Hidden in Plain Sight: Reconstructing Landscapes of Urbanism in Northwest India


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 diverse range of environments. This is particularly true in northwest India, a dense locus of settlement before Indus cities emerged and after they declined. It is not clear, however, whether our current knowledge is representative of past settlement distributions or an artifact the early methods and previous assumptions. Fieldwork that combines the analysis of historic maps with remote sensing site detection methods is highlighting large numbers of archaeological sites, some of which may have been documented in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. These sites, never included in the analysis of archaeological landscapes, have the potential to revolutionize our understanding of Indus, Early Historic and Medieval urbanism throughout the subcontinent.

Cite this Record

Hidden in Plain Sight: Reconstructing Landscapes of Urbanism in Northwest India. Cameron Petrie, Adam Green, Hector Orengo, Ravindra Singh. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 443912)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: 60.601; min lat: 5.529 ; max long: 97.383; max lat: 37.09 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 20343