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B. B. Lal is confirmed dead at the age of 101.

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B. was best known as a Indian archaeologist.
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Braj Basi Lal
The Minister of State for Culture (IC) and Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Dr. Mahesh Sharma releasing the book by the former DG, ASI, Prof. B.B. Lal, on the occasion of Foundation Day of National Museum, in New Delhi (2).jpg
The Minister of State for Culture (IC) and Environment, Dr. Mahesh Sharma releasing the book by the B. B. Lal, on the occasion of Foundation Day of National Museum, in New Delhi.
Born
Braj Basi Lal

(1921-05-02)May 2, 1921
Died(2022-09-10)September 10, 2022
NationalityIndian
OccupationArchaeologist, Director-General Archaeological Survey of India (1968–1972)
Known forWork on Indus Valley civilization sites, Mahabharat sites, Kalibangan, Ramayana sites
Children3
Braj Basi Lal (born 2 May 1921), better known as B. B. Lal, is an Indian archaeologist.
He was the Director General of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) from 1968 to 1972 and has served as Director of the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, Shimla. Lal also served on various UNESCO committees. His later publications have been noted and criticised for their historical revisionism, taking a controversial stance in the Ayodhya dispute, claiming to have found the remains of a columned Hindu temple beneath the subsequently destroyed Babri Masjid mosque.
He received the Padma Bhushan Award by the President of India in 2000, and was awarded India's second highest civilian award the Padma Vibhushan in 2021.
Contents
1 Biography
1.1 Personal life
1.2 Career
1.3 Archaeological work
1.3.1 Ayodhya dispute
1.3.2 Indigenous Aryanism
2 List of publications
3 Honors
4 See also
5 Notes
6 References
7 Sources
7.1 Printed sources
7.2 Web-sources
8 Further reading
9 External links
Biography
Personal life
Born in Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh, India, Lal lives in Delhi. He has three sons. The eldest, Rajesh Lal, is a retired Air Vice Marshal, Indian Air Force, His second son Vrajesh Lal and the third, Rakesh Lal, are businessmen based in Los Angeles, California.
Career
Lal obtained his master's degree in Sanskrit from Allahabad University, India. After his studies, Lal developed interest in archaeology and in 1943, became a trainee in excavation under a veteran British archaeologist, Mortimer Wheeler, starting with Taxila, and later at sites such as Harappa. Lal went on to work as an archaeologist for more than fifty years. In 1968, he was appointed the Director General of the Archaeological Survey of India where he would remain until 1972. Thereafter, Lal served as Director of the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, Shimla. The B. B. Lal Chair at Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (IIT, Kanpur) has been established by his son Vrajesh Lal to encourage research in science and technology related to archaeological work.
Archaeological work
Between 1950 and 1952, Lal worked on the archaeology of sites accounted for in the Hindu epic Mahabharata, including Hastinapura, the capital city of the Kurus. He made discoveries of many Painted Grey Ware (PGW) sites in the Indo‑Gangetic Divide and upper Yamuna‑Ganga doab.
In Nubia, the Archaeological Survey of India, Lal and his team discovered Middle and Late Stone Age tools in the terraces of the river Nile near Afyeh. The team excavated a few sites at Afyeh and cemetery of C-group people, where 109 graves would be located. Lal worked on Mesolithic site of Birbhanpur (West Bengal), Chalcolithic site of Gilund (Rajasthan) and Harappan site of Kalibangan (Rajasthan).
In 1975–76, Lal worked on the "Archaeology of Ramayana Sites" project funded by the ASI, which excavated five sites mentioned in the Hindu epic Ramayana – Ayodhya, Bharadwaj ashram, Nandigram, Chitrakoot and Shringaverapur.
Prof. B. B. Lal has published over 20 books and over 150 research papers and articles in national and international scientific journals. The British archaeologists Stuart Piggott and D.H. Gordon, writing in the 1950s, describe Copper Hoards of the Gangetic Basin (1950) and the Hastinapura Excavation Report (1954–1955), two of Lal's works published in the Journal of the Archaeological Survey of India, as "models of research and excavation reporting."
