The objective of the next set of posts is to make meaningful interpretation of the remains on the basis of archaeological evidences and then relate them to the literature that exits which would help us sieve through the myths and the facts.
The process that we plan to follow would involve collecting the archaeological evidences followed by a chronological chart that would categorize that information. After that we gather the information offered to us in the various eyewitness accounts and sort them through a matrix.
The next step would be to establish the link between the above mentioned data and draw logical conclusions based on the analysis and try to extend the results of that analysis to the unexcavated mounds in the vicinity.
After establishing a base line with that collective effort, we plan to use the help of modern mapping techniques and correlate the points with geographic locations.
Nalanda ruins give us a foot print of the grandeur of the university that used to command its presence centuries ago.
It gives us a lot of pieces and we need to fit them together to solve the puzzle; just that some of the pieces are missing and a lot of them are damaged. Besides that when the renovations were carried out on the structure in its prime days, it was mostly build on the rubble of the structure that was torn down. In the ruins, the different layer in which the building must have been constructed is quite apparent.
The university lasted for almost 8 centuries and from the evidences so far it can be concurred that the foundation to main structure was laid during the ‘Gupta’ dynasty and it continued to grow all through the following Pala period before its decline in the 12 century with the advent of Muslim invaders.
As a first step we’d be collecting data from the Annual reports of the Archaeological Survey of India and compile a report and present it in a tabulated from.
It would be based on chronological order and essentially founded on the clues gathered during excavations and with those clues comes the limitation of dating technology of the time and also the documentation of the excavation site that might have been overlooked at the time.
The effort is to arrange the excavated site chronologically based on the clues found during excavation and the literature that have been interpreted so far from the various eye-witness accounts.