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US varsity to undertake archaeological survey at Tharangambadi
An archaeological survey would be conducted to identify colonial period settlements outside Tharangambadi town, said Professor Mark W Hauser from the Department of Anthropology of Northwestern University, USA.
He was delivering a lecture on ‘South Asia in the Atlantic World’ at the Department of Maritime History and Marine Archaeology in Thanjavur Tamil University on Monday.
Stating that the colonial materials which were made in Europe were relatively easy to identify and provide a rough date estimate, the professor said they were recovered as small fragments during the archaeological survey. In enough concentrations, they can be used to identify settlement patterns over time, he said. “This has great potential in South Asia and looking at South Asians in the Caribbean,” he said, adding these methodologies could be applied to the colonial period sites in South Asia as well.
Professor Hauser presented a scenario in which the links between the Atlantic and Indian oceans could be explored through the lens of Danish enclaves in Tharangambadi (Tranquebar) in India, and St Thomas, Caribbean. “There are many parallels including the transportation of goods such as cloth, the cultivation and transportation of rice,” he added. There is also evidence of the Danes being involved in the Indian Ocean slave trade.
He said the aim of the proposed survey was to identify colonial period settlements outside Tharangambadi and to track the similarities and differences of trade goods found within and outside the town.