, Director Research from I-SERVE headquarters, Hyderabad made a presentation on efforts being made by I-SERVE to decipher scientific knowledge in ancient texts and then carry forward the work for the welfare of mankind. He particularly referred to the achievements of I-SERVE in the field of Ayurveda, Mathematics and Astronomy. To the applause of the audience, he reported that I-SERVE had digitalized Charaka and Sushrutha Samhitas for easy referencing by ayurvedic  professionals and researchers.

Shri K N Dikshit summarised the proceedings of the entire Conference in the end. The participants listened to him with interest and were surprised that he had not missed any important point made during the day - long deliberations. In the end it became clear that almost all the presentations made revealed that indigenous civilization has been developing in India for last 10000 years; that astronomical references in Rigveda pertain to the period 7000 BC to 5000 BC & those mentioned in Ramayan relate sequentially to dates around 5100 BC; whereas those of Mahabharat refer to dates around 3100 BC. Khambat is the oldest human settlement belonging to 8000 BC; whereas Lothal is the oldest dockyard and civilization in Saraswati, Indus and Ganga regions is more than 7000 years old.  All these conclusions were derived from astronomical, archaeological, paleobotanical, palynological, genetic, oceanographic, geological, ecological and remote sensing research reports. It was also agreed that there is need to work more extensively and intensively on the subject.

The proceedings were concluded with a resolve from the scientists and scholars that they will make their best efforts to scientifically reconstruct the chronology of cultural evolvement in India during last 10,000 years and also come out with books / comprehensive reports on different components of this chronology. Only such scientific history can generate shared pride amongst all Indians in their most ancient and rich cultural heritage and thus help in realization of the dream of our most revered Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Ji.

Based on the inputs from the participants, an Advisory Board for I-SERVE Delhi Chapter has been re-constituted. As suggested by the participants, recommendations are being sent to the Ministries concerned, requesting for constitution of some groups/committees so that scientific data is compiled chronologically from the research reports on subjects like archaeology, palaeobotany and oceanography and DNA studies. Dr. Bhanu pratap Singh, Director of National Council for Science and Technology Communication (NCSTC) and Dr. R Rama Sharma from National Council of Science Museums (NCSM) had participated in the Conference. They are being requested to take up projects for displaying these scientific discoveries about our remote ancient past, assuring that I-SERVE and all scientists associated with I-SERVE will render all possible assistance and will provide the necessary inputs.