Field Trip in Odisha – Gathering Metadata
Text : A. Wattelier-Bricout
During the last week of January, three members of the DHARMA Project (Prof. Dr. Annette Schmiedchen, Prof. Dr. Arlo Griffiths and Dr. Amandine Wattelier-Bricout) travelled to Bhubaneswar in Odisha and joined forces to document some inscriptions and collect the metadata required to complete the DHARMA database.
During our stay at Bhubaneswar, we focused our efforts on the Odisha State Museum which has a large collection of copper plates. After having obtained the authorisations from the superintendent Dr. Bhagyalipi Malla and the support of the curator Dr. Bharati Pal, we photographed about ten copper plate inscriptions from the Bhaumakara corpus and about fifteen from the Somavaṁśin corpus, as well as some from other corpora.
The gathering of metadata was carried out using the field form designed by Adeline Levivier. In addition to the photographs of each specimen, we weighed each set and each plate, as well as the seal and the ring (when preserved). The height and width of each plate were measured, while the thickness of the plates and seals were measured with a calliper.
A visit to the Khandagiri and Udayagiri site in Bhubaneswar also provided the opportunity to photograph in situ two stone inscriptions from the time of the Somavaṁśin king Uddyotakeśarin and engraved on the walls of the Navamuni cave, which is still occupied by ascetics. The anointing of these inscriptions seems to indicate that they still have a certain sacredness in their eyes.