Spaces and Places: Examining historic maps from South Asia

Author(s): Uthara Suvrathan

Year: 2015


This poster presents a preliminary attempt to systematically interpret and analyze historical cartographic data from South Asia. Information from historic maps of South Asia is combined with archaeological settlement data to reconstruct the nature and distribution of regional administrative and religious centers in south central India. Preliminary research in the area suggests that regional administrative centers often occupied a place in local pilgrimage and trade networks. However, this position was not static and seems to have been closely linked to multiple factors such as the political strategies of elites, imperial expansion, regional trade systems, and the establishment of religious institutions. By examining a wide corpus of medieval and colonial maps of South Asia, dating from the 16th century to the early 19th century, and comparing this data to published archaeological settlement data, it is possible to trace some of the spatial and temporal configurations of the loci of political and religious authority. In addition, the poster comments on western and indigenous ideas of the organization (and control) of space.

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Cite this Record

Spaces and Places: Examining historic maps from South Asia. Uthara Suvrathan. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 398055)

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Geographic Keywords
South Asia

Spatial Coverage

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