A 17-year-old usually love travelling to different places but it’s very unlikely that they visit any site for a research project. However, unlike other 17-year-old kids, Arsh Ali loves researching ancient history, visiting digs, and delivering lectures on history and archaeology.
He is already an archaeologist, although he doesn’t have a formal degree yet. Since 2015, he has been attending programmes, seminars and excavations and explorations organised by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). Arsh was just 15, when he went for excavation for the first time in his life. Along with a team of experts from ASI, Arsh visited the Harappan site of Binjor in Rajasthan.
“The Harappans were excellent craftsmen. Even 5,000 years ago, they produced a lot of things,” said Arsh while talking to The Hindu.
Arsh, who is based in Allahabad, also went to the Indus Valley site of Rakhigari, led by Dr Vasant Shinde from Deccan College.
The boy knows around 15 languages, like Hebrew, Arabic, Brahmi, Greek, Ugaritic, Nabatean and Phoenician and credits his knowledge to reading.
“When I was five, I had an encyclopedia on Ancient Egypt. I didn’t know how to read and write then but that’s when I came across an image of Anubis, half-human, half-jackal,” he said.
He has recently delivered a talk on Egyptian Buddhism as part of the National Museum’s India and the World lecture series. Currently, Arsh is translating the Vedas into hieroglyphs, which is the ancient Egyptian writing system.
Since 2016, he has been attending an open school so that he can give adequate time to his interests.