Digging deeper

Podcast : How studying metals can help us piece together our past

Metallurgy can help identify the origin of a historical artifact.

On June 7, India got back some treasured pieces of its past when, in a symbolic gesture, the US returned more than 200 cultural artifacts worth millions of dollars stolen from India to Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his three-day visit.

While stories of how these artifacts – that include statues, bronze sculptures and terracotta coins – came to be stolen in the first place is fascinating enough, such treasure-troves of our past also throw up interesting challenges and questions for scientists, conservationists and historians.

For instance – how do you establish and verify the origin of a historical artifact? How do you trace it back to the precise era from which it came? And crucially, how do you tell real ones from fakes?

It was precisely such a conundrum that nuclear scientist Dr Baldev Raj first confronted a few decades ago, when the curator of the Government Musuem in Madras approached him with a problem – bronze idols dating back to the Chola period that had been stolen were being returned or retrieved, but there was no way to identify if they were real.

As it turns out, scientists can trace fingerprints of the idol to give answer such questions and give us crucial clues to our heritage.

This episode of The Intersection tells us more about Dr Raj’s unique solution and talks about the techniques that can be used for fingerprinting such idols so that we can dig a little deeper into our history.

This is the latest episode of The Intersection, a fortnightly podcast on Audiomatic. For more such podcasts, visit audiomatic.in.

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Sponsored Content BY 

Bringing your parents into the digital fold can be a rewarding experience

Contrary to popular sentiment, being the tech support for your parents might be a great use of your time and theirs.

If you look up ‘Parents vs technology’, you’ll be showered with a barrage of hilariously adorable and relatable memes. Half the hilarity of these memes sprouts from their familiarity as most of us have found ourselves in similar troubleshooting situations. Helping a parent understand and operate technology can be trying. However, as you sit, exasperated, deleting the gazillion empty folders that your mum has accidentally made, you might be losing out on an opportunity to enrich her life.

After the advent of technology in our everyday personal and work lives, parents have tried to embrace the brand-new ways to work and communicate with a bit of help from us, the digital natives. And while they successfully send Whatsapp messages and make video calls, a tremendous amount of unfulfilled potential has fallen through the presumptuous gap that lies between their ambition and our understanding of their technological needs.

When Priyanka Gothi’s mother retired after 35 years of being a teacher, Priyanka decided to create a first of its kind marketplace that would leverage the experience and potential of retirees by providing them with flexible job opportunities. Her Hong Kong based novel venture, Retired, Not Out is reimagining retirement by creating a channel through which the senior generation can continue to contribute to the society.

Our belief is that tech is highly learnable. And learning doesn’t stop when you graduate from school. That is why we have designed specific programmes for seniors to embrace technology to aid their personal and professional goals.

— Priyanka Gothi, Founder & CEO, Retired Not Out

Ideas like Retired Not Out promote inclusiveness and help instil confidence in a generation that has not grown up with technology. A positive change in our parent’s lives can be created if we flip the perspective on the time spent helping them operate a laptop and view it as an exercise in empowerment. For instance, by becoming proficient in Microsoft Excel, a senior with 25 years of experience in finance, could continue to work part time as a Finance Manager. Similarly, parents can run consultation blogs or augment their hobbies and continue to lead a fulfilling and meaningful life.

Advocating the same message, Lenovo’s new web-film captures the void that retirement creates in a person’s life, one that can be filled by, as Lenovo puts it, gifting them a future.


Depending on the role technology plays, it can either leave the senior generation behind or it can enable them to lead an ambitious and productive life. This festive season, give this a thought as you spend time with family.

To make one of Lenovo’s laptops a part of the family, see here.

This article was produced on behalf of Lenovo by the Scroll.in marketing team and not by the Scroll.in editorial staff.