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Postgraduate Research

Dr Archana Verma edits an online journal South Asian Arts: http://southasianarts.org/.

She has been a Fellow at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Simla and a Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Archaeology, UCL. She has also taught Indian art history at the School of Arts and Aesthetics, JNU and at a Study Abroad Programme organised by the American Institute of Indian Studies, New Delhi.

Dr Verma has recently completed a project entitled ‘Studying the Archaeological Evidence Linked to Religion’. This work involved translating archaeological reports from central India and identifying all the iconographic material, which could then be located on the map. The formation of the historical geography of the region was closely linked to this work.

This project also involved studying the iconographic profile of the Vidisha region. Apart from the images found in relation to the temple sites, there are many images strewn across the region. It was important to identify what kind of cultic images were found in this loose state and to relate them to the epigraphic evidence. An iconographic profile of the region from this research showed a close link to the epigraphic evidence regarding religious cults existing in the region. The epigraphic evidence could be closely identified with the iconographic evidence. Through this study, the dynamism in the temple religion that existed in Vidisha could be traced, thus exploring the fluidity in religious cults propagated by the temples, rather than viewing the temples as static structures.