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The Indus Civilization: An Interdisciplinary Perspective

D P Agrawal (Author)

The Indus Civilization is as old as the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia and China.  It spreads over an area of more than a million sq km, an area much bigger than the Mesopotamian and the Egyptian Civilizations which are famous for their sepulchral splendour.  Though technologically innovative, the Indus Civilization in marked by a modesty and the functionality of its architecture and artifacts.  After the classical reports of the excavators of the 30s and 40s of the last century, in recent years quite a few synthetic accounts of the Civilization have also come out.  As the author of the present book has worked not only on archaeology but also on palaeoenvironment and archaeo-metallurgy, the book gives a holistic account with an interdisciplinary perspective.  The data on climate, environment, metals, hydraulics, animals, plants and agriculture, have been given adequate coverage.  The book discusses both the elite and folk traditions and the author suggests that the Rama legend carries the echo of the Indus civilization. The author has covered the latest discoveries from the recent excavations, including most of the major and minor Harappan sites.  The Indus Civilization in its mature phase flourished between 2600-1900 BCE, though its beginnings can be traced further back.  The civilization is marked by a uniformity and standardization over its large territory but now the regional variations appear equally important.  It shows considerable variation in town planning, yet a baffling uniformity in weights and measures as well as motifs.  The book fully captures the uniformity in diversity of the Indus Civilization and covers its different dimensions. The Indus Civilization did not exhibit the macabre splendour of the Mesopotamian or the Egyptian graves but the book does capture its water splendour as described by Jansen?s German term wasserluxus.  The author does not avoid technical data but present it in an interesting style so that it retains the attention of the laymen.

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About the author

D P Agrawal

As Prof. D.P. Agrawal has worked with the Archaeological Survey of India, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Bombay and the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), Ahmedabad, his academic contributions are marked by an interdisciplinary yet holistic approach.  He has made significant contributions to the fields of palaeoenvironment, prehistoric archaeology, radiocarbon and TL dating, archaeometallurgy and traditional knowledge systems.  For two years he participated in the excavations of the famous Harappan site of Kalibangan in Rajasthan.  He has extensively worked on the copper technology of the Harappans and has been associated with the palaeoclimatic and palaeoenvironmental studies - both in Kashmir and Rajasthan.  His delineation of Rajasthan's palaeoenvironmental changes is very relevant to the Harappan studies.  He has published 20 books and 250 papers.  He has been a member of the Advisory Board of World Archaeology and Le 'anthropologie and edited Man and Environment for a number of years.  He was Chairman of a large multidisciplinary group at PRL and is a Fellow of the National Science Academy.  He is a member of the National Commission on History of Science of the Indian National Science Academy.  He is now the chief editor of a multi-volume international project on the history of science and technology and honorary ndirector of Lok Vigyan Kendra, Almora.  He also runs a philanthropic trust at Almora.

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Bibliographic information

Title The Indus Civilization: An Interdisciplinary Perspective
Author D P Agrawal
Format Hardcover
Date published: 09.01.2007
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 9788173053108
length xviii+380p., 70 Colour & 7 B/w Plates; Figures; Tables; Bibliography; Index; 29cm.