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Archaeology and History: Early Settlements in the Andaman Islands

Zarine Cooper (Author)
Synopsis This pioneering study is the result of extensive surveys on early human settlements in the Andaman Islands. Combining the methods of archaeology and ethnography, it blends insights from oral traditions that endure in these islands with a rigorous scientific approach—radiocarbon dating of shell middens indicating the presence of camping sites over two thousand years old; the mapping of abandoned onge encampments on little Andaman Island; and excavations in a large limestone cave on Baratang Island. The author pieces together evidence from these surveys and excavation to provide an insight into the life of the people of the archipelago and the history of communication networks in the Bay of Bengal. Cooper’s effort to unravel the cultural geography of the islands is uniquely complemented by the perceptions of the Andaman Islanders themselves. The study emphasizes the historical importance of the Indian Ocean as the vortex of cultural change and also highlights contemporary concerns. In doing so, it raises some crucial questions of ethnicity and tribe, identity and national heritage, tribal welfare and the impact of government policy. This carefully argued and well-illustrated volume will be invaluable for anthropologists, historians, ethnographers, museologists, civil servants, policy analysts, and the general reader interested in the cultural history of island communities throughout the world.
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About the author

Zarine Cooper

Zarine Cooper, an archaeologist based in Pune, India, is a former Homi Bhabha Fellow, and the author of Prehistory of the Chitrakot Falls, Central India (1997) and co-author of Bastar Folk Art (1999).

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Bibliographic information

Title Archaeology and History: Early Settlements in the Andaman Islands
Author Zarine Cooper
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2002
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 0195657926
length xvi+208p., Figures; Tables; Bibliography; Index; 23cm.