The Banaras Hindu University is one of the pioneering institutions in the country to initiate teaching and research in Ancient Indian History and Culture. There were stalwarts like Prof. Chandradhar Sharma 'Guleri' (eminent Hindi literaturer), Prof. R.D. Banerji, Prof. A.S. Altekar, Prof. R.C. Mazumdar, Prof. Anand Coomaraswamy, Prof. Rajbali Pandey, Prof. Viswambhar Sharan Pathak, Prof. Awadh Kishor Narain, Prof. Lallanji Gopal just to name a few who once adorned in the Department. It was realised that for complete understanding of ancient period, the discipline of Archaeology was introduced in 1957.

The Department has earned international reputation in the field of indological studies. The multi faceted nature of the Department is reflected in the activities that expand in disciplines like religion, palaeography, economic history, prehistoric and early historical archaeology, archaeometallurgy, science and technology of archaeological materials etc. A number of field studies in terms of painstaking archaeological explorations and excavations, which were conducted by the department, covers a vast historical canvas - from Prehistoric times to the Historical period.

The Department has made a few landmark discoveries, which are very significant for Indian History. Needless to mention that on account of these contributions, the department was in receipt of some minor and major projects and individual and departmental financial supports in the last four decades, including the 'Ford Foundation Project' for strengthening scientific archaeology and 'Horizontal Excavations of Pre-NBP and NBPW Levels at Narhan' of UGC. More recently on the 'Studies in Ancient Mining and Metallurgy in Sonbhadra-Sidhi Region' of DST and DST - FIST Programme for the Development of Archaeo-metallurgical Studies. In addition to the above, a few minor research projects have been awarded to the faculty members of the Department by the INSA, ICHR and other funding agencies. Further, the University Grants Commission selected this department for its Special Assistance Programme for three continuous phases and also for its ASIHSS Programme. As a result a good infrastructure for researches in diverse branches of Indological studies including archaeological equipments and library could be developed in the department.

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