Tathagata Neogi


10th October 2013:

Historical Metallurgy Society Research in Progress Meeting

Paper Title: Forging tools, building relations: the social context of iron-working in South India

14th June 2013:

50th Anniversary Conference of Historical Metallurgy Society, London

Paper Presented: Festival of Mammayee: The socio-cultural context of iron-working in northern Telangana, India T. Neogi1, G. Juleff2, Sharada Srinivasan3 1. Department of Archaeology, University of Exeter, U.K. & NIAS, India; tn241@exeter.ac.uk 2. Department of Archaeology, University of Exeter, U.K.; 3. National Institute of Advanced Studies, India; sharasri@gmail.com Abstract: Archaeological field survey conducted under the Pioneering Metallurgy Project of 2010 in four districts (Karimnagar, Adilabad, Nizamabad and Warrangal) of the south Indian state of Andhra Pradesh has revealed significant evidence of iron and steel production in antiquity. As an integral part of this project, a preliminary ethnographic study was undertaken among the extant traditional iron working community (both erstwhile smelter turned blacksmiths and traditional blacksmith families) and their clientele to salvage the fast disappearing memory of past smelting technology and to aid understanding of the archaeometallurgical record from a socio-cultural perspective. The first author is undertaking a detailed ethnoarchaeological study of the society, culture, traditions and technology of present day traditional iron-working communities of south and central India as postgraduate research. An important aspect of this ethnoarchaeological study has been recording the annual festival of the local cult of goddess Mammayee. Mammayee is the goddess of metal workers, especially the blacksmiths and the cult, along with its rituals, serve as an important force in determining the social and cultural behaviour of local blacksmiths, both in relation to their craft and in the way in which intra- and inter-caste relationships are defined in social space and played out in physical space. The present poster documents different aspects of this festival and the detailed rituals of renewal that are enacted and seeks to provide insights into an important but fading tradition.

15th November 2011:

UKIERI Pioneering Metallurgy Dissemination Seminar, Bangalore, India

Paper presented: Paper title: Pioneering Metallurgy Ethnoarchaeological Survey: methods and observations

8th April 2011:

First International Conference of International Association of Asian Heritage, Colmbo, Sri Lanka

Paper presented: Paper title: Situating False Door Architecture of Bengal in a Global Perspective

21st August 2010:

Third International Congress of Society of South Asian Archaeology, Kelaniya, Sri Lanka

Paper title: Mammayee Festival in the NorthernTelangana Region: Insights of a fading tradition (as the first author co-authored with Juleff, G., Jaikishan, S., Srinivasan, S. andRanganathan, S.)