History of the Museum can be divided into six phases as follows;
Phase-I, 1940 – 1961
The Museum was established in 1940 in the main building built in 1864.
The Department of Archaeology was established by Prof. H.D. Sankalia in 1939. He and his
colleagues immediately started carrying out archaeological field work, explorations and
excavations in all parts of the country. First site excavated by his was Langhnaj in Gujrat in
1942. But whatever material was available, out of the very small collection the museum was
established 1940. Than many other sites were excavated like Brahmapur, Rangpur, Nasik, Jorwe,
Mahashwar, Navadatoli, Nevasa, Tripuri, Ter, Chandoli, Ahar, Lalitpur etc. Prof. Sankalia
organised temporary exhibitions at some the sites like Navadatoli, Nevasa and Tripuri.
Antiquities of all these sites were displayed in the museums, slowly museum collection was
During this phase there was no separate staff for the museum. One of the teachers of Department
of Archeology was asked to look after the museum.
Phase –II, 1962- 1982
In 1962 the present building of Department of A.I.H.C. & Archaeology
was constructed. On the first floor of the Department, specially designed galleries of museum
were constructed. Thus the museum was shifted from main building to this newly constructed
building in 1962.There were only four galleries in the museum namely; Stone Age gallery,
Central hall, Chalcolithic gallery, Megalithic & Early Historic gallery. Old horizontal showcases,
separate vertical showcases fixed on the walls, free standing showcases with four side glass and
big wooden open stands were in use for display of antiquities in the museum. The Early Historic
gallery at present then was used to house various scientific laboratories; Archaeozoology,
Palaeontology, Palaeobotany and Anthropology. In the Central Hall excavated material from
some sites was displayed in four horizontal showcases, replica of Nevasa section depicting
cultural sequence of Nevasa and big relief map of India was kept horizontally on the floor in the
centre of the hall. Prof. H.D. Sankalia was Director between1971-1973, then Dr. Amrut Ghatge
became Director and between 1978- 1985, Prof. S.B.Deo was the Director of the Institute.
During this phase one Museum Assistant Shri Gowind Rao Jogalekar was appointed for museum
and one post of Curator was newly created. Shri Pramod Dandwate was selected as first Curator
of the Museum who started working since January 1980 till 2010. Shri Jogalker got retired as
Museum Assistant in 1981and Dr. V.T.Kakde was appointed on his place. He was a good artist
and his major contribution to the museum was a big canvas painting depicting the cultural life of
Megalithic Vidarbh which is still in the Megalithic gallery of the museum but he left the museum
in 1983 and post was vacant till 1984. In the year 1980 a special grant from Ministry of Culture
was given to museum. The newly appointed Curator Mr. Dandwate renovated the Prehistory
gallery and Protohistory gallery utilizing this grant. He prepared a plan and 1981 vertical wooden
showcases with internal lighting arrangement were constructed in both these galleries. Old
horizontal showcases were also in used with some modifications. In Protohistory gallery a
diorama of Inamgaon depicting village life and agricultural life was also erected.
Phase – III, 1983-1986
In 1983 the building of Department of Archaeology was extended and three more galleries were
added to the museum. The four scientific laboratories were also shifted to new building and one
more gallery in the old building was given to museum where Early Historic gallery was shifted
which is still there. The infrastructure and display work was started in 1984 onwards.
Due to the extension of the building of Department of Archaeology four new galleries were
added to the museum in 1983 but the infrastructure and display work was started in 1984 and
was continued till 1993. In 1984 the Early Historic gallery was reorganized. Material was shifted
from present Megalithic gallery to the hall vacated due to the shifting of four scientific
laboratories in the newly built halls. In 1984 Dr. R.K. Mohanty was appointed as Museums
Assistant. He served for eight years and left the museum in 1992 as he was selected as Research
Assistant in the Institute. In 1984, the relief map of India which was lying on the floor of the
Central hall was shifted in the Stone age gallery. It was fixed on one of the walls of the gallery.
