B. B. Lal
|B. B. Lal|
|Born||Braj Basi Lal
May 2, 1921
Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh
|Occupation||archaeologist, Director-General Archaeological Survey of India (1968 - 1972)|
|Known for||Work on Indus Valley Civilization sites, Mahabharat sites, Kalibangan|
Braj Basi Lal (born May 2, 1921 ), better known as B. B. Lal, is a renowned Indian archaeologist. He was the Director General of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) from 1968 to 1972, and has served as Director of the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, Shimla. He also worked in for UNESCO committees.
Early life and background
After his studies, Lal developed interest in archaeology and in 1943, became a trainee in excavation under a veteran British archaeologist, Mortimer Wheeler starting with Taxila, and later at sites such as Harappa and Sisupalgarh in Odisha. Lal went on to work as an archaeologist for more than 50 years.
The Archaeological Survey of India had performed conservation and restoration of Buddhas of Bamiyan, Khwaj Parsa’s Mosque at Balkh and the shrine of Khwaja Abu Naser under R. Sen Gupta and Lal in Afghanistan.
During 1950-52 he worked on archaeology of Mahabharata sites, including Hastinapura, the capital city of the The Kurus. He made discoveries of many Painted Grey Ware (PGW) sites in the Indo‑Gangetic Divide and upper Yamuna‑Ganga doab.
In Nubia, the Archaeological Survey of India, Lal and his team discovered middle and late stone age tools in the terraces of the river Nile near Afyeh. The team excavated a few sites at Afyeh and cemetery of C-group people having 109 graves. Lal worked on Mesolithic site of Birbhanpur (West Bengal), Chalcolithic site of Gilund (Rajasthan) and Harappan site of Kalibangan (Rajasthan). In 1975-76, he worked on a project "Archaeology of Ramayana sites" funded by ASI, which excavated five Ramayana-related sites of Ayodhya, Bharadwaj Ashram, Nandigram, Chitrakoot and Shringaverapur. Subsequently, he submitted a seven-page preliminary report to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), which mentioned discovery of "pillar bases", immediately south of the Babri mosque structure in Ayodhya. Subsequently, in his 2008 book, Rama: His Historicity Mandir and Setu, he wrote, "Attached to the piers of the Babri Masjid, there were twelve stone pillars, which carried not only typical Hindu motifs and mouldings, but also figures of Hindu deities. It was self-evident that these pillars were not an integral part of the Masjid, but were foreign to it."
Prof B. B. Lal has published several books and over 150 research papers & articles in prestigious national and international scientific journals. In his 2002 book, The Saraswati Flows on, he refutes the earlier Aryan invasion theory, stating that the Rig Veda repeatedly mentioned Sarasvati River as "overflowing", since the river suggest that the river dried up 2000 BCE. This contradicts the claims by previous historians that Aryan invasion happened 300 after the drying up in 1500 BC, which also led to the end of the Indus Valley Civilization.
Two British archaeologists Stuart Piggott and D.H. Gordon described Lal’s published works on the Copper Hoards of the Gangetic basin and his Hastinapura excavation report, published in journal of the Archaeological Survey of India, as models of research and excavation reporting.
- B.B. Lal (1952). New Light on the "dark Age" of Indian History: Recent Excavations at the Hastinapura Site, Near Delhi. Illustrated London news.
- B. B. Lal (1953). Studies in Early and Mediaeval Indian Ceramics: Some Glass and Glasslike Artefacts from Bellary, Kolhapur, Maski, Nasik and Maheshwar.
- Braj Basi Lal (1955). Excavations at Hastinapura and Other Explorations [in the Upper Gangā and Sutlej Basins], 1950-52.
- Shikaripur Ranganatha Rao; Braj Basi Lal (1960). Excavation at Rangpur and Other Explorations in Gujarat.
- B. B. Lal (1963). The Only Asian Expedition in Threatened Nubia: Work by an Indian Mission at Afyeh and Tumas..
- Jagat Pati Joshi; Braj Basi Lal (1963). Comparative Stratigraphy of the Protohistoric Cultures of the Indo-Pakistan Subcontinent. Ethnographic and Folk-Culture Society, U.P.
- Braj Basi Lal (1964). Indian Archaeology Since Independence. Motilal Banarsidass.
- B. B. Lal (1968). Indian Rock Paintings: Their Chronology, Technique and Preservation.
- B.B. Lal (1972). The Copper Hoard Culture of the Ganga Valley. Heffer.
- B. B. Lal (1977). On the Most Frequently Used Sign in the Indus Script.
- B. B. Lal (1978). Weathering and Preservation of Stone Monuments Under Tropical Conditions: Some Case Histories.
