Preserving Indian Heritage in the Arctic

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GURGAON, India, Sept. 16, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — On September 15th, 2022, the Piql India (Giopel Import Export Pvt Ltd) team physically deposited the digital version of 3 heritage sites in the Arctic Vault Archive located at Longyearbeyn in the Svalbard archipelago in the Arctic region along with many more treasures from all over the world. 

Piql India is the India partner of Piql AS a Norwegian company which founded the AWA in 2017. Piql India is involved in digitization and preservation of various types of papers, books, objects, monuments and sites all across the country. The final content once processed (both analogue and digital) can be stored on a photo sensitive film on which data is preserved for thousands of years and retrievable in the future irrespective of the changes in technology.

The 3 deposits from India consisted of The Taj Mahal, Dholavira and The Bhimbetka caves.

The deposits was facilitated by Archaeological Survey of India and the Ministry of Culture in India. The ASI team oversaw the scanning process and provided logistical and complete ground support for the 3 projects. Piql team along with their digitization partners did the scanning, digitization and used various technologies by creating 3D outputs, VR walk-throughs, panoramic pictures and drone outputs along with geo data points to ensure that a complete digital footprint of the 3 sites is created and preserved for research and future rebuilding. These treasures are a valuable addition to the growing repository of world memory. Piql hosted a ceremony at the AWA. The Indian Ambassador to Norway Dr. B Bala Bhasker was present at the ceremony and congratulated Piql on the wonderful work that it was doing in preserving world memories and looked forward to having many more such deposits from India in the future. Dr. Bhasker physically deposited the Taj Mahal’s digital version in the Arctic World Archive vault.

It is a very significant event for Indian Heritage Preservation as the Taj Mahal being one of the 7 wonders of the world is India’s most famous and widely recognized building. A digital footprint of The Taj Mahal is now being preserved in AWA in the form of 3D images,  photos and videos are a being preserved for eternity.  It will provide a lot of insight and help in rebuilding and research into the building, design and architectural practices prevalent in that era.

A digital version of Dholavira, a 5000 year old Harrapan City and UNESCO protected Heritage site is also being stored at the AWA. The archaeological site has outstanding universal value as it is one of one of the best-preserved urban settlements from the period in Southeast Asia, It comprises of a fortified city and a cemetery. Two seasonal streams provided water, a scarce resource in the region, to the walled city which comprises a heavily fortified castle and ceremonial ground as well as streets and houses of different proportions and quality which testify to a stratified social order. A sophisticated water management system demonstrates the ingenuity of the Dholavira people in their struggle to survive and thrive in a harsh environment. “Dholavira has now been digitized by the Piql team  and is being digitally preserved and stored in the safest place in the world – the Arctic World Archive (AWA) for the benefit of future generations,” said Sunil Chitara Founder Director of Piql India, while physically depositing the Dholavira digital content.

And the third deposit is the digital version of the Bhimbetka Rock shelter complex which consists of some 700 shelters and is one of the largest repositories of prehistoric art in India. The shelters were designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2003. The paintings, which display great vitality and narrative skill, are categorized into different prehistoric periods. The oldest is dated to the Late Paleolithic Period (Old Stone Age) and consist of large linear representations of rhinoceroses and bears. Paintings from Mesolithic (Middle Stone Age) times are smaller and portray animal and human activities. Drawings from the Chalcolithic Period (early Bronze Age) showcase the early humans’ conceptions of agriculture. Finally, the decorative paintings dating to the caves provide a rare glimpse at a sequence of cultural development from early nomadic hunter-gatherers to settled cultivators to expressions of spirituality. Speaking at the deposit ceremony in Svalbard while depositing the Bhimbetka content, Ravish Mehra, Founder Director and CEO of Piql India commented, “This digital data will provide invaluable resources for research of millions of years of history and tracking the evolution of man over thousands of years.”

He further commented, “It’s a wonderful day for Indian heritage preservation effort. The 3D models, pictures, point cloud data and videos of the monuments will offer a great insight to the future generations and will be a very important source for research and to recreate the monuments if ever required. In this digital era where millions of Rupees are being spent on creating digital content, Piql offers a unique preservation solution where data can be stored and is retrievable for centuries irrespective of any change in technology. Being passive and offline it is also one of the greenest storage solutions in the world today. We look forward to more such deposits from India.”

About AWA

AWA is a proof data vault with a growing digital repository of world memory located at the remote island of Svalbard in the Arctic Ocean. Founded by Piql AS, the archive uses innovative technology for archiving that has repurposed photosensitive film to be a digital medium. Data is stored using high-density QR codes with all information needed to recover the information also stored on the film, making it self-contained and future-proof. This tried and tested technology can keep data alive for hundreds of years, without the need for migration.

About Piql

From archival management, through to perpetual storage and arctic vaults, Piql offers tailored services to meet your needs, realising the value of your content and ensuring future access to your information. Piql India is the India partner of Piql AS a Norwegian company which founded the AWA in 2017. Piql India is involved in digitization and preservation of various types of papers, books, objects, monuments and sites all across the country. The final content once processed (both analogue and digital) can be stored on a photo sensitive film on which data is preserved for thousands of years and retrievable in the future irrespective of the changes in technology.

Media Contact:

Piql

info@piql.in 

T: +0124-4245938

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