After establishing a center for archaeological sciences in its campus, the premier Indian Institute of Technology-Gandhinagar is now up to set up a Carbon Dating Lab under its multi-disciplinary approach to Archaeology. With this Carbon Dating Lab, IIT Gandhinagar will become one of the few places in the country where the age of artefacts will be determined through the specialized technique called carbon dating.
The centre will focus on application of archaeological sciences through a number of disciplines; civil, mechanical, electrical, chemical and material engineering as well as metallurgy," said the Director of IIT-Gn, Dr Sudhir Jain. Supported and funded by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), the new lab will use modern chemical analysis and carbon dating tools to find out the age of artefacts from all parts of the country.
Carbon dating is an expensive radiometric dating technique that uses the decay of carbon-14 to estimate the age of organic materials as old as 58,000 to 62,000 years. It costs around Rs 50,000-Rs 60,000 to determine the age of one such sample, but IIT-Gandhinagar is intent to offer this service either for free or at a minimal fee.
V N Prabhakar is the first senior faculty who joined the Archaeology centre at IIT-Gn. He had worked with ASI archaeologist for over a decade.