The origin of the present study can be traced back to my paper "Development and Decline of the Deccan Chalcolithic" which I had presented at the International Seminar on "Radiocarbon and Indian Archaeology" organised by Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai in 1972. It was based on the evidence from our excavations at Inamgaon and other sites also and my hypothesis of the deteriorating environment in the last quarter of the second millennium BC proved to be valid. This emboldened me to venture into the other phases of Indian history. After my retirement from Deccan College in 1990, I submitted to Indian Council of Historical Research, New Delhi, a project to study the effect of environment on Indian history and culture in 1994 and completed it in 1996. My studies, however, continued and when I came across the connection between Nile floods and Indian monsoon, I could show how monsoon is to a great extent responsible for shaping the ups and downs in our cultural process. The study has resulted in the present work.
Many scholars have helped me in the preparation of the book. Discussions with Professor S.N. Rajaguru, my colleague at Deccan College, have always been very lively and profitable. The Ms was critically read by Dr Shubhangana Atre who made many valuable suggestions. Professor Gregory L Possehl, University of Pennsylvania, USA, Dr Sudeshna Guha, Fellow, University of Cambridge, and Dr Ashwini Kulkarni, my daughter, supplied me xerox copies of important papers which were not available to me. I could use the Library of the Egyptology Section of the British Museum through the courtesy of Dr Robert Knox, Keeper, India Section of the same museum. The authorities of Cambridge University Press very kindly permitted me to use the tables showing Nile flood levels, so meticulously prepared by the late Professor W.N. Quinn. To all these my grateful thanks are due.
I also thank Sri Srikant Pradhan, artist, for the line illustrations, Sri. Sunil Jadhav for photographs and Sri Sharad Gosavi who computerized the text neatly. The Librarian, Deccan College Library and his staff were always helpful. Dr M. G. Dhadphale, Secretary, Bhandarkar Orientral Research Institute, Pune, accepted the book for publication on behalf of the Institute for which I am grateful to him.
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