tDAR Logo tDAR digital antiquity

Un-entangling Pulse Domestication in South Asia

Author(s): Charlene Murphy

Year: 2015

» Downloads & Basic Metadata


India possesses a unique Neolithic transition to sedentism and agriculture which has shaped the cultural and ecological trajectory of the subcontinent. In the early Holocene South Asia was a subcontinent of hunter-gatherers. By 2000 years ago it was mostly inhabited by farmers, supporting densely populated river valleys, coastal plains, urban populations, states and empires. South Asia appears to have been host to a mosaic of processes, including local domestication of plants and animals, the dispersal of pastoral and agro-pastoral peoples between regions and the adoption of food production by indigenous hunter-gatherers from neighboring cultures. While some of the crops that supported these early civilizations had been introduced from other centres of origin (Near East, China, Africa), a large proportion of important crops were indigenous wild plants from the subcontinent. This paper will incorporate the relatively new complimentary theories of Niche Construction and Entanglement theory to examine the local transitions from foraging to farming in India. Specifically, this paper will focus on patterns in the available data for native Indian pulses including Horse gram (Macrotyloma uniflorum), Urd Bean (Vigna mungo) and Pigeon Pea (Cajanus cajan) to explore current ideas on evolutionary change and plant domestication in the subcontinent of India.

SAA 2015 abstracts made available in tDAR courtesy of the Society for American Archaeology and Center for Digital Antiquity Collaborative Program to improve digital data in archaeology. If you are the author of this presentation you may upload your paper, poster, presentation, or associated data (up to 3 files/30MB) for free. Please visit for instructions and more information.

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Cite this Record

Un-entangling Pulse Domestication in South Asia. Charlene Murphy. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395654)


Geographic Keywords
South Asia

Spatial Coverage

min long: 59.678; min lat: 4.916 ; max long: 92.197; max lat: 37.3 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America