IIT Gandhinagar plans to set up a new lab for carbon-dating. A centre for archeological science has already been set up in the institute and it will see a multi disciplinary approach to archeology, along with the establishment of a carbon-dating lab.
Dr Sudhir Jain, Director, IIT-Gn stated that in order to understand the heritage and roots of the country better, science and technology will be used. The centre will focus on application of archeological sciences through a number of disciplines, like civil, mechanical, electrical, chemical and material engineering and metallurgy. The Archeological Survey of India (ASI) is funding the laboratory, which will use modern chemical analysis and carbon dating tools to determine the age of artifacts from other parts of the country.
Carbon dating is a radiometric dating technique that uses the decay of carbon-14 to determine the age of organic materials like wood, leather, etc. as old as 58,000 to 62,000 years. The date of one such sample costs around Rs 58,000 - Rs 60,000 but Dr Jain said that they intend to do it free or at a nominal fee in order to make this science available to maximum number of people in the country.
The first senior faculty joining the centre at IIT-Gn is V N Prabhakar, who was superintending archaeologist with the ASI for over a decade. "He will be interfacing with the archaeology industry,scientists and students. We will also have Padma Shri Dr R S Bisht joining us as guest faculty," said
Prof S P Mehrotra, Dean, Research and Development, IIT-Gn.