The map was very big and heavy, therefore iron clamps were used for fixing the map. In 1984-
85 Megalithic gallery was also reorganized. Big canvas painting was made and photo
enlargements of different megalithic types and other photographs related to megalithic culture
were mounted and displayed in this gallery along with write-ups, labels, maps etc. In 1985,
Sculptures gallery was organized in one of the three halls added to the museum. For this gallery
Curator Shri Dandwate made collection. He visited Varanasi and obtained some original stone
sculptures from Ganga valley in exchange basis. He also visited National Museum, New Delhi,
Mathura Museum and Gwalior Museum and purchased replicas of masterpieces of Indian art.
Out of all these collection the gallery was created.
In 1985 Prof. S.B. Deo retired as Director and Prof. M.K. Dhavalikar became the Director of the
Institute. In 1986, Medieval archaeology gallery was organized. Some original Maratha period
paintings were displayed in this gallery. One hall was kept vacant for few years. In 1986 Shri
Dandwate organized first temporary exhibition as curator at D.A.V. College, Solapur on the
occasion of Maharashtra Itihas Parishad. Then onwards many exhibitions were organized at
many places in India and even abroad.
Phase- IV, 1987-1992
In 1987-88, Departmental building was again extended and two more
hall were made available to the museum. In 1991-92, three more galleries were organized, they
are Numismatics & Epigraphy gallery, Science in Archaeology gallery and Ethno-Archaeology
gallery. Majority of vertical showcases were used in all the three galleries, in addition panels
with inbuilt glass cases, show cases with three side glass and display boards were also used. In
1990 when Prof. V.N. Misra became Director of the Institute, it was decided that the Central Hall
be dedicated in memory of Prof. H.D. Sankalia. Accordingly Shri Dandwate prepared plan for
the gallery. The central hall is hexagonal in shape, on the back wall the Nevasa section was
already existed, on the four walls of either sides where wooden showcases with internal lighting
arrangement were erected. Articles related with Prof. Sanakalia were displayed in these
showcases like his degree certificates, his publications (articles & books), selected excavated
material from some of his excavated sites, awards like padmabhushan and Nehru Fellowship and
his personal belongings etc. A bust of Prof. Sankalia made of fiber glass and displayed on a
wooden pedestal in the centre of the hall.
During this phase Prof. M.K. Dhavalikar retired in 1990 and Prof. V.N. Misra took over as
Director of the Institute. Dr. R.K. Mohanty left the Museum in 1992 as he was selected as
Research Assistant in the Institute.
Phase –V, 1993- 2010
During this particular phase the Museum was almost completed due to
organization of new galleries and reorganization of existing galleries. Display work of the
Central hall was completed in1993 and was renamed as “Prof. H.D. Sankalia memorial Gallery”.
Prehistoric gallery was renamed as Stone Age gallery and Protohistoric gallery was renamed as
In 1993 Shri B.S. Gajul was appointed as Museum Assistant. He is a good Artist-Modeler and
did many things; rearranged display of many showcases, repaired and retouched dioramas,
organized many exhibitions other museum related work.
An important event took place in 1998 and that was the first “One day workshop in Archeology
and History for School Teachers” was organized on 10th December 1998, birth anniversary of
Prof. H.D. Sankalia. Then onwards once in a year (in July) the museum started organizing this
workshop. Till date 23 such workshops have been successfully organized. During this phase
many exhibitions have also been organized at various places in India and even abroad.
During this phase Prof. V.N. Misra retired in 2000 and Dr. S.N. Pathan, Director of Higher and
Technical Education, Government of Maharashtra was given the charge of Director of Deccan
College. In 2003 Prof. K. Paddayya, Joint Director of the Institute was appointed as Director and
Dr. Pathan returned back as Director of Higher Education, Government of Maharashtra. Prof.
Paddayya took interest in development of museum. He retired in 2008 and Prof. S.K. Bhatta
from Sanskrit Dictionary department became Director and Prof. V.S. Shinde from Department of
Archaeology became the Joint Director.
Construction of new building for the Museum started in 2009, out of substantial grant given by
the Government of Maharashtra.
