of the Indian Period from 1947
Pratap Chandra Dutta (*1930)
P.C. Dutta's book on the Chauldari kitchen midden is
The Great Andamanese - Past and Present, Anthropological
Survey of India, 1978.
P.C. Dutta's book on the Chauldari kitchen midden is The Great Andamanese - Past and Present, Anthropological Survey of India, 1978.
Pratap Chandra Dutta was born in Calcutta in 1930, the son of a medical doctor. He received his MSc degree in anthropology in 1953, his PhD in 1975 and his DSc in 1976 from Calcutta University. His doctoral work was related both to the Andamanese and to skeletal remains of the Indus Civilization. Dutta has been a member of the Anthropological Survey of India since 1955, rising to be head of its physical anthropology division. He has earned his status as a pioneer of Andamanese studies by being the first Indian scientist to conduct a professional archaeological excavation of the island's kitchen midden.
During the mid-1950s Dutta took part in archaeological excavations at a number of sites of the Indus Valley civilization in Punjab, obtaining his certification as a field archaeologist. Additional excavation work in Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh followed. At Sarai Nahar Rai in Uttar Pradesh Dutta was one of the archaeologists who uncovered the oldest fossil remains of modern man found in India up to that time. Under the auspices of the Anthropological Survey of India Dutta excavated kitchen midden in the Andaman islands 1959-60 and published his results in The Great Andamanese: Past and Present in 1978. This book is still a major source on Andamanese prehistory and - together with Lidio Ciprani's (q.v) and Zarine Cooper's (q.v) - represent the sum total of our present knowledge on the subject.
Dutta's main interests are the skeletal biology of ancient human populations, especially those of Mesolithic and Neolithic sites, as well as those relating to the bronze-age Indus Valley civilization and succeeding iron-age cultures, the reconstruction of the Andamanese aborigines' past, methodological studies of archaeological procedures, bio-anthropological studies of living populations involving anthropometry, dermatoglyphics and other morphological traits, demography, blood group statistics, genetics and ecological adaptations of migrant populations.
Dutta participated in many Indian and international scientific gatherings dealing with paleontology, stratigraphy, primate biology, physical anthropology and related subjects. In 1974 he visited (then communist-ruled) Czechoslovakia as a delegate of the Indian government to acquaint himself with methods and techniques used in human paleontology. Visits to other European countries, including Great Britain and France, followed. He attracted international attention in 1982 when he was invited to participate at the First International Congress of Human Paleontology held at Nice, France.
Dutta is on the editorial boards of a number of periodicals, namely the Czech Anthropologie and one of the editors of the Indian Human Science. During the 1960 to 1980s he was editor of the Journal of the Indian Anthropological Society and the Newsletter of the Anthropological Survey of India. During the1950s to 1970s he was also a council member of the Indian Anthropological Society and a member of the Indian Science Congress Association.
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Last changed 12 March 2006