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South Asian Prehistory

D P Agrawal (Author) J.S. Kharakwal (Author)
Synopsis This book on South Asian Prehistory covers the story of humans from the beginning of the Stone Age to the advent of agriculture and animal husbandry. The authors have not confined themselves to merely typological descriptions of tools but have tried to look beyond - to the humans and their society that created them. As the authors have done considerable work on palaeoenvironment of Kashmir and Rajasthan, they have provided an environmental backdrop to the history of human cultures in the subcontinent. They have also provided a chronological framework to Stone Age Cultures based on a variety of physical techniques. This is the first time that the South Asian Stone Age Cultures are being described in a multidisciplinary framework. The book gives an interesting backdrop of the latest findings of hominids from Africa and other continents. It starts with the Early and Middle Palaeolithic Cultures and then devotes a chapter to the transitional Stone Age Cultures, which eventually led to domestication of plants and animals. The chapter on Early Farming Cultures not only gives regional pictures of the Neolithic Cultures but also discusses the far fetched effects of the major transition from hunting and food collecting to agriculture. It shows that the agriculture revolution has been a mixed blessing as in its wake have come a variety of diseases, epidemics and other calamities. A full chapter has been devoted to rock art studies, giving an up-to-date summary of the regional rock art traditions of the South, of the Himalayas and of Central India. In the concluding chapter the authors summarise the evidence and also point towards the need for further research in various related fields.
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About the authors

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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J.S. Kharakwal

Dr. Jeewan S. Kharakwal did his masters in Ancient Indian History and Archaeology from Kumaun University and Ph.D. From Deccan College, Pune. He teaches South Asian Archaeology at the Institute of Rajasthan Studies, Rajasthan Vidyapeeth, Udaipur. He has carried out extensive archaeological, ethnographic and archaeometallurgical explorations in Kumaun and Rajasthan with Profs. D.P. Agrawal, V.N. Mistra and V.S. Shinde. Currently he is working on archaeometallurgical sites in western India. He was a visiting JSPS fellow at International Research Center for Japanese Studies for one and a half years (2000-2002). He has published a book titled Central Himalayas: An Archaeological, Linguistic and Cultural Synthesis (1998) jointly with Prof. D.P. Agrawal.

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Bibliographic information

Title South Asian Prehistory
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2002
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8173052360
length xvi+268p., Col. Maps.; Figures; Bibliography; Index; 28cm.