History of Archaeology – 5

Mortimer Wheeler:

  • The British Government appointed Robert Eric Mortimer Wheeler as the Director General of the Archaeological survey in 1944 to fulfill the recommendation made by the distinguished British archaeologist Sir Leonard Woolley in 1939. The greatest contribution of Mortimer Wheeler is the introduction of scientific methods in Indian archaeology and the establishment of a training school at Taxila. He rigorously emphasized the principles of stratigraphy. He insisted on problem-oriented excavations. He provided a systematic training to the young Indian archaeologists like A.Ghosh, B.K.Thapar, B.B.Lal, S.R.Rao, K.R.Srinivasan and a host of others who occupied a superior position in Archaeological Survey of India in later days made valuable contributions. Wheeler placed the south Indian Archaeology in definite chronology through his excavations at Arikamedu and Brahmagiri. The official journal Ancient Indian started during his tenure is continuing to hold an important position among the Archaeology in 1960 as model training Institute in the line of Institute of Archaeology, London which itself was founded by him. The training imparted at this School benefits the Central, state and University Departments. This way Wheeler made an important contribution to the Indian archaeology.