This edited volume titled 'Cultural Heritage of South Asia and Beyond: Recent Perspective' is a collection of 29 select articles presented by international and national scholars at the Sixth International Congress of the Society of South Asian Archaeology (SOSAA) held at Kolkata in March 2018.
These articles represent different topics of Archaeology, Ancient Indian History, Culture, and Heritage studies such as Prehistory, Protohistory, Harrapan Culture, Early Iron Age, Early Historic period, Ancient water management, Archaeozoological studies, Iconography, Jain and Buddhist art, Epigraphy, Temple architecture, Narrative studies, Memorial stones, Paintings, Cultural heritage. Museum Studies, Ethnographic surveys etc.
These articles shed light on recent research trends in the field of Archaeology, Ancient Indian History, Culture, and Heritage studies to comprehend different aspects such as the association ship between the artefacts and society, dimension of prehistoric human migration, landscape studies, typological analysis, technological advancement, inter- and intra-regional interactions known through material culture, subsistence strategies, interreligious dynamics, ritualistic. interpretations, tradition of memorial stones in spatial and temporal contexts, continuity and transformation of traditional practices, dimensions of urbanization in the Early Historic India, locational and social identity of the donors as known through epigraphic records etc. This edited volume would serve as reference material for forthcoming research on various topics in the field of South Asian Archaeology.
Prof. Vasant Shinde, presently Vice-Chancellor of Deccan College, Post-Graduate and Research Institute, Deemed University, Pune is a world renowned archaeologist and one of the foremost scholars in South Asia, Prof. Shinde has been a pioneer in archaeological research since the last 40 years, specialising in the Protohistory of South Asia as well as Field Archaeology Prof. Shinde has been teaching the Post-Graduate course in Archaeology since 1982. He has completed 16 major research projects, in the process of which he has collaborated with scholars and institutes from around the world. He has also directed a vast number of excavations around the country, from Harappan sites in Gujarat and Haryana to Chalcolithic sites in Madhya Pradesh and the Deccan, to Protohistoric and Early historic Sites in Rajasthan and Maharashtra Presently, he has been directing a very prestigious International Research project at the largest Harappan site of Rakhigarhi Haryana, Prof. Shinde has delivered no less than 171 special lectures in different parts of India, and 47 in Institutes abroad. His. publications include 12 books, two monographs, 14 edited books/joumals, 129 papers in national journals and 67 research papers in International joumal. He has been awarded a number of honours and scholarships from various national and international bodies in the course of his Academic career, two of the most noteworthy ones being 100 Most Influential Vice Chancellor by the World Education Congress and Dewang Mehta National Education Award for outstanding contribution to Education.
He has established the Society of South Asian Archaeology (SOSAA) with a view to promoting young scholarship and further global collaboration. Prof. Shinde participated more than 150 National and International Seminars and Conferences and organized at least half a dozen National and International Seminars/Conferences in various parts of South Asia and Iran. He was Pro- Vice Chancellor of the Deccan College, Deemed University from 2008-2013 and Vice Chancellor of the same University from 2013 till the present.
Dr Shrikant Ganvir is Assistant Professor in the Department of AIHC and Archaeology, Deccan College Post-Graduate and Research Institute, (Deemed to be University), Pune. He was a co-director of the Excavation Project of Nagardhan (2015-18), the capital of the Eastern Vakatakas. He participated in the Rajagala Archaeological Research Project, Sri Lanka in 2018 Presently, he has been codirecting the Excavation project of Phanigiri, an Early Buddhist Monastic Site in Telangana.
Dr Sayan Bhattacharya is Education Officer at the Indian Museum, Kolkata, Ministry of Culture, Government of India. He completed his PhD on Protohistoric and Early Historic Archaeology from Deccan College Post-Graduate and Research Institute. (Deemed to be University), Pune.
I am pleased to present this edited volume titled 'Cultural Heritage of South Asia and Beyond Recent Perspective to the academia which is a culmination of the proceedings of the Sixth International Congress of the Society of South Asian Archaeology (SOSAA). The congress jointly organised by the Indian Museum, Kolkata, Ministry of Culture, Government of India, Society of South Asian Archaeology, Pune and All India Digamber Jain Heritage Preservation Organization, New Delhi, was held at Kolkata from 16th to 18th March 2018.
The Society of South Asian Archacology was established in 2005 to provide an academic platform for archaeological and anthropological research as well as for heritage studies, to create awareness and inquisitiveness amongst common people and students about the cultural heritage of South Asia and to promote young scholars to undertake research activities in the various fields of South Asian Archaeology The SOSAA brings Archaeologists, Historians, Anthropologists, Social Scientists and Archaeological Scientists etc. on one platform to discuss some of the common issues related to population movement, cultural interaction, trade exchange, the impact of climate on cultures and social formation. The SOSAA; thus, provides an opportunity to exchange information, ideas and insights into new discoveries made from the last decades onward in South Asia.
