Timely Attributes: Rethinking Medieval Ceramics from South India

Author(s): Mannat Johal

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "SAA 2019: General Sessions" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

This paper offers a preliminary attribute analysis of archaeological ceramics excavated at Maski (northern Karnataka) to enable an understanding of the routine and embodied practices that were productive of temporal scale in medieval (ca. AD 500-1600) south India. Ceramics have often fallen through the cracks of a disciplinary division of labour between archaeologists and historians of the long medieval period in the region. Ubiquitous elements of the archaeological record, ceramics labelled ‘medieval’ are known for their plainness and mark a perceived continuity through time. These sherds have long functioned as indexical of a poorly understood chronological period, a heuristic device that obscures the temporalities that potentially coalesce in acts of making and using ceramics.

At an empirical level, the findings presented here build from an analysis of the first excavated assemblage of medieval ceramics in south India. In calling attention to relations between ceramics and time beyond the diagnostic act of identification, this paper engages with a growing attention to questions of memory and historical consciousness in scholarship on precolonial India. It seeks to demonstrate how a critical analysis of archaeological materials productively problematizes narratives about periodization, temporality and historicity.

Cite this Record

Timely Attributes: Rethinking Medieval Ceramics from South India. Mannat Johal. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 450113)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 24062