In his later publications, Lal has taken a pro-Hindutva stance and engaged in historical revisionism, taking a controversial stance in the Ayodhya dispute, and arguing in favor of the discredited Indigenous Aryans point of view. His later works have been characterized by D. N. Jha as "a systematic abuse of archaeology," while Julian Droogan writes that Lal "has used the term blut und boden , a patriotic connection between one's blood and the soil of one's homeland, in connection with supposed religious continuity in the archaeological record of the subcontinent." R.S.Sharma characterized Lal's later work as driven by communalism and irrationalism, disembedded from "objective and scientific criteria."
Ayodhya dispute
Main articles: Ayodhya dispute and Archaeology of Ayodhya
Lal took a controversial stance in the Ayodhya dispute. Between 1975 and 1980 excavations took place at Ayodhya, with Lal writing in 1977, in the official ASI-journal, that finds were "devoid of any special interest." In a seven-page preliminary report submitted to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in 1989, Lal "only mentioned" that his team found "pillar bases," immediately south of the Babri mosque structure in Ayodhya. In 1990, after his retirement, he wrote in a RSS magazine that he had found the remains of a columned temple under the mosque, and "embarked on a spree of lectures all over the country propagating th evidence from Ayodhya." In Lal's 2008 book, Rāma, His Historicity, Mandir and Setu: Evidence of Literature, Archaeology and Other Sciences, he writes (that):
Lal's conclusions have been contested by multiple scholars, questioning both the stratigraphic information, and the kind of structure envisioned by Lal. According to Hole,
Later independent analysis of photographs of the trench in which Lal claimed to have found the pillar bases found that they were actually the remains of various walls of different, non-centemporaneous structural phases, and could not have been load-bearing structures (Mandal 2003) other than one photograph, Lal has never made the notebooks and sketches of his excavations available to other scholars so that his interpretation could be tested."
Hole concludes that "the structural elements he had previously thought insignificant suddenly became temple foundations only in order to manufacture support for the nationalists' cause."
Indigenous Aryanism
Main articles: Indigenous Aryanism and Sarasvati river
In his 2002 book, The Saraswati Flows On, Lal rejected the widely accepted Aryan invasion/migration theory, arguing that the Rig Vedic description of the Sarasvati River as "overflowing" contradicts the mainstream view that the Indo-Aryan migration started at ca. 1500 BCE, after the Sarasvati River had dried up. In his book ‘The Rigvedic People: ‘Invaders’? ‘Immigrants’? or Indigenous?’ Lal argues that the Rigvedic People and the authors of the Harappan civilisation were the same, a view outside mainstream scholarship.
List of publications
Braj Basi Lal (1955). Excavations at Hastinapura and Other Explorations , 1950–52.
Braj Basi Lal. (1956). Paleoliths from Beas and Banganga Valleys. Ancient India. No.12. pp58-92.
Braj Basi Lal. (1958). Birbhanpur: Microlith site in Damodar Valley., West Bengal. Ancient India. No..14. pp 4–40.
Braj Basi Lal. (1960). From the Megalith to the Harappan: Tracing Back the Graffiti on Pottery, Ancient India. No. 16. Pp 4–24
Braj Basi Lal. (1962) Indian Archaeological Expedition to Qasr Ibrim (Nubia) 1961–62.
B. B. Lal (1963). The Only Asian Expedition in Threatened Nubia: Work by an Indian Mission at Afyeh and Tumas..
Braj Basi Lal (1964). Indian Archaeology Since Independence. Motilal Banarsidass.
Braj Basi Lal. (1966). The Direction of Writing in the Harappan Script. Antiquity. Vol. .XL. No.175. pp 52–56.
Braj Basi Lal. (1968). A Deluge? Which Deluge? Yet Another Facet of Copper Hoard Culture. American Anthropologist. Vol. 70. Pp 857–73.
B.B. Lal (1972). The Copper Hoard Culture of the Ganga Valley. Heffer.
B. B. Lal (1977). On the Most Frequently Used Sign in the Indus Script.
B. B. Lal (1978). Weathering and Preservation of Stone Monuments Under Tropical Conditions: Some Case Histories.
B.B. Lal (1978). Scientific Examination of Works of Art and History. Indian Association for the Study of Conservation of Cultural Property.
Special survey reports on selected towns: Dumka, 1981.
Braj Basi Lal. (1982). The Giant Tank of Śṛiṅgaverapura. Illustrated London News. January. P59
Braj Basi Lal (1982). Has the Indus Script Been Deciphered?. Indian Inst. of Advanced Study.
