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  • 6/9/2004

1-The Age of Iron in South Asia:
Legacy and Tradition: Vibha Tripathi

New Delhi, Aryan, 2001, xvi, 280 p., figs, maps, ISBN 81-7305-208-5

Contents: Preface. I. Introduction. II. The background—emergence of iron in ancient world: 1. Iron in and around Mesopotamia. 2. Iron in Central Asia. 3. Iron in Iran. 4. The late bronze age—early iron age on Indian borderlands. III. Origin and dispersal of iron in India: 1. Literary evidence. 2. Archaeological evidences of iron in India. 3. Metallurgical evidence. IV. From copper to iron—growth of metallurgy: 1. Metallic iron—a by product of copper and lead smelting. 2. Iron vis-à-vis copper technology. 3. Reasons for adoption of iron. 4. A review of situation in ancient cultures. 5. Ore of iron. 6. Slags and production mechanics. 7. Metallurgical processes. V. Metals and metallurgy of iron in the antiquity: 1. From wrought iron to steel. 2. Metals and metallurgy of iron: ethnological observations. VI. Iron ores in India, their mining and cultural correlation: 1. Iron ore distribution in India. 2. Traces of Ancient mining activities. 3. Discussion and correlations. VII. Towards the age of iron: 1. Early iron age. 2. Middle iron age. 3. Late iron age. Conclusion. Bibliography. Index.

"The beginning of metallurgy is a landmark in man’s march towards civilization. The advent of iron was a high water mark of technological advancement made by humankind. The metallurgical skill of ancient Indian iron craftsmen manifests itself in the colossal Delhi iron pillar the Konark beams, the Dhar pillar, and the wootz steel, erroneously called the Damascus steel till recently. The present book deals with the diverse dimensions of iron technology in ancient India and its legacies. The issue of origin of iron in theOld World, particularly in South Asia is taken up in detail. Equal emphasis is given to the innovations in iron metallurgy, the pattern of its adaptation and its impact on the socio-cultural matrix over the millennia. Iron production, its resource zones, the mechanism of its distribution and transportation and the symbiotic relationship between the areas of ‘relative isolation’ and the ‘area of attraction’ have been given detailed treatment. The author surmises that there is a direct relationship between technological input and the growing material output and thus iron appears to have played a vital role in the complex phenomena of cultural change.
"The reconstructions, though based primarily on archaeological data, have been substantiated by ethnographic and literary evidences. This multi-dimensional approach makes the deductions more balanced. The book should interest the general readership as well as the specialists in the field of archaeology, history and archaeo-metallurgy."