The Society of South Asian Archaeology has been organising International Congress since 2006 to share a common platform for scholars from South Asia and beyond. The previous five conferences of SOSAA were highly successful because of the direct interactions and dialogues between scholars from various South Asian and Asian Countries including China, Japan, South Korea and Iran. In the Sixth International Congress held in March 2018, more than 150 scholars presented papers on varied themes such as recent researches on Prehistory and Protohistory of Asia, Harrapan studies, Megalithic studies, Historical Archaeology, Settlement Archaeology, Archaeology of Religion, Jainism, Buddhism, Iconography, Visual imagery, Art-historical traditions, Architecture, Archaeological Sciences, Narrative art, Epigraphy, Numismatics, Memorial stones, Ancient texts, Cultural heritage, Museum studies and Ethnographic surveys etc. Besides these thematic panels. three special sessions were also organised on Archaeology of Eastern India, Rakhigarhi and Jainism in South Asia and beyond.
I am very glad to inform that around 70 per cent of the paper presenters were post-doctoral, doctoral and post-graduate students, which clearly attests that the main purpose behind the establishment of the Society of South Asian Archaeology is marching towards the fulfilment. The genesis of thought-processes that have had emerged through this International Congress has provided definite new directions for future research in the fields of South Asian Archaeology, History, Anthropology and Cultural Studies.
The volume titled "Cultural Heritage of South Asia and Beyond: Recent Perspective consists of 29 articles that represent different topics of Archaeology, Ancient Indian History, Culture, and Heritage studies such as Prehistory, Protohistory, Harrapan Culture, Early Iron Age, Early Historic period, Ancient water management, Archaeozoological studies, Iconography, Jain and Buddhist art, Epigraphy, Temple architecture, Narrative studies, Memorial stones, Paintings, Cultural heritage, Museum studies and Ethnographic surveys and so on.
The first article titled "Rewriting the Prehistory of Hainan Island in China: New Insights from Recent Archaeological Investigations and Excavations" by Chao Huang aims at reconstructing the prehistory of Hainan Island in a broad regional context. This island is located in a strategic position of one of the most extensive ancient sea-based trade networks known as "Maritime Silk Road" that connected mainland China with other neighbouring regions surrounding the South China Sea and Islands of Southeast Asia during the Historic period. The research findings have contributed a fascinating chapter to the region's prehistory. These findings have further added a dimension in our understanding of prehistoric human migration.
The second article is by Namrata Biswas and it discusses Indian Prehistoric studies. In this article, she has emphasised the significance of the Acheulian of Narmada Valley with special reference to recently discovered artefacts at Bhedaghat.
The third article is based on recent archaeological exploration carried out in the South Koel River Basin of North Western Odisha by Priyanka Mandal. This extensive exploration has brought to light 35 open air microlithic sites. The study and analysis of artefacts yielded from these sites have further added a new dimension in the study of South Asian microlithic research especially of microlithic artefacts in association with microblade with special reference to sites such as Mehta Kheri in Madhya Pradesh, Jwalapuram in South India, and Kana and Mahadebbera in West Bengal. It further emphasises the continuation of the microblade technology of the Indian Subcontinent.
The fourth article also deals with Prehistoric investigations of Odisha carried out in the Lanth River Basin by Sudam Deep. The author has studied artefacts yielded from four prehistoric sites of the study area while taking into account different aspects such as typological analysis, diagnostic features of assemblages, the procurement of raw material and lithic reduction strategy to comprehend prehistoric landscape of western Odisha.
The fifth article by Mumtaz Yatoo deals with the Neolithic culture of Kashmir with special reference to Qasim Bagh. The artefacts and ecofacts yielded from Qasim Bagh have provided new dimensions to the understanding of human settlements during the Neolithic period in the northwest of Kashmir and its beyond through a wider perspective. The evidence from Qasim Bagh adds substantial new artefactual and botanical data to a growing body of archaeobotanical studies in South and Central Asia. Recent studies carried at Qasim Bagh have brought to light important evidence which not only establishes similarities in material culture between this site and the Neolithic sites in Kashmir, South and Central Asia but also suggests further possible interactions between Kashmir and South and Central Asia due to trade and other reasons.
The sixth article by Diya Mukherjee and V.S. Shinde aims to understand the copper /bronze artefacts from Rakhigarhi, Haryana; one of the most significant Harrapan sites of the world, including typological and technological aspects. This article deals with Harappan copper technology through typological, scientific and ethnoarchaeological studies to comprehend the technological advancement of Harappan Culture.
The seventh article by Ayumu Konasukawa focuses on chronological change and continuity of the seal from the Early Harappan to the Harappan periods in the Ghaggar Basin. A micro-study of Indus seals has been carried out by the author by employing different scientific methods to investigate manufacturing techniques and designs which further facilitate to set the chronological framework in a wider context.
The eighth article by Pankaj Goyal, Kantikumar Pawar and Gurudas Shete throws light on the diverse faunal spectra excavated at Khopadi in Nagpur district of Maharashtra and the role of different animal species towards the human subsistence at the site.
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