National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS) is a premier institute in India engaged in interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research in natural sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities.
It was founded by J. R. D Tata for providing an avenue for administrators, managers and social leaders for interaction and exchange of information with notable academics in the areas of science, arts and humanities. With these objectives, the institute conducts multi-level research programmes and mentors talented doctoral students. The institution, based in Bengaluru, in the south Indian state of Karnataka, started functioning on 20 June 1988 with Dr. Raja Ramanna as its founder director.
School of Humanities
The School of Humanities is engaged in research in the broad areas of philosophy, psychology, literature, fine arts, and culture. Research in the School currently focuses on philosophical foundations of sciences; cognitive sciences; scientific and philosophical studies of consciousness; Indian psychology and philosophy; history and philosophy of biology; archaeometallurgy and analysis of ancient metals; and translations of literary classics in Kannada into English.
Heritage, Science and Society program
The Heritage, Science and Society program is one of four schools located under the School of Humanities. This program is headed by Prof Shardha Srinivasan and it focuses on research in areas such as archaeology, art history and heritage studies. Following the NIAS mandate, the heritage science and society program uses a multi disciplinary approach in studying the past, as well as dissemination of the research.
Some faculty members are familiar with experimental archaeology. They carry out experimental archaeology as a part of their research. So far, two experimental iron smelting sessions, including building a furnace, have been carried out, as well as an experimental firing of pottery. These activities have taken place on campus, which familiarised students with the protocol and the techniques. Some classes on experimental archaeology have also taken place as part of the PhD programme, and a special course exclusively on this subject will be introduced in the academic year 2020-2021.
The NIAS also carries out public outreach workshops, for example on flint knapping or iron smelting, thus engaging experimental archaeology.