In 2010 Dr. Pramod Dandwate left the museum as Curator as he was appointed as Associate
Professor in the Institute. During the time of Prof. Bhatta, construction work of new museum
building was started out of a substantial grant was given by the Govt. of Maharashtra. Prof.
Bhatta was retired in 2013 and Prof. V.S. Shinde took over as the Director (Vice Chancellor) of
Phase VI, 2011- Till Date
This is very important phase of development of Archaeology
Museum because NAAC Committee visited Deccan College second time in December 2014. A
big project named as National Mission of Monuments and Antiquities (NMMA), sponsored by
A.S.I. was started at Deccan College. Prof. V.S. Shinde became the first Vice Chancellor of the
Deccan College, Deemed University in June 2013. Dr. Pramod Dandwate left the Museum as
Curator as he was selected as Associate Professor in the Institute in December 2010. Shri Gajul
was promoted as Curator of the Museum in 2011. Miss Nilam Dhapre was appointed as Museum
Assistant in the Museum in March 2013. In 2015 entry tickets for Museum was started.
New building of the Museum is almost ready but for infrastructure more funds are demanded to
the Government of Maharashtra. On the occasion of NAAC visit to Deccan College, the
Archaeology Museum was renovated completed. Stone Age renamed as Prehistoric gallery. All
the show cases were reorganized, one flex painting depicting life of stone age man was
displayed. Chalcolithic gallery was also renamed as Protohistoric gallery, display was
reorganized, diorama and model of Inamgaon excavation was retouched, two flex paintings
depicting Harappan culture and information of Potter’s kiln were introduced in the gallery. In
Megalithic gallery big photographs depicting types of megaliths were replaced by new
photographs, horizontal showcases were modified. In Early Historic gallery a big flex painting
depicting importance of this period and findings in various excavations was displayed. Sculpture
gallery was renamed as “Art and Architecture gallery”. A big flex painting depicting various
rock-cut and structural temples in India was displayed. The Medieval Archaeology gallery was
reduced from Museum and was in use as class room. Epigraphy & Numismatics gallery and
Ethnoarchaeology galleries were also renovated. Science in Archaeology gallery was reduced
from the Museum and given to Indian Navy, they organized a gallery named “Maritime Museum
and Library”. Due to the reduction of two galleries and used for other purposes, presently there
are eight galleries, they are as follow :
The Department of Archaeology has been carrying out explorations
in different parts of the country to locate new archaeological sites. Large parts of
Maharashtra, Madhya-Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Andhra-Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan
and Tamilnadu have been explored. The Department has also carried out excavations at
various places i.e. Langhnaj, Bagor, Chirki-Nevasa, Bhimbetka, Hunsgi, Anagawadi,
Bori and Morgaon etc. Large number of stone age tools and animal fossils and have been
collected due to these explorations and excavations, all these are exhibited in several
show cases in this gallery. Some material from other countries like Europe, South Africa,
Australia, Palestine is also on display in this gallery. Different stages of stone age period
like Paleolithic (lower, middle and upper), Mesolithic and Neolithic flourished between
2,00,000 to 2,000 B.P. Horizontal and vertical showcases exhibit the tools and fossils in
this gallery supported by maps, charts, diagrams and line drawings. The gallery also
displays a big relief map of India showing the various topographical features.
2.Prof.H.D.Sankalia Memorial Gallery
The gallery is named after Prof.Sankalia who is
also known as father of Indian archaeology which depicts the contribution of Late
Prof.Sankalia in Indian archaeology; his degree certificates, excavations, books,
excavation reports, articles and awards etc. The gallery also houses an important exhibit
the “Nevasa Section”, the replica of cultural sequence at Nevasa. It depicts the five
cultural stages represented at Nevasa from the hunting-gathering stage of the Stone Age
through Chalcolithic, Satavahana, Indo-Roman times to the Maratha-Muslim Period
(c.4,00,000 years B.P. to the 17th Century C.E.). This scale model gives an idea of the
importance of stratigraphy to the visitors.
