Number of Sessions: 5
Resource Person: Dr. Prateek Chakraborty
Lecture 1: An Introduction to Palaeontology
o What is “Palaeontology”?
o The cultural and scientific antecedents of 19 th -century Palaeontology
o Subject matter and common objectives
o Fossils, Fossilisation, and the creation of the ‘fossil record’
Lecture 2: Geological timelines and the history of life on earth
o A brief introduction to the Geological timescale and associated terms
o Ages, Eras and Epochs
o Different models of the origin of life
o The Evolution and development of life on Earth- Proterozoic to Mesozoic
Lecture 3: The origins of modern life
o Post dinosaurian life on Earth- Cenozoic to present
o Fossil records in the Pleistocene and Holocene
o Major sites around the world
Lecture 4: Methodology: Basic
o Field methods
o Foot survey, field identification
o Initial analysis, measurement and reconstruction
Lecture 5: Advanced Methods
o Laboratory applications
o Palaeontology and Analytical Sciences
Stable Isotopes and trace elements
Osteology and biomechanics
About the Speaker:
Prateek Chakraborty has completed his M.A. and Ph.D in Ancient Indian History, Culture and Archaeology from Deccan College PGRI, Pune. Presently, he holds the post of Scientific Assistant in the Palaeontology Laboratory, and specialises in the study of large vertebrate fauna from the Late Quaternary period.
He has studied the faunal collections from sites such as Inamgaon in Maharashtra, Kurnool in Andhra Pradesh, Champaner-Pavagadh in Gujarat and Rakhigarhi in Haryana, and has participated in explorations and experimental field investigations in other parts of the country, looking into the origins and evolutionary taxonomy of large mammalian megafauna. Apart from faunal studies from various sites in the Indian subcontinent, he has also worked on experimental studies on the deterioration of large vertebrates in both controlled and natural environments and is a contributor to the Global Bone Weathering Project initiated by the International Council for Archaeozoological Studies.
He has presented his research in various national and international conferences, and has co-organised sessions at conferences such as ICAZ 2014. He has also assisted in organising a joint symposium on late quaternary megafaunal extinctions with the Zoological Society, London.
More recently, he has focused on the interaction of techniques between Palaeontology and Archaeology, and the application of certain methodologies from one to the other, such as bone histology, Stable Isotope analysis, and so on, focusing on the analytical techniques applicable on faunal material from archaeological and palaeontological contexts, and the collection and interpretation of data from the same.
He has also been part of various public outreach and education events intended to introduce the public to Archaeology and Palaeontology. These have been conducted by Symbiosis School Pune, Sharma Centre for Heritage Studies, Chennai, The Center for Extramural Studies, University of Mumbai, Sprouts Trust Mumbai, and the Indian Science Congress.