- B.B. Lal (1978). Scientific Examination of Works of Art and History. Indian Association for the Study of Conservation of Cultural Property.
- Special survey reports on selected towns: Dumka, 1981.
- Braj Basi Lal (1982). Has the Indus Script Been Deciphered?. Indian Inst. of Advanced Study.
- Frontiers of the Indus Civilization, 1984.
- B. B. Lal (1993). Excavation at Śṛiṅgaverapura: (1977-86). Director General, Archaeological Survey of India. 
- Braj Basi Lal (1997). The Earliest civilization of South Asia: rise, maturity, and decline. Aryan Books International. ISBN 978-81-7305-107-4.
- Jagat Pati Joshi; D. K. Sinha; Braj Basi Lal (1997). Facets of Indian Civilization: Prehistory and rock-art, protohistory: Essays in Honour of Prof. B.B. Lal (Vol. 1). Aryan Books International. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
- B. B. Lal (1998). India 1947-1997: New Light on the Indus Civilization. Aryan Books International. ISBN 978-81-7305-129-6.
- Braj Basi Lal (2002). The Sarasvatī flows on: the continuity of Indian culture. Aryan Books International. ISBN 978-81-7305-202-6.
- Braj Basi Lal (2003). Excavations at Kalibangan: The Early Harappans, 1960-1969. Director General, Archaeological Survey of India.
- A. S. Bisht; Surinder Pal Singh; B. B. Lal (2004). Studies in Art and Archaeological Conservation: Dr. B.B. Lal Commemoration Volume. Agam Kala Prakashan. ISBN 978-81-7320-059-5.
- B. B. Lal (2005). The Homeland of the Aryans. Evidence of Rigvedic Flora and Fauna & Archaeology. Aryan Books. ISBN 8173052832.
- Braj Basi Lal; R. Sengupta (2008). A Report on the Preservation of Buddhist Monuments at Bamiyan in Afghanistan. Islamic Wonders Bureau. ISBN 978-81-87763-66-6.
- B. B. Lal (2008). Rāma, His Historicity, Mandir, and Setu: Evidence of Literature, Archaeology, and Other Sciences. Aryan Books. ISBN 978-81-7305-345-0.
- B. B. Lal (2009). How Deep Are the Roots of Indian Civilzation?: Archaeology Answers. Aryan Books. ISBN 8173053766.
- Braj Basi Lal (2011). Excavations at Bharadwaja Ashram: with a note on the exploration at Chitrakuta. Archaeological Survey of India.
- Braj Basi Lal (2011). Piecing Together: Memoirs of an Archaeologist. Aryan Books International. ISBN 978-81-7305-417-4.
- B. B. Lal
- B. B. Lal Chair at IIT Kanpur, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur website.
- 'Let not the 19th century paradigms continue to haunt us!', Inaugural Address delivered at the 19th International Conference on South Asian Archaeology at University of Bologna, Ravenna, Italy on July 2–6, 2007, online link, archaeologyonline.net
- "Archaeologist B.B. Lal talks about his book 'The Saraswati Flows On' : Books". India Today. November 12, 2001. Retrieved 2013-08-09.
- Book review by Dr. V. N. Misra, Book review of The Saraswati Flows on: the Continuity of Indian Culture, by Chairman of Indian Society for Prehistoric and Quaternary Studies journal Man and Environment; (vol. XXVI, No. 2, July–December 2001)
- Archaeological endeavours abroad, Archaeological Survey of India Official website.
- Abstract, A comparison of Fulani and Nadar HLA, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
- "I found pillar bases back in mid-seventies: Prof Lal". Indian Express. Retrieved 2013-08-09.
- "Ayodhya: High Court relies on ASI's 2003 report". Economic Times. Oct 1, 2010. Retrieved 2013-08-09.
- "Faculty Chairs". IIT Kanpur. Retrieved 2013-08-09.
- "Padma Awards Directory (1954–2009)". Ministry of Home Affairs.
- Memoirs, On Excavations, Indus Seals, Art, Structural and Chemical Conservation of Monumets, Archaeological Survey of India Official website.
- Dhaneshwar Mandal (2003). Ayodhya, Archaeology After Demolition: A Critique of the "new" and "fresh" Discoveries. Orient Blackswan. ISBN 978-81-250-2344-9.
- "Mahabharata Historicity by Prof. B B Lal".
- The Homeland of Indo-European Languages and Culture: Some Thoughts By Archaeologist B.B. Lal
- Let not the 19th century paradigms continue to haunt us! Inaugural Address, by Prof. Lal, delivered at the 19th International Conference on South Asian Archaeology, 2007
- List of publications at worldcat.org