Once in a while a book comes along that so radically shifts your perspective and ways of thinking about a complex subject that it can only be called breathtaking. Against the Grain A Deep History of the Earliest States (2017), by Yale Agrarian Studies Professor James C. Scott is one such book.
Papers of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University, vol. 86.
Of all the untapped veins to mine in ancient Indus studies, none may be as rich as the thousands of figurines excavated from all sites.
This is a very important book by two scholars who have spent years studying ancient Mesopotamian cultures (Steinkeller, Harvard University) or leading explorations of more recently discovered Gulf Arab cultures (Laursen, Moesgaard Museum Denmark).
Geoffrey Bibby was a Cambridge-educated oil executive, who got caught up, against-all-odds, with the tiny Danish Prehistoric Museum of Aarhus, with barely any resources, that nonetheless has emerged as a powerhouse in ancient Dilmun studies, thanks in part to Bibby's initial efforts.
Robin Coningham (Durham University) and Ruth Young (University of Leicester) offer a critical synthesis of the archaeology of South Asia from the Neolithic period (c.6500 BCE), when domestication began, to the spread of Buddhism accompanying the Mauryan Emperor Asoka's reign (third century BCE).
A Sindhi writer and scholar examines the manifold relationships between Indus artifacts and elements of Sindhi culture that still exist or did so in the near past.
"Unputdownable," according to noted contemporary Pakistani writer Kamila Shamsie, this is a well-written, engaging story that switches back and forth between a modern excavation of Mohenjodaro and a storyline set in 3700 BCE, connected through a bloodstone with supernatural powers that, in the right hands, transcends time.
Over 500 pages of great insight and new data reveals the quiet and powerful role of bioarchaeology in Indus studies. Bioarchaeology is by one of its first practitioners, as "the reconstructions of past people's lives based on a multidisciplinary analysis of archaeological human remains. Bioarchaeology is one of the few fields of inquiry that emphasizes integration of three subdiscipines of anthropology: biological anthropology, archaeology, and sociocultural anthropology."
This volume, dedicated to the archaeologist Dr. Gregory Possehl, has been edited by his former students, and presents a series of case studies that develop and investigate the broad range of ideas and research that "Dr. P" fostered through his research and teaching.
This anthology of thirteen essays by Nayanjot Lahiri combines twenty years of scholarship on various topics related to the historiography of ancient India. Using her training as an archaeologist, and an extensive experience with archival material, Lahiri marshalls a wide and disparate set of materials into an accessible and compelling assemblage that is supported by rigorous research.
An extraordinary book illuminating the rich imagistic life in the subcontinent tens of thousands of years before ancient Indus times by an Austrian pioneer in the field.
This is the first book to focus on the role of Southern Asia and Australia in our understanding of modern human origins and the expansion of Homo sapiens between East Africa and Australia before 30,000 years ago.
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 splendor. Though technologically innovative, the Indus Civilization in marked by a modesty and the functionality of its architecture and artifacts.
"The most controversial and sought after animal in Indian archaeology has been the horse," writes the author. "At
"I have a book open before me on my desk which is about the ancient civilisation of Mohenjo-daro. Apart from the pottery, toys, figurines and ornaments, diggings at Mohenjo-daro . . .."
There are almost no concise, up-to-date accounts of the ancient Indus civilization, locating the latest facts and opinions within a larger intellectual context. Has the Indus script been deciphered? What can we say about the relationship of ancient Indus traditions and modern Hinduism? How did Indus society compare to contemporary Bronze Age Egypt and Mesopotamia? Why do so many questions remain open and so contentious?
A BOOK REVIEW of Asko Parpola's investigation of twin roots of Hinduism, the religion brought to South Asia in the second millennium BCE by speakers of Aryan or Indo-Iranian languages, and the more enigmatic Indus civilization of the third millennium BCE.
With a note by Iravatham Mahadevan.