2-The Age of the Satavahanas

Contents: Vol. I:Preface. I. History: 1. Puranas on the Satavahanas: an archaeological-historical perspective/Ajay Mitra Shastri. 2. Simuka was the son of Satakarni/P.V. Parabrahma Sastry. 3. The Satavahanas in literature/S.B. Deo. 4. Greek and Latin texts on the Andhras/B.N. Mukherjee. 5. The Satavahana epoch: an ecological perspective/M.K. Dhavalikar. 6. Satavahana: Sata Vaz and Vaja-Sati/V.S. Pathak. 7. Suitability of Paithan as capital of the Satavahanas/D.N. Sinha. 8. The Satavahanas and the coastal Andhradesa: a chronological study/V. Sundara Rama Sastry. 9. The Satavahanas and the Chankam age/Raju Kalidos. II. Cultural Studies: 10. Urban settlements in the Deccan and Satavahana history/Aloka Parashar Sen. 11. Commerce of Jammu under the Kushanas--possibility of Satavahana context analysed/Y.B. Singh. 12. Early Buddhist Monachism and its socio-economic implications/Himanshu Prabha Ray. 13. Hala and Nagarjuna/S.V. Sohoni. 14. Gunadhya and his Brihatkatha/Brahmanand Deshpande.
Vol. II:I. Numismatics and Epigraphy: 15. Satavahana coins in archaeological excavations/Parmeshwari Lal Gupta. 16. Satavahana coinage: origins and influences/Shobhana Gokhale. 17. Satavahana coins from Veerapuram and Vaddamanu excavations/M. Veerender and G. Maheshwari. 18. Bearing of the numismatic evidence on the Puranic sequence of the Satavahana Kings/Amiteshwar Jha. 19. A hoard of miniature copper coins from Amaravati/P.R.K. Prasad. 20. Pre-Satavahana phase at Amaravati-Dharanikota/P.R.K. Prasad. 21. New evidences on the early Satavahana coinage, culture and commerce/I.K. Sarma. 22. Ceramic seriation and chronology of early Satavahana coins/Sunil Gupta. 23. Coins of the feudatories and contemporaries of the Satavahanas/S.J. Mangalam. 24. Pitalkhora inscriptions: a reappraisal/S.K. Mittra. 25. Administrative divisions and place-names from Satavahana inscriptions found in Maharashtra: a case study/Malati Mahajan. II. Art and Archaeology: 26. Forts of the Satavahana times/H.N. Singh. 27. Ports of the Satavahana period/K.P. Rao. 28. Satavahana antiquities from Adam/Amarendra Nath. 29. Structural temples under the Satavahanas/G.B. Deglurkar. 30. Satavahana Terracotta Art: with special reference to Ter/M.N. Deshpande. 31. A Satavahana Ivory Comb found in Hungary/Parmeshwari Lal Gupta.
"The Satavahanas (Andhra or Andhrajatiya of the historical sections of the Puranas) occupy a pre-eminent position in early Deccanese history comparable only to that of the Kushanas ofNorth India who were almost contemporaries. However, despite scholarly efforts for over a century and half, numerous basic issues appertaining them including the original seat of their power, total duration of their rule and number of monarchs of the imperial line and chronology, especially the epoch of their rise to power, not to speak of minor problems, have continued baffling historians for long for want of dependable data. The present volume represents a cooperative effort of known authorities to highlight and solve these issues in the light of fresh evidence as well as a reinterpretation of the known data occasioned by this new material.
"Also included in this volume are important contributions on numismatics, epigraphy, and cultural and archaeological facets. These writings have turned the volume into an indispensable source-book for students of Satavahanas and Deccanese history in particular and early Indian history in general. Hopefully it would be found interesting and thought-provoking by discerning readers."

3-Amaravati Stupa:
A Critical Comparison of Epigraphic, Architectural and Sculptural Evidence
Anamika Roy

 1994, 2 Volumes, xviii, 241 p., 216 half tone plates, map, bibliography,

Contents: I. Introduction: 1. Geographical setting. 2. Historical setting. 3. History of discovery. 4. Recent excavations and their significance. 5. Previous works and scope of the present work. 6. Scope and methodology of the present work. II. Epigraphy: 1. First phase. 2. Second phase. 3. Third phase. 4. Fourth phase. Appendix. Tables. III. Architecture: 1. Railing. 2. Circumambulatory path. 3. Ayaka pillars. 4. Drum slabs. 5. Drum pilasters. 6. Friezes. 7. Dome slabs. 8. Festoon design. 9. Harmika. 10. Umbrella. 11. Yupa yasti. 12. Epigraphical evidence relating to the architectural development. 13. Conclusion. IV. Sculpture: 1. First phase. 2. Mature Amaravati styles, phase II-III. 3. Second phase. 4. Third phase. 5. Fourth phase. 6. Epigraphical evidence relating to the background of the sculptural activity. 5. Conclusion. V. Conclusion: 1. Archaeological evidence. 2. Epigraphy. 3. Architecture. 4. Sculpture. 5. The combined testimony of epigraphy and art history. 6. The discrepancy in epigraphy and art history: possible reasons. 7. Sectarian architecture: epigraphical & sculptural testimony. 8. The Maha Caitya: some observations. Chronological chart.
Appendices: 1. An epigraphical correction. 2. The Amaravati inscription of Madhariputra. 3. The palaeography of the Amaravati inscriptions in the British Museum. 4. Inscriptions in theBritish Museum. 5. Chronological list of available inscriptions. Bibliography: Primary sources. Secondary sources.
"The book presents individual studies of the epigraphy, architecture and the sculpture of the Amaravati stupa followed by a comparative study of the evidence provided by each aspect. The epigraphic study throws light on the foundation of the stupa and its chronological development thereafter to become a Mahastupa. A comparative analysis of inscriptions from Bharhut to Sri Lanka provides us an insight into the circumstances which led to the development of the script.
"This study has tried to understand the nature and causes of the development of the mature and late Amaravati styles, when the art flourished independently. The book suggests that besides such features as an aesthetic urge, political stability, Indo-Roman trade and socio-economic circumstances, different sects of Buddhism made a substantial contribution towards this artistic flowering.
"It traces the different stages of growth of the stupa and also provides an analysis of their relationship to subsequent embellishment with relief sculptures and inscriptions. It also presents and analysis of some distinct architectural features of the Mahacaitya.
The conclusion is based on the testimony of all three aspects. It analyses what may have been the reason for harmony, disharmony, embellishment and modification through the ages. The book also provides a list of the inscriptions scattered in the different museums alongwith their museum numbers with a reference to the previous publications.
"The plates appended to the work are reproductions of the museum objects some of which had not been noticed earlier."
[Anamika Roy is a fellow of Royal Asiatic Society, London. She is on the faculty of the Department of Ancient History, Culture and Archaeology at Allahabad University.] No. 9268

4-Archaeological Geography of the Ganga Plain:

The Lower and the MiddleGanga
Dilip K. Chakrabarti

Delhi, Permanent Black, 2001, xx, 307 p., plates, maps, ISBN 81-7824-016-5.

Contents: Preface. I. Introduction: 1. The study area. 2. The purpose of the study. 3. The academic context: research related to the ancient historical geography of India. 4. The theoretical milieu: historical geography, archaeology and history. 5. Concluding remarks. II. The Mahananda plains: 1. Introduction. 2. The region’s historical linkages. 3. Sites and material recorded inWest Dinajpur and Maldaha. 4. The collection of sculptures. 5. Earlier and later work in the area. 6. Political geography. 7. Problems of historical identifications. 8. General observations. 9. J.F. Salles and the Bengal Coast-line. III. The western bank of the Bhagirathi: The Mayurakshi-Ajay-Damodar-Rupnarayan plain : 1. Introduction. 2. The focus of the present work. 3. Site catalogue. 4. Discussion. 5. The location of early historic cities and the issues of political geography. IV. The coastal archeology ofWest Bengal: The Bhagirathi mouth and the Midnapur coast : 1. Geographical introduction. 2. Site catalogue. 3. Discussion. V. TheGanga from the Rajmahal Hills to the Karmanasa: the plains of Anga andMagadha: 1. Introduction. 2. Sites in different sectors. 3. Concluding observations. 4. Appendix. VI. The Kosi-Bagmati-Gandak plains from Purnea to Champaran : 1. Introduction. 2. Sites in different sectors of theNorth Bihar plains. 3. Observations. VII. Beyond the Sarayu, or the Sarayupar plain : 1. Introduction. 2. Sites. 3. Observations. VIII. Along theGanga from Ballia to Banaras and beyond : 1. Introduction. 2. Sites. 3. Discussion. 4. The issue of routes. IX. From Ayodhya on the Sarayu to Bhita and Kausambi on the Yamuna : 1. Introduction. 2. Sites. 3. Observations. X. Conclusions. References. Index.
"This book discusses the ancient historical geography of the lower and middle sections of theGanga plain. Its basis is a field-study of the distribution of archaeological sites in the region. The geographical issues which have been considered here are the location of sites, the historical linkages of different areas, the problems of political geography, and the routes.
"The work follows the author’s earlier archaeological studies of the Chhotanagpur plateau—which borders this region on the west—and theBangladesh section of the Ganga delta, which lies to its east. The eastern limit of the present study area is the Sagar Island south of Kolkata (Calcutta) and its western border is an irregular line running through the trans-Sarayu plain in Bahraich and linking Faizabad, Sultanpur, Pratapgarh and Allahabad. Further, south of the Yamuna in Allahabad, traverses have been taken up to Chitrakut and Kalinjar; and south of the Ganga between Banaras and Mirzapur, similar traverses were taken up to Robertsganj and the border of Surguja in Madhya Pradesh to understand the nature of the middle Ganga plain’s links with central India.
"The last time an archaeologist tried to understand the ancient historical-geographical situation of the Ganga plain in its totality was in the closing decades of the nineteenth century. In a sense this work is the first attempt to update and recast that work, by Alexander Cunningham and his group, in the context of the lower and the middle sections of the valley.

5-Archaeology in theThird World:

 A History of Indian Archaeology since 1947
Dilip K. Chakrabarti

New Delhi, D.K. Printworld, 2003, ix, 281 p., $40. ISBN 81-246-0217-4

Contents: Preface. I. The quest for new Horizons, 1947-73: 1. The beginning, 1947-52. 2. Ancient India 9 (1953). 3. Ancient India 10-11 to 18-19. 3. The publication of Indian archaeology—a review (IAR). 4. Excavations. 5. Other publications. 6. 1966-73: AncientIndia 20-21 (1967), 22 (1973). II. New issues and perspectives: 1974 to the present: 1. 1974: The publication of H.D. Sankalia’s prehistory and protohistory of India and Pakistan and the new researches it is based on. 2. 1975-81: Publications. 3. Emerging trends. 4. 1982: D.P. Agrawal’sThe Archaeology ofIndia. 5. 1983-89: Major discoveries and studies in prehistory. 6. 1990-2000: Publications. 7. Excavations. 8. An overview of the state of publications in Indian archaeology. 9. Concluding remarks. III. Archaeological heritage management, education and nationalism: 1. Introduction. 2. Preservation of archaeological heritage. 3. The ground realities of Indian archaeological heritage preservation. 4. Archaeology in Indian education. 5. Nationalism. 6. Concluding remarks. IV. Religious fundamentalism, archaeology and the problem of the preservation of archaeological heritage in modern India: 1. Introduction. 2. The case f the Bamiyan Buddhas. 3. The Ayodhya incident. 4. The Aryans. 5. Monuments and religious groups. 6. Concluding remarks. V. The common denominators of Third World archaeology: India as an example: 1. Defining the Third World. 2. The scope of the present chapter. 3. The common denominators of Third World Archaeology. 4. Discussion. Bibliography. Index. Appendix : Towards a nationalist archaeology of India.
"This book offers an authoritative historical frame of archaeological research in post-Independence India. It outlines the early evolution of the newIndia’s archaeological policy and the wide range of discoveries which accompanied it. It shows how in the first flush of Independence archaeological research added new depths and dimensions to the ancient Indian past. It also looks closely at the tangled web of ideas behind this research, highlighting the major mile-posts in its story of development.
"At the same time it demonstrates with unerring clarity how the national archaeological policy of the 1950s and the 1960s has currently lost its direction. This is accompanied by an incisive analysis of different aspects of Indian heritage management, including the impact of religious fundamentalism, the looting of antiquities and the place of archaeology in Indian education. Finally, there is a detailed discussion on the scope of ‘nationalist archaeology’ inIndia.
"One of the core arguments of the book is that the developments and features of post-Independence Indian archaeology may be representative of the archaeological scenario of theThird World as a whole. In fact, this is the first book to set down clearly the basic traits of Third World Archaeology and argue for its acceptance as a separate conceptual area in mainstream archaeology."

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