A world-renowned archaeologist, Prof. B.B. Lal was the Director General of the Archaeological Survey of India from 1968 to 1972. In the latter year he took voluntary retirement to pursue his research programmes independently. First he joined Jiwaji University, Gwalior, as a Professor and later the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, of which he was also the Director.
Professor Lal’s excavations cover a very wide range — from palaeolithic times to early historical. At Kalibangan, Rajasthan, he unearthed a prosperous city of the Harappan Civilization. The excavations at Hastinapura, Indraprastha, etc. have established that there was a kernel of truth in the Mahabharata, even though the epic is full of interpolations. Likewise, his excavations at Ayodhya, Sringaverapura, etc. have indicated that the Ramayana too has a basis in history. In 1961, he conducted excavations in Egypt also, which threw welcome light on Egyptian prehistory.
His publications include over 150 seminal research papers, published in scientific journals, both in India and abroad: USA, UK, France, Italy, Russia, Egypt, Afghanistan, Japan, etc. Amongst his latest books are: Historicity of the Mahabharata: Evidence of Literature, Art and Archaeology (2013); The Rigvedic People: ‘Invaders’?/‘Immigrants’? or Indigenous (Evidence of Archaeology and Literature) (2015); Kausambi Revisited (2017); From the Mesolithic to the Mahajanapadas: The March towards Urbanization in the Ganga Basin (2019).
In 1994, Prof. Lal was awarded D. Litt. (Honoris causa) by Institute of Archaeology, St. Petersburg, Russia. The same year he presided over World Archaeological Congress. He has been Chairman and member of several committees of UNESCO. In 1982, Mithila Visvavidyalaya honoured him with the title of Mahamahopadhyaya. In 2014, the Deccan College, Postgradua