On 6 December, 1992, kar sevaks (Hindu volunteers) gathered on the grounds of the Babri Masjid to tear it down / Image credit: sabrang, 2016

Geovisual Perspectives on Late 20th Century Indian Archaeology: Putting ‘Place’ in Visualization


Archaeologists, more so than colleagues in history and anthropology, are accustomed to visualizing complex scientific results. In this paper, I introduce geovisual perspectives using geographic information systems (GIS) to examine unseen geographic and spatial patterns and relationships in archaeological fieldwork in late twentieth century India. Geovisual, short for geographic visualization, results from the interaction with, and creation of visual media and technologies to enrich the scientific process and promote unexpected insights on time-dependent spatial phenomena. Using a time-sensitive geovisualization, I draw out the influence of geography or physical and social space on archaeological fieldwork in the aftermath of the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992 in the northern city of Ayodhya. I demonstrate that visualizing specific places where archaeologists carried out fieldwork at particular moments, offers an innovative method of historical inquiry to examine how knowledge is interwoven with *power* and space, a critical factor in understanding change and continuity in archaeological practices.

Theoretical Archaeology Group (TAG)-On-Sea 2013
Bournemouth University, Bournemouth, UK