Sivasagar deputy commissioner Dr M S Lakshmi Priya felicitating Assam minister Keshab Mahanta at the national seminar on November 20, 2019. Image: Northeast Now

The Directorate of Archaeology, Assam in collaboration with Sivasagar district administration organized a national seminar on Wednesday in Sivasagar commemorating ‘World Heritage Week’.

The national seminar was organized at the Yuva Dal auditorium in Sivasagar.

World Heritage Week is celebrated from November 19 to 25 every year.

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It is celebrated to create awareness about the importance of monuments and the need for preservation.

It is also celebrated to encourage youth and to involve them in the preservation of the ancient monuments and sites.

The inauguration of the national seminar was graced by state minister for cultural affairs (archaeology and library services), Keshab Mahanta.

Speaking on the occasion, Mahanta highlighted the potentials with regard to historic, cultural and tourism in the four districts of Sivasagar, Charaideo, Dibrugarh and Tinsukia.

He also said the State Government has earmarked Rs 450 crore for development works in all these four districts.

This fund will have Rs 100 crore each at the disposal of the deputy commissioner while Rs 50 crore will at the discretion of the chief minister.

The minister said the State Government has laid special emphasis on the preservation of the archaeological sites and ancient monuments.

He also sought the cooperation of the people in this regard.

Speaking on the occasion, Sivasagar deputy commissioner Dr M S Lakshmi Priya said the initiative ‘Soulful Sivasagar’ aims in conservation of archaeological site and monuments and promoting the same for tourism.

The director of archaeology, Dr Deepi Rekha Kouli presented the inaugural speech.

In the academic session, the keynote address was presented by Dr Nizamuddin Taher, director (retd), Archaeological Survey of India.

Dr Taher presented case studies on ‘preventive conservation and minimum interventions.

“We cannot capture time but we can at least document monuments that showcase the people’s struggles with the passage of time,” he said.

He further said the Archaeological Survey of India must stick to the basics of Indian tradition rather than following the West in the art of preservation of monuments.

Dr Jahnabi Gogoi Nath from the department of History, Dibrugarh University presented a paper on the ‘Paik System and the Role of Wet Rice Economy in Ahom State Formation.’

Arsh Ali, who is dubbed as the youngest archaeologist and Egyptologist, impressed the gathering with a comparative demonstration of Ahom maidam archaeology with Egyptian, Greek, Brunaian, Chinese, Japanese and Thai culture of maidam-making tradition over the last two millennium.

Sikhamoni Konwar, professor, Karmashree Hiteswar Saikia College, spoke on ‘The Maidams of Charaideo: An Overview’.

Jiten Borpatragohain, professor (retd), Namrup College delivered a speech on the ‘Historical Significance of Charaideo’.

Dr Mamoni Gogoi Dhar of Gargaon College in Sivasagar spoke on ‘Maidams of the Ahom Period and some aspects of their administration.’

Dr Manzil Hazarika of Cotton College read out his paper on ‘The Growing list of World Heritage Sites: Prospects of the North East’.

Dr Neel Kamal Sing of Bodoland University spoke on ‘Early Brick Structures of the Brahmaputra Valley: Dimensions and Dynamics.’

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The participants at the heritage walk. Image: Northeast Now

Earlier in the morning, a ‘heritage walk’ was taken out from Rang Ghar at 6 am.

The enthusiastic participants walked the track from Rang Ghar to Talatal Ghar and Joy Doul and then back to Rang Ghar.

The heritage walk was participated by minister Keshab Mahanta; Sivasagar deputy commissioner Dr M S Lakshmi Priya; director of archaeology, Dr Deepi Rekha Kouli and resource persons of the national seminar.

The walk was also participated by officials of the district administration, civil defence, Bharat Scouts and Guides, NCC cadres, students of various schools and prominent citizens.

The heritage walk was an attempt to create awareness among the people towards conservation of ancient monuments.

The winners of the art competition organized in connection with World Heritage Week by the Sivasagar district administration were also awarded on the occasion.

The first prize was bagged by Abhijit Orang of Moran Higher Secondary School.

Manoranjan Gohain of Sibsagar Government Higher Secondary and Multi-purpose School came second while the third prize was bagged by Satya Ranjan Saikia of Bogidol High School.

The sub-divisional officer (civil) of Nazira, Rajiv Thapa was also present on the occasion.

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