Large number of Chalcolithic sites have been excavated by the
Deccan College; Jorwe, Nevasa, Chandoli, Songaon, Inamgaon, Walki, Kayatha, Ahar,
Balathal, Navadatoli and Kunthasi etc. Large number of Chalcolithic antiquities like
pottery, stone objects, beads, terracotta objects, bone objects, human skeleton remains,
animal bones, copper objects like axes, chisels, bangles, rings fish hooks, beads etc. have
been discovered and are on display in this gallery. In addition few antiquities,
photographs, and drawings from Indus valley civilization are also on display in this
gallery. An important and pride exhibit of this gallery is the original Potter’s kiln from
Inamgaon of late Jorwe period (c.1,000 B.C.E.). A life size diorama of the social life of
Chalcolithic village, Inamgon is also on display in this gallery.
Large number of Megalithic sites in Vidarbha region of
Maharashtra have been excavated; Naikund, Mahurajhari, Borgaon, Khairwada,
Bhagimohari, Hingna Raipur and Hirapur etc. Large number of copper and iron objects
were discovered; horse ornaments, bowls with decorated lids, axes, hoes, chisels, horse
bits, nail-pairers, few gold ornaments, pottery and stone objects. All these objects (except
gold ornaments) are on display in this gallery. Large mounted photographs depicting
different megalithic types in various parts of India are displayed on the walls of this
gallery. One replica of stone circle type of megalith which is found in large scale in
Vidarbha part of Maharashtra is displayed in this gallery. A replica of iron smelting
furnace found in the excavation at Naikund dated to 600 B.C.E. is also on display in this
gallery. The gallery also displays a big canvas painting depicting the social life of the
5. Early History Gallery
The Department has also been engaged in excavations of Early
Historic sites; Maheshwar, Dwarka, Nasik, Nevasa, Kahali-Brahmapuri, Bhon, Paturda,
Siddhapur, Chaul, Junnar and Shiur etc. The antiquities recovered from these sites are;
pottery, beads, terracotta objects, coins, copper and iron objects, some of them are on
display in this gallery. One big canvas painting explaining the importance of this period
(4th Century to 9th Century C.E.) and cultural material of the period found in different
sites during excavations is also displayed in this gallery. One of the pride collections of
this gallery is beautiful handmade chaitya model of terracotta from Nevasa.
6.Art and Architecture Gallery
The sculptural art of India right from the Mauryan
period (3rd century A.D.) to the Medieval period (14th century A.D.) is being depicted in
this gallery. Few original sculptures from Ganga valley received from Banaras Hindu
University (BHU), Varanasi, on exchange basis are on display in this gallery. There are
some replicas of masterpieces of Indian art like Asokan lion capital, Sarnath the National
symbol, Rampurva bull capital, Salbhanjika and Surasundari figures from Mathura,
sculptural pieces of Gupta art and medieval period are exhibited in this gallery
purchased from National Museum, New Delhi, State Museum, Mathura and GujariMahal
Museum, Gwalior. A big flax depicting selected examples of Indian rock-cut cave
art and structural temple architecture is also depicted which include; Sanchi, Udaigiri,
Ellora, Mahabalipuram, Khajuraho and Odishan temples etc.
7. Epigraphy and Numismatics Gallery
The museum houses photographs and
estampages of stone inscriptions from different places and a few copper plates. But the
originals are not displayed only photographs of inscriptions and copper plates are on
The coin collection of the Museum has been enriched by coins from archaeological
excavations conducted by the Deccan College from Nevasa, Nasik etc. Photoenlargements
of some of the coins and also some photographs of some of the
masterpieces of Indian coinage are on display in this gallery.
8. Ethnoarchaeology Gallery
The Department is also engaged in studying the
technology, material culture and economy of various tribal communities; Bastar in
Madhya-Pradesh, Koraput in Orissa, Andhra-Pradesh, Gujrat and Rajasthan with a
bearing on the understanding of the earlier hunter-gatherer and farming communities. The
principle exhibits are; fishing traps & nets, animal & bird traps, storage bins, baskets etc.,
ritual objects of clay & metal, dress & ornaments, weapons and musical instruments etc.