Since the middle of the 19th century, the Archaeological Survey of India has been working to explore, excavate, conserve, preserve and protect the monuments and sites of national & international importance. Within the organization, the country is divided into a number of zones (called "Circles") for the purpose of archaeological work. The zones of these circles are not bounded by the State boundaries, and the boundaries of the various circles were periodically altered to suit administrative convenience and academic cohesion. Each Circle is responsible for the exploration of new and potential archaeological sites, scientific clearance and small scale excavations, conservation, preservation and protection of sites and monuments under its jurisdiction.
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