Frontiers of the Indus Civilization, 1984.
B. B. Lal (1993). Excavation at Śṛiṅgaverapura: (1977–86). Director General, Archaeological Survey of India.
Braj Basi Lal (1997). The Earliest civilization of South Asia: rise, maturity, and decline. Aryan Books International. ISBN 978-81-7305-107-4.
Jagat Pati Joshi; D. K. Sinha; Braj Basi Lal (1997). Facets of Indian Civilization: Prehistory and rock-art, protohistory: Essays in Honour of Prof. B.B. Lal (Vol. 1). Aryan Books International. ISBN 9788173050879. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
B. B. Lal (1998). India 1947-1997: New Light on the Indus Civilization. Aryan Books International. ISBN 978-81-7305-129-6.
Braj Basi Lal (2002). The Sarasvatī flows on: the continuity of Indian culture. Aryan Books International. ISBN 978-81-7305-202-6.
Braj Basi Lal (2003). Excavations at Kalibangan: The Early Harappans, 1960-1969. Director General, Archaeological Survey of India.
Braj Basi Lal. (2003). Should One Give up All Ethics for Promoting One's Theory? East and West. Vol. 53. . Nos. 1–4. pp285–88.
A. S. Bisht; Surinder Pal Singh; B. B. Lal (2004). Studies in Art and Archaeological Conservation: Dr. B.B. Lal Commemoration Volume. Agam Kala Prakashan. ISBN 978-81-7320-059-5.
B. B. Lal (2005). The Homeland of the Aryans. Evidence of Rigvedic Flora and Fauna & Archaeology. Aryan Books. ISBN 8173052832.
Braj Basi Lal; R. Sengupta (2008). A Report on the Preservation of Buddhist Monuments at Bamiyan in Afghanistan. Islamic Wonders Bureau. ISBN 978-81-87763-66-6.
B. B. Lal (2008). Rāma, His Historicity, Mandir, and Setu: Evidence of Literature, Archaeology, and Other Sciences. Aryan Books. ISBN 978-81-7305-345-0.
B. B. Lal (2009). How Deep Are the Roots of Indian Civilization?: Archaeology Answers. Aryan Books. ISBN 978-8173053764.
Braj Basi Lal (2011). Excavations at Bharadwaja Ashram: with a note on the exploration at Chitrakuta. Archaeological Survey of India.
Braj Basi Lal (2011). Piecing Together: Memoirs of an Archaeologist. Aryan Books International. ISBN 978-81-7305-417-4.
Braj Basi Lal. (2013) Historicity of the Mahabharata: Evidence of Art, Literature and Archaeology. Aryan Books International. ISBN 978-81-7305-458-7 (HB), 978-81-7305-459-4 (PB)
Braj Basi Lal (2015). The Rigvedic People: 'Invaders'?/'Immigrants'? or Indigenous?. Aryan Books International. ISBN 978-81-7305-535-5.
Braj Basi Lal. ( 2015) Excavations at Kalibangan (1961–69): The Harappans. Archaeological Survey of India.
Braj Basi Lal. ( 2017a) Kauśāmbī Revisited Aryan Books International
Braj Basi Lal. ( 2017b) Testing Ancient Traditions on the Touchstone of Archaeology. Aryan Books International
Braj Basi Lal. ( 2019) Agony of an Archaeologist. Aryan Books International.
BR Mani; Rajesh Lal; Neera Misra; Vinay Kumar (2019) Felicitating a Legendary Archaeology Prof B.B. Lal. Vols. III. BR Publishing Corporation. ISBN 9789387587458 (Set of 3 Vols.)
Braj Basi Lal. (2019). From the Mesolithic to the Mahājanapadas: The Rise of Civilisation in the Ganga Valley. Aryan Books International.
Honors
Awarded the title of Vidyā Vāridhi by the Nava Nālandā Mahāvihāra, Nālandā University in 1979.
Awarded the title of Mahāhopādhyāya by Mithila Vishwavidyalaya in 1982
Honorary Fellowship for Life, Asiatic Society of Bengal, 1991
D. Litt. (Honoris Causa) by St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences, Russia, 1994
Awarded the Padma Bhushan by the President of India in 2000
D. Litt. (Honoris Causa) by the Deccan college, 2014
Padma Vibhushan in 2021.
See also
Archaeology of Ayodhya
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