The Oxford Companion to Indian Archaeology

The Oxford Companion to Indian Archaeology : The Archaeological Foundations of Ancient India

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Extensive archaeological investigations carried out in the Indian subcontinent over the last 150 years have revealed significant source material for the reconstruction of human history in the region. Contributions made by different interacting human cultures of different geo-units, at different points of time, have shaped the composite culture of the present age, comprising longstanding commingled cultural, religious, architectural, and other traditions. This
authoritative work traces the evolving archaeological scenario of the Indian subcontinent, area by area, phase by phase, from prehistory to the 12th-13th century AD. Using a wide variety of sources ranging from earliest available ones to the most recent reports on archaeological findings, Dilip K.
Chakrabarti, one of the most distinguished exponents in the field, provides an in-depth multi-layered archaeological chronicle of the subcontinent. The first comprehensive thematic, geographic, and temporal study of this stature, this lucidly written compendium will fill a long-felt lacuna in South Asian archaeological studies.
Part I discusses the position of the subcontinent in the currently known scheme of human evolution within the broader framework of the Stone Age and the Lower, Middle, and Upper stages of the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic periods. It also explains why a study of prehistoric roots is important to understand the pluralistic basis of the culture of the subcontinent. Part II traces the early agricultural settlements starting from Baluchistan to RajasthanHaryana and
then to the Harappan and Indus civilizations. It focuses on the developmental sequence of village life that led to the emergence of the Indus civilization, followed by a discussion on different aspects like the origin, chronology, decline, transformation, and continuities. Part III elaborates on the formation of village life outside
the distribution system of the Harappan civilization, emphasizing on the interrelationships between different regions, their shared elements, and the complexities of their agricultural and technical developments. It also discusses how the use of iron began in different areas and how the basis of the early cities of the historical period was laid down. Part IV builds an integrated archaeological image of early India through the discussion of a diverse body of historical sources
between c. 700-600 BC and c. 6th century AD and the related archaeological and historical issues. It also brings to life extensive data on the settlements of the period. Part V considers archaeological data between the 7th and 13th century AD along with associated evidence of inscriptions, coins, art, architecture,
and religious and iconographical frameworks and examines the major historical debates on this period. Part VI elucidates major aspects of material and social life such as agriculture, metallurgy, pottery, internal and external trade, and religion.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 600 pages
  • 227 x 285 x 44mm | 2,034g
  • New Delhi, India
  • English
  • 115 line illustrations, 20 halftones
  • 0195673425
  • 9780195673425

