Archaeologists to use airborne lasers to examine Rajgir’s history

Nov 8, 2016 17:20 IST

Indian archaeologists are planning to use high-end lasers to map Bihar’s ancient city of Rajgir. The plan is a part of their inter-disciplinary Rajgir Archaeological Survey Project (RASP), which includes surveying the archaeological evidence and the flora and fauna of the area.

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To achieve the same, archaeologists are planning to make use of a remote-sensing technique, Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR), which uses laser light to survey the earth’s surface.

The LIDAR device will have to be mounted on drones or helicopters to get the expected result, for which necessary permissions are required.
About RASP Project
• It is a collaborative project between the society and Nalanda University in co-ordination with Bihar’s Ministry of Art, Culture and Youth.
• It aims to establish a better understanding of the historic city’s landscape by studying the existing archaeological remains through a comprehensive survey.
• It will examine the multi-phased development of Rajgir as an urban, political and religious centre.

The preliminary work in the project involves making a grid map of the entire Rajgir Hills, a work that is going to be undertaken by experts from different fields.

History of Rajgir
• Located in Bihar’s Nalanda district, Rajgir is one of India’s most significant tourist places for Buddhist pilgrims.
• It was the first capital of the Magadha Empire.
• Gautama Buddha spent many years of his life in the city and delivered several sermons as well.
• The city was also the venue of the first Buddhist Council.
• Aside from Buddhism, the ancient city is also known for its association with Jainism, as its founder Lord Mahavira spent fourteen years of his life there.

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