Public Talk "In the Shadow of Rakhigarhi" | Shiv Nadar University
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Public Talk "In the Shadow of Rakhigarhi"

Academic
07 Mar 2020

A public talk "In the Shadow of Rakhigarhi" was organised by the Center for Archaeology, Heritage and Museum Studies by Dr Cameron A. Petrie and Adam S. Green, of the University of Cambridge at the India International Centre, New Delhi on 7th March 2020.

 

In the Shadow of Rakhigarhi

Cameron A. Petrie and Adam S. Green

The emergence of the world’s first cities marked a major transformation in human life that was felt across urban and rural communities. The urban centres of the Indus Civilisation (c. 2600-1900 BC) were distributed across an extensive area of South Asia that was environmentally diverse. Rita P. Wright has contributed greatly to the understanding of the rural settlements surrounding the city of Harappa through the Beas River Landscape and Settlement Survey, which revealed the necessity and value of integrating settlement data into broader analyses of urbanism. Likewise, the excavations and surveys of the Land Water and