Table of contents

Part I: Prehistory: Chapter 1. Indias Place in the Scheme of Human Evolution; Current thoughts about human evolution; Fossil evidence in China and Java, and its implications for India; Fossil evidence in India; Lower Pleistocene antiquity of stone tools in India; Discussion; Chapter 2. Regional Survey of the Palaeolithic Kashmir and Ladakh; Baluchistan, Sind, NWFP, and Pakistani Panjab; Jammu, Himachal Pradesh, Indian Panjab, Haryana, and Delhi; Rajasthan and
Gujarat; Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh; Maharashtra, Goa, and Karnataka; Kerala, Tamilnadu, and Andhra Pradesh; Orissa, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bangladesh, Tripura, and the northeastern states; Bihar, Nepal, and Uttar Pradesh; Chapter 3. The Palaeolithic: Perspectives and Problems; Review of the regional
stratigraphic profiles: the Lower, Middle and Upper Palaeolithic; Typological characteristics of the Lower, Middle and Upper Palaeolithic; Socio-economic and cultural reconstructions; Chronology of the various stages; Faunal background; Environmental hypotheses; Palaeolithic art and belief-system; Chapter 4. The Mesolithic Evidence; Regional survey of the data; Chronology; Settlements and economy; Rock-art; Skeletal biology; Chapter 5. The Relevance of Indias Stone Age Past; Part II: The
Background, Development, Features, Decline, and Transformation of the Indus Civilization Chapter 1: The Problem of the Beginning of Food-production in India and the Evidence from Mehrgarh; Complexities of the problem; Mehrgarh; Chapter 2: The Growth of First Villages between Baluchistan and
GujaratRajasthanHaryana; The problem of environment: climate and the river valleys; Northeast Baluchistan, Quetta valley, Kalat plateau, southern Baluchistan and the Makran coast; The Kirthar piedmont; Bannu plain; The NWFP and Potwar plateau; Sind; Bahawalpur; The Indus plain of Pakistani Panjab; Bikaner, Haryana, Indian Panjab; The Aravallis; Gujarat; The emerging picture; Chapter 3: Origin of the Harappan or Indus civilization; The notion of Early Harappan or early form of the Indus
civilization; Transition to the Mature Harappan or the mature form of the Indus civilization; Explanations of the transition; Chapter 4. Sites and Settlements of the Mature Harappan Phase; Regional distribution; Features of the excavated settlements; Does the size of a Harappan site reflect the extent of its
urbanism? Chapter 5. Economy; Agriculture; Internal trade and trade routes; External trade and trade routes; Specialized crafts; Chapter 6. Technology; Ceramic technology; Mining and Metallurgy; Production techniques of miscellaneous crafts; Chapter 7. The Writing System, Possible Nature of the Society and State, Religion; Chapter 8. Art; Terracottas; Stone sculpture; Metal sculpture; Painting; Chapter 9. Late Harappan Phase or the Transformation of the Civilization; Regional survey of the
evidence; The nature of transformation; Possible causes; How does the Harappan civilization merge in the later Indian development? Part III. The Formation and Development of Village Life in the Non-Harappan Context Chapter 1. Developments in the Northwest and the Himalayan Belt; Baluchistan and Sind; The
NWFP; Kashmir; Ladakh, and the Himalayan belt to the east; Chapter 2. Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra; Chapter 3. Karnataka, Tamilnadu, Kerala; and Andhra; Stages of the south Indian Neolithic; The evidence from the excavated sites; Chapter 4. Chhattisgarh, Orissa, West Bengal, the Northeastern States; Chapter 5. Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh; Chapter 6. Haryana and Panjab; Chapter 7. Shared Elements: the Neolithic-Chalcolithic Economy of non-Harappan India; Chapter 8:
Regional Beginnings of the Use of Iron; The archaeological evidence; The iron-using context of the megaliths south of the Satpuras; Did the use of iron usher in a new Age in India? Part IV. Archaeology of India between c.7th-6th century ad and c.6th Century ad Chapter 1. The Beginning of Early Historic
India; Chapter 2. The Historical Framework of Early Historic Indian Archaeology; Chapter 3. Settlement Contexts; Chapter 4. Pattern of Early Historic Urban Growth and the Problem of ArchaeologyLiterature Correlation; Chapter 5. The Archaeology of Indian Religions: Hinduism and its Iconography; Chapter 6. The Archaeology of Indian Religions: Buddhism, Jainism, and Associated Iconographies; Chapter 7. The Material Basis of Life in Early Historic India: Artefacts; and Technology; Chapter 8. The
Material Basis of Life in Early Historic India: Irrigation and Agriculture; Chapter 9. The Material Basis of Life in Early Historic India: Internal Trade and Trade Routes; Chapter 10. The Material Basis of Life in Early Historic India: External Trade and Trade Routes; Part V. Archaeology of India
between c.7th Century ad to c.12th13th Century ad Chapter 1. Geographical and Chronological Configurations of the Dynasties; Chapter 2. Settlements and the Problem of Urban Decay; Chapter 3. Technology and Economy; Chapter 4. Inscriptions; Chapter 5. Coins; Chapter 6. Sculpture and Painting; Chapter 7. Architecture; Chapter 8. Religious Framework and Iconographies; Part VI. Some Major Themes Chapter 1. Agriculture; Chapter 2. Metallurgy; Chapter 3. Pottery and Other Industries; Chapter 4.
Internal and External Trade; Chapter 5. Religion; Chapter 6. A Geographical Perspective of India(1)s Archaeological Development; Appendix 1. A brief history of archaeological research in the country; Appendix 2. The Indo-Aryan and other language issues in Indian archaeology; Appendix 3. The archaeology
of the Indian islands: AndamanNicobar and Lakshadvip; Notes; References
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About Dilip K. Chakrabarti

Dilip K. Chakrabarti is Professor of Indian Archaeology and Ancient History, Cambridge University. An eminent figure in South Asian Archaeology, he has undertaken extensive fieldwork in different parts of India, Bangladesh, and Iran. He has taught at several universities in India and abroad. Whilst at Delhi University, he established a departmental museum, and for some years edited the Bulletin of the Indian Society for Prehistoric and Quaternary Studies. He has
published about twelve monographs, and has numerous contributions in refereed journals, books, and encyclopedias on South Asian prehistoric, protohistoric, and early historic archaeology.
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