Located in the district of Gulbarga (Karnataka) southwest of Shahabad, along the Bhima river, Fort Firuzabad (17°04’17.14’’N 76°47’54.70’’E) is well preserved and its walls that form a square 1200 mètres² home to many buildings. The wall and the buildings are well preserved despite the lack of local government interest and making conservation issue here (since the site is not protected). Indeed, in 1985, George Michell already deplored the destruction of monuments by the villagers to take stones for new construction. Almost 30 years later, the consequences could be severe. The village is located in the Northwest, only cultivated fields dominate the interior of the fort and the remains.
To consolidate Bahmani Sultanate against the kingdom of Vijayanagar, during Firuz Shah reign (1397-1422), Firuzabad was founded in 1399, on the road of many military campaigns against Vijayanagar in the Doab. It was a military camp and a gathering place for troops. After 1415, Firuzabad became the capital of substitution and place of residence of the royal family. Following the invasion of Mahmud Khalji of Malwa in 1461, the fort hosts Nizam al Din Ahmad III and the royal treasury. Then the site is gradually losing importance, perhaps due to a drying up of the river, leaving the fort in the same state from the fifteenth century.
The site has long been ignored by researchers and authorities until a first publication in 1992 (Michell and Eaton) then nothing. We must now find this site, key of understanding of medieval Deccan in India, and study it.
Why organize an archaeological mission in Firozabad? Firozabad is one of the first cities built entirely by Muslims in central India (Deccan). We must study it if we want to understand the history of this period.
Several monuments of the city are still preserved and have been identified, but they have not been studied or drawn (plans will be designed by our team of young students in Architecture and through new survey with photogrammetry (see video of the 3D model made last year in Torgal, Karnataka), we can modelize the full 3D map of the city and monuments to understand its dynamics and evolution. The researchers highlighted the loans of art and architecture with Timurid relations, Iran and Central Asia and the rest of India. The monography study gives us a new approach and tells us about history, urban planning and architecture of the site.
Finally, thanks to the 3D model accuracy, a study report on the damage to the site since the last survey is possible to alert the authorities to safeguard the site. For this, we need accurate and complete site plans (DEM contours, ground plan of the city), hence the advantage of using 3D from aerial photos with the help of Nicolas Chorier (http://nicopix.zenfolio.com/ Pondicherry) and equipment (kite and camera sensor mounted on the aerial stabilizing basket on the kite). This project requires few material and financial resources in comparison of the results.
We have brought together the skills and equipment needed to start this project. Nicolas Morelle, archaeologist and professional surveyor ; Nicolas Chorier, professional aerial photographer (Kite's Eye View Company Private Limited) and Jean Deloche (scientific advisor to the mission, EFEO Pondicherry).
Localisation of Firozabad, Gulbarga district, Karnataka.
Three objectives to be achieved within two weeks in December 2014: -Train Indians and Frenchs students for our cooperation about techniques (surveying and 3D photogrammetry). -Modelize an entire archaeological site with aerial kite-photography. A small cost for a high efficiency results. In fact a lot of information can be derived from these pictures: the 3D model, orthophotos, plans, topographical levels curves ... -do analysis and archaeological study of the site for historical understanding.
East gate of Firozabad
the first hammam built in Deccan (around 1400)
model from 3D software
Coupe du grand bassin du site de Torgal (2014) faite à partir du modèle 3D.
The report will result in a publication: - Study of the construction - Planning - The monumental interest and potential for development of the site, in relation with Institute of Architecture in Bijapur and our partner institutions. The report will finally serve as a basis for writing one of a rare site studies with India's Deccan.