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The Decline and Fall of the Indus Civilization

Nayanjot Lahiri (Author)
Synopsis In September 1924 John Marshall announced a momentous archaeological discovery: 'the civilization of the Indus Valley'. This phenomenon has become more generally known as the Indus or Harappan civilization. Names like Mohenjodaro and Harappa have been assimilated into India's cultural heritage and the Indus civilization remains among the most popular and researched themes in the archaeology of India. Marshall's understanding of that discovery was to radically alter perceptions of the antiquity of urban efflorescence in the Indian subcontinent. Soon after, the Indus yielded a slow flood of fierce disagreements concerning the trajectory of its urban evolution, its cultural form, and its decline. Perhaps the fiercest of all these debates, which continues to rage, is about the "real' reasons for the end of city culture within this civilization. Did the cities dramatically collapse or was there a steady urban decline? Was the decline and fall of this civilization a result of inroads by certain notorious Aryans? Or should the idea of these invasions be relegated to the world of mythology? How did rivers, earthquakes and climatic shifts contribute to the process of disintegration? Was the end of the civilization marked by a cultural fracture? Or did its traditions persist? The key scholarly interventions which cover all these questions and disputes have been reproduced within this volume. The readings included range from essays going back to the 1920s to those that have appeared over the past decade. The issues, the hypotheses, and the questions raised by archaeologists, scientists and historians all find place in this meticulously compiled book. The readings are prefaced by a long new introduction by the editor, outlining the history, developments, and complexities of the subject. This work constitutes essential reading for all who are interested in the decline and fall of India's first civilization. Students of ancient Indian history and archaeology will find it indispensable.
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About the author

Nayanjot Lahiri

Nayanjot Lahiri is Professor of History at Ashoka University, Sonepat, Haryana. She established her reputation as an accessible historian of Indian antiquity with Finding Forgotten Cities: How the Indus Civilization was Discovered (2005). Her other books include Marshalling the Past: Ancient India and its Modern Histories (2012) and The Archaeology of Indian Trade Routes (1993). She was awarded the Infosys Prize in Humanities—Archaeology for 2013, and her most recent book Ashoka in Ancient India won the John F. Richards prize of the American Historical Association for the best book in South Asian History for 2015.

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Bibliographic information

Title The Decline and Fall of the Indus Civilization
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2000
Edition 1st ed.
Publisher Permanent Black
Language: English
isbn 8175300345
length 410 p.
Subjects History