City a melting pot of traditions, cultures

exchanging ideas

The National Museum Institute (NMI) organised a three-day seminar for leading historians from India and abroad to exchange ideas on the interactions between Greece, Iran, India and China in antiquity.

Titled as “Cross Cultural Knowledge Exchange in Antiquity”, the seminar also saw a heavy attendance of academicians, both from India and abroad, who spoke at length about the cultural similarities between different nations.
The seminar was organised by the Centre for Community Knowledge, Ambedkar University, Delhi; Indian National Science Academy (INSA), Delhi; and the NMI as part of its Silver Jubilee celebrations. The theme examines aspects of cooperation and mutual interplay between cultures, with a view to develop a unified perspective.

Speaking on the occasion was Dr Venu Vasudevan, Vice Chancellor of NMI. “The historical encounters among ancient Indians, Iranians, Greeks and Chinese during 5 BCE to 5 CE had left a rich trail of literary, archaeological, epigraphic and numismatic evidence that show that knowledge transfer can be documented in the pre-literate past,” Vasudevan said.

“The seminar gave an opportunity to the participants to come out with scholarly presentations and lectures to look at the subject in a refreshing manner,” added Vasudevan, also Director General of National Museum.

Dr Lotika Varadarajan, eminent academic and Tagore scholar, is the Principal Investigator and seminar coordinator, and the Centre for Community Knowledge, Ambedkar University, is the main organiser.
Speakers at the seminar, discussed about a range of issues, including medicine, mathematics and astronomy. Among the other topics which were discussed in the seminar, hold much importance in today’s time such as trade routes, technology and material cultures. Academicians also presented their study on ideologies of faith and culture, linguistics and knowledge systems, tradition and transmission.
Video presentations were also made by Dr Colin Renfrew on the Prehistoric Antecedents of the Silk Road), Katyaoun Fekripour on The Mythical Creatures in Iranian and Indian Art and by Shambwatitya Ghosh who presented his From Mitra to Surya: Forms of Sun Worship.

“The academic initiative would promote a unified perspective and help further collaboration of the discourse among ancient Indian, Iranian, Chinese and Greek studies as also in the study of a shared ancient cultural-cum-technological heritage of the modern world,” said Dr Bipin Kumar Thakur, Registrar, NMI.

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