Asia: South Asia (Geographic Keyword)

1-25 (29 Records)

6k Years of Land Use in South Asia: Sustainability, Power Relations, and Tropical Variability (2018)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Kathleen Morrison.

Tropical environments vary significantly in terms of rainfall and seasonality; these differences make a difference in the kinds of land use strategies that work over the long term. This paper reviews some of the opportunities and constraints of tropical environments in South Asia, considering the range of land use practices deployed over the last 6,000 years in this region. I argue that some practices which could be called sustainable also come at a high cost in terms of human dignity,...


The Agency of Monsoons in South Asia (2018)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Kanika Kalra.

Every June through September, the inhabitants of South Asia welcome and celebrate the southwest monsoons. The monsoon winds are the lifeline of this region but also a major threat, inspiring societies to devise mechanisms to both harness their potential and subvert the damage they may cause. This paper analyzes prehistoric and historical responses to monsoons in South Asia in terms of their unpredictable nature, and examines how the monsoons both facilitate and constrict people’s actions. In...


The Archaeology of Religious Conversion: Virtue and Tradition in the Indor valley, North India (2018)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Mudit Trivedi.

This paper presents the results of an extended project directed at an archaeological investigation of religious conversion to Islam in South Asia. The project combined extensive regional survey, excavations and architectural documentation focused upon the site and valley of Indor, located in the region of Mewat on the borders of Rajasthan, North India. The medieval residents of Mewat were stereotyped in contemporary imperial chronicles as primitive rebels, living in a forested hilly backwater,...


Ceramic Technological and Stylistic Boundaries on the Indus Frontier of Gujarat (2018)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Sneh Patel.

Rita Wright’s pioneering work on the ceramic stylistic and technological traditions of the Indo-Iranian borderlands highlighted the potential of new theoretical approaches to our understanding of cultural boundaries within South Asia. This work highlighted the complex nature of technology and style boundaries within specific contexts of cultural interaction. This paper takes inspiration from Dr. Wright’s work and applies this framework to another frontier of the Indus: the northwestern state of...


Crafting Labor and Landscape (2019)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Uzma Rizvi.

This is an abstract from the "Crafting Culture: Thingselves, Contexts, Meanings" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. This paper revisits how landscape and mineral extraction have been contextualized in the third millennium BCE, Ganeshwar Jodhpura Cultural Complex (GJCC), Rajasthan, India. The GJCC has very specific formations of sites around resource-high regions particular to this landscape and time period that demonstrate a focus on copper production...


Cuisine on the Harappan Frontier: Regional Cooking Vessels in Harappan Gujarat (2019)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Sneh Patel.

This is an abstract from the "Farm to Table Archaeology: The Operational Chain of Food Production" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. During the 3rd and 2nd millennium BCE, the western Indian state of Gujarat was home to a regional expression of Harappan culture known as the Sorath Harappans. This cultural group was composed of a network of farmers, herders, and craftsmen that subsided on an economy based on cattle herding and the farming of summer...


Defining and Exploring Local Production in the Indus Civilization: A Focus on Gradation and Value (2019)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Mary A. Davis.

This is an abstract from the "Where Is Provenance? Bridging Method, Evidence, and Theory for the Interpretation of Local Production" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. The Indus Civilization of Bronze Age Pakistan and Northwest India (c. 3800-1900 BCE) had a complex system of productions, consumption, and exchange at local, regional, and interregional scales. I join my recent research of intra-site production patterns and regional GIS analysis...


Domestic Craft Specialization and Social Spatial Organization of Harappa (2018)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Mary A. Davis.

The site of Harappa, Pakistan, was a major urban center of the Indus Civilization with over two thousand years of occupation (3700-1700 BCE). The site did not have an obvious civic ceremonial center but was instead multi-nodal with walled sub-divisions. As an aspect of stone tool assemblage analysis at the site, the most functionally relevant attributes of the blade tools were differentially weighted to produce a soft hierarchical clustering classification scheme. These classes are considered...


Domesticating the Mosaic: Stable Isotope Approaches to Agroecologies in South Asia (2018)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Ayushi Nayak. Michael Petraglia. Nicole Boivin. Patrick Roberts.

The origin of agriculture is a long-standing and pivotal point of archaeological research. The focus, however, has predominantly been on the earliest instances of crop domestication, whereas less is known about the nature of early farming. South Asia with its mosaic of environments and early farming strategies demonstrates the need for nuanced attention to aspects of early agro-ecologies such as manuring, water management strategies, and animal husbandry. Stable isotope analysis of botanical,...


The Elephanta Caves: Avenues for Their Future Preservation in Digital Preservation and Public Outreach (2019)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Clare Kreuzwieser. Paul Nick Kardulias.

This is an abstract from the "SAA 2019: General Sessions" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. In this study, I examine how the Elephanta Caves (500 C.E. - 900 C.E.), off the coast of Mumbai, in the Indian state of Maharashtra, can best be preserved in the future. These man-made caves were a place of Shiva and goddess-worship for local Hindus, up until Portuguese contact and occupation in AD 1534-35. Interest in this topic stems from the caves’ exposure...


Growing Infrastructure, Cultivating Differences: The Temporalities of Agricultural Assemblages and the Social History of the Raichur Doab, Southern India (2018)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Andrew Bauer.

This paper examines the history of medieval (circa 500-1600 CE) agricultural infrastructure—assemblages of soils, irrigation wells, and processing facilities—in the semi-arid conditions of the Raichur Doab, Southern India. Despite some investiture from ruling elites and temples, the material evidence for agro-infrastructural development suggests that it was not merely a project of state or institutional design. Rather, its development might more productively be characterized as a process of...


Harappan Necropolis of Rakhigarhi, India: Archaeology and Bioanthropology (2018)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Yong Jun Kim. Nilesh Jadhav. Eun Jin Woo. Dong Hoon Shin. Vasant Shinde.

The number of Harappan cemeteries so far systematically surveyed is far less than that of contemporary settlements. Necropolis site at Rakhigarhi (India) was reported earlier but in small scale investigation. Our investigation for the last three seasons (2013 to 2016) was thus designed for improving this lacuna. We first classified each burial and analyzed statistically. The Harappan people practiced rather humble burial custom, but few were found differently and these burials look more...


The Hazards of High Resolution? Social Change, Site Structure and New Chronometric Concerns from Indor, North India (2019)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Mudit Trivedi.

This is an abstract from the "SAA 2019: General Sessions" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. How do high resolution chronologies change our interpretations of the archaeological record? What impact can and should they have on our analysis and our understandings of site-structure, social process and the narratives by which we account for our evidence? This paper provides one case study of considering the hazards and prospects of high resolution...


Hidden in Plain Sight: Reconstructing Landscapes of Urbanism in Northwest India (2018)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Cameron Petrie. Adam Green. Hector Orengo. Ravindra Singh.

Archaeologists cannot understand the urban process based on investigations at urban centers alone. In the Beas River Landscape and Settlement Survey, Wright contributed greatly to understanding of landscapes in South Asia’s Indus civilization (2600-1900 B.C.), revealing necessity and value of integrating settlement data into broader analyses of urbanism. Research on the Indus civilization’s settlement distributions highlights the presence of an array of archaeological sites spread across a...


Introducing Urbanism, Technology, and Identity: Celebrating the Comparative Archaeology of Rita P. Wright (2018)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Adam Green. Sneh Patel. Pam Crabtree.

In this talk, we introduce the papers of the session, which reflect the many threads of Rita P. Wright’s contributions to archaeology. Prof. Wright has established a suite of concepts and critiques that generate a comparative framework that is not restricted to a single geographical area. In her early work on ceramic production and craft, Wright synthesized the anthropology of technology with the archaeology of the Indo-Iranian borderlands, laying the foundation for a technological approach that...


Kinship and Cattle in Harappan Gujarat (2018)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Brad Chase. David Meiggs. P. Ajithprasad.

Pastoralism, the production and management of livestock, was integral to the lifeways practiced by the peoples of the Indus Civilization (2600-1900 BC), South Asia’s first experiment with urban society. The integration of Gujarat (India) into the interregional flows of people, goods, and ideas that knit together the Indus Civilization, for example, is associated with the widespread adoption of pastoralism in a region that was formerly characterized by small-scale horticulturalist-hunting...


Moving on up: The Promise of Multiple Data Sources in Reconstructing Early Population History of High Altitude Sites in Nepal (2019)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Jacqueline Eng. Mark Aldenderfer.

This is an abstract from the "Living and Dying in Mountain and Highland Landscapes" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. Archaeological research in the high elevation regions of Upper Mustang, Nepal, offer insights into population history in this region through multiple data sources including material culture, genomic, isotopic, and bioarchaeological data. Together, these data have enabled us to address questions of migration, patterns of exchange,...


Prehistoric Pointillism: Rock Art near ‘Amlah, Oman (2019)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Eli Dollarhide.

This is an abstract from the "Technique and Interpretation in the Archaeology of Rock Art" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. Rock art is one of the most ubiquitous archaeological features in southeastern Arabia, yet it remains one of the most poorly understood aspects of the region’s prehistory. Re-occurring motifs of people, weapons, camels, horses, and other animal figures appear in similar forms across the UAE and Oman, and many were produced...


Pushing Boundaries in the Scientific Investigation of Glass: A New Project to Source Ancient Indian Glass (2018)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Laure Dussubieux. Thomas Fenn. Shinu Abraham. Alok Kanungo.

Scientific investigation of archaeological glass has advanced, beginning in the early 2000’s, with studies relying more heavily on determination of trace element concentrations to differentiate production recipes depending on distinct ingredient sources and the use of larger corpuses of artifacts to more easily and reliably reveal production patterns. At the same time, isotope analyses (e.g., Pb, Sr and Nd) attempting to source raw materials used to manufacture glass in antiquity grew in...


A Re-examination of the Animal Bone Remains from Rojdi, a Sorath Harappan Site in Northwest India (2018)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Pam Crabtree.

The later 3rd and early 2nd millennium site of Rojdi in Gujarat, India was excavated under the direction of the Professor Gregory Possehl d over eight field seasons between 1982 and 1995. Rojdi is an agricultural village with substantial stone architecture, most of which dates to the early second millennium (1900-1700 BCE). Significant progress has been made in our understanding of the Sorath Harappan culture, including detailed ceramic studies, analyses of archaeobotanical materials, and...


Refugees as a Productive Force, National Belonging as Mutable: The Case of 1947 Partition Refugee Resettlement in Delhi, India (2019)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Erin Riggs.

This is an abstract from the "Archaeologies of Immigration and Refugee Resettlement" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. Many archaeologists have focused on the material ramifications of nationalist exclusion. Such works have documented how discriminatory policies impact the ability of immigrants and refugees to build new lives post-migration, and in some cases, even endanger their lives. In this paper, I explore the opposite question: what happens...


The Search to Resurrect Muslin Cotton in Bangladesh (2018)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Logan Kistler. Saiful Islam. Mark Nesbitt. Roselyn Ware. Robin Allaby.

Bengal cotton muslin, a particularly fine type of woven cotton fabric, had legendary status where it was traditionally produced in East Bengal—now Bangladesh—for at least 2000 years. During the colonial influence of the British Empire, muslin was widely traded outside of South Asia, and became a valuable global commodity with major impacts on both local producers and foreign markets. Political turmoil and market forces, especially pressure from the East Indian Company, completely halted muslin...


Settlement Patterns in the Taojiahu-Xiaocheng Region of Jianghan Plain China (2019)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Dongdong Li. Camilla Sturm.

This is an abstract from the "New Thoughts on Current Research in East Asian Archaeology" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. The especially early emergence of Neolithic walled towns in the Jianghan Plain is widely used as an indicator of social complexity. Several models have been suggested to explain the emergence of walled towns: inter-regional conflicts between the Central Plain and the Jianghan Plain, intra-regional conflicts among walled towns in...


Small-Scale Complexities: Tekkalakota and the Archaeology of the Southern Deccan (2019)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Namita Sugandhi.

This is an abstract from the "SAA 2019: General Sessions" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. This paper introduces the MAST project, a multi-year excavation program in South India that is designed to explore the role of small-scale societies in the development of larger interregional social formations. In particular this project will focus on areas of Iron Age and Early Historic occupation and production at the site Tekkalakota, and on the diachronic...


Taking Things Apart: Reconfiguring Production Practices in South India (2019)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Praveena Gullapalli.

This is an abstract from the "Crafting Culture: Thingselves, Contexts, Meanings" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. In this paper I explore how taking apart the bundle of practices grouped together as ‘metallurgy’ might lead to a better understanding of not only that technology but also of ancient South Indian society. While cross-craft approaches to technologies allow archaeologists to explore potential relationships between production activities...