India – Himalayan Myths and Reality – Institute for Field Research

Location: Jong Village, IN

Season: July 15, 2019 to August 14, 2019

Application Deadline: April 5, 2019

Deadline Type: Rolling


Program Type:
Field school

RPA Certified:

Institute for Field Research, Connecticut College, UCLA, IISER, Mohali, Punjab, India

Project Director:
Dr. Sonali Gupta-argawal, Dr. Parth Chauhan

Project Description:

Historical archaeology studies material culture with the aid of historical records. Written records contextualize materiality but may or may not corroborate archaeological evidence. Kullu valley lies in the heart of the Himalayas in the hill state of Himachal Pradesh and is rich in archaeological sites and historical records relating to the sites. The valley is a focal point for many ancient myths in the Himalayas. As texts were frequently revised and chronologically problematic, an assessment of myths and their reality cannot be done on the basis of textual sources alone. There is an absence of early historic excavated sites in the valley, therefore, a historical archaeology and applied anthropological approach is useful for the study of religious art, architecture, oral traditions within the context of the landscape. Such an approach aids in evaluating the manifestation of myths and their reality in the Kullu valley.

The research goals aim at understanding the role of myths in the Kullu valley and how they influence architecture, rituals and use of space. The project will also help understand the interaction of contemporary people with sacred sites in the Himalayas where such myths are depicted and form a part of their daily life.

Period(s) of Occupation: Historical Archaeology

Project Size: 1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: Participants are required to stay for the full duration of the field school.

Minimum Age: 18

Experience Required: No prior experience is required to participate in this field school.

Room and Board Arrangements:
Students will be housed in cottages where each room can accommodate two individuals with a shared a bathroom. Each cottage has internet connectivity, television, a common kitchen with refrigerators, solar powered hot water. Bedding will be provided. Students are free to stroll within the perimeter of the property. The cottages are nestled on a sprawling green hill filled with Himalayan pine, fir and fruit trees. Breakfast, lunch and dinner on work days will be served in the common dining area at designated hours. The cooks are equipped to cook a variety of food options both vegetarian and non-vegetarian, local and international cuisine and can easily accommodate vegans or lactose intolerant meals. The cooks would need to know dietary restrictions and preferences beforehand to accommodate diets. Beef is the only item which will not be provided. Sundays being days off, students may order reasonably priced food at the facility or may cook on their own – all cottages have kitchens. Laundry services are available at nominal cost. The local market is nearby. Cost: Room and board are included in the tuition of the field school.

Academic Credit:
8 Semester Credits credits offered by Connecticut College. Tuition is $4,270.

Contact Information:

Insitute for Field Research

2999 Overland Ave. Suite 103

Los Angeles




Phone: 424-209-1173

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