The question of Kampil-Kampilya identity was examined afresh by a multidisciplinary research team, on the basis of IRS satellite multispectral images of the mid-Ganga plain, a predictive geo-archaeological model, and field surveys. Which, in turn, led researchers to the discovery of a complex of ruins: the remains of a fortified structure, locally called Drupad Kira - about five kilometers upstream of the Kampil village.
Set out here are the preliminary findings of this multidisciplinary research, including (a) a study of the late Holocene palaeohydographic evolution of Doab region around Drupad Kila site and the influence of geomorphology/environmental resources on the human historical settlements; (b) an archaeological report, based on the surface survey of the discovered site; and (c) a socio-ethnological study of the villages around the Kila complex. Carried out during 1996-98, these studies: each contributed by the area specialist(s) of the research team, addressed specifically the question whether the Drupad-Kila complex answers to the description of Mahabharata city of Kampilya.
Visualizing the manifold importance of Kampilya - beyond just the archaeological event, the editors have created a holistic "Kampilya Project" to retrieve the cultural and environmental potentialities of the Drupad-Kila complex and its peripheral areas.
Extensively published, Professor Filippi is President of the Venetian Academy of Indian Studies (VAIS), heads Human Sciences research in the "Kampilya Project"; and is Member of Is.I.A.O., Royal Society of Asian Affairs, Indian Archaeological Society, and Paiichal Research Institute, among several other institutions in Europe and India.
Dr. Bruno Marcolongo is a geo-archaeologist and author of international renown, currently Director of Research Unit at the National Research Council of Italy/Institute of Applied Geology in Padua. Also Visiting Professor of Remote Sensing in Earth Sciences at a number of Italian universities, he has academic association with VAIS as well, heading Environment/Remote Sensing Research in its "Kampilya Project". And shares the distinction of being one of the discoverers of Drupad Kila. As an expert for the European Commission/Joint Research Centre of Ispra in various European environmental projects, he established durable collaborations with French CNRS (Scientific Research National Centre) in Paris and Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow - besides his expert involvement in many geo-archaeological missions in Near-Middle East and Central Asia.
The intuition of A. Cunningham (1878), and the most recent investigations of Dr. B.B. Lal (1954-55) and Prof V.N. Misra (1961) identified Kampilya in the vast mound near the small town of Kampil, in the District of Farrukhabad (U.P.). Nevertheless, the archaeological mission of BHU, led in 1976 by Prof K.K. Sinha, demonstrated a very recent date of the deepest layer of the Kampil mound. Attracted by the solution of the problem and by my philological researches on the Mahabharata Epics, I accepted the invitation of the Pancala Research Institute to visit the area of Kampil. In February 1993, I visited the impressive mound of Kampil along with Shree Hazari Mull Banthia, President of the Pancala Research Institute and Prof A. Mishra of the D.A.V. College of the University of Kanpur. On the basis of this first field survey, I led one of my students of the University of Venice, to prepare her thesis on the problem of the discovery of Kampilya. Dr. Annamaria Dallaporta, who is nowadays one of our most close collaborators, after a field mission, has confirmed the conclusions of Prof K.K. Sinha. With the purpose of reaching a solution to the problem, we involved in our research a geo-archaeologist of international repute. With the competence of Dr. Bruno Marcolongo of the C.N.R. / IRPI of Padua in remote sensing technology, our Indological investigations entered a new phase. After studying a remote sensing image of the Kampil area, generated by the LISS-II sensor of the Indian satellite IRS-1B, our team was able to identify a potential old human settlement. A mission organised in February 1996 by the University of Venice, the C.N.R. /IRPI of Padua and the Venetian Academy of Indian Studies (VATS), discovered a vast site of ruins, about five kilometres westward from the village of Kampil.
Facts of the discovery have been published in the Bulletin of the University of Venice ("Cercando Kampilya", Asiatica Venetiana, 1, 1996) and in the Journal of the Italian Embassy in India ("Kampilya Rediscovered", I for Italy, 5, Sept.-Oct. 1996).
The following mission to the same site, in February 1997, could demonstrate that the discovery consisted of a big fortified town, with the walls measuring 780 m x 660 m, orienting towards the points of the compass. On January 7, 1998, the discovery was officially presented in the Rashtrapathi Bhavan, in collaboration with the Director General of the Archaeological Survey of India, Mr. A. Shankar, and the Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts, Banaras Hindu University, Prof Srivastava, in the presence of the Italian Prime Minister Prof Prodi and the Indian Minister for Human Resources Development, Mr. Bommai.
The third mission, in January 1998, confirmed the importance of the archaeological site, to which local peasants called Drupad Kila. During this surface survey an ethnological and social investigation was conducted, which has been already published (Lilia Arnold° e Giovanna Fuggetta, "Echi mahabharatiani in alcuni villaggi dell'Uttar Pradesh", Quaderni Asiatici, 4.4.1998). Also a first evaluation of the antiquity of the site was done too. Actually, the bricks and the terracotta fragments scattered on the surface could be traced to a date variable between the sixth century BC and the first century AD. The excavations in collaboration with our Indian colleagues will be in a better position to determine this point, and to check the underlying potentialities therein. While talking about this project with the Director of the Excavations of the Archaeological Survey of India, Dr. Bisht, on January 28, 1998 we were surprised to find that the dimensions and the orientation of the Drupad KM coincided exactly with those of Dholavira, a mature Harappan town, excavated by the eminent archaeologist. One can see in the present publication, that the maps of these two ancient cities overlaps (see page no. 13), This evidence could demonstrate a continuity of urban models from the Harappans until the Kusana's times, following a shift of human settlements from the missed course of Sarasvati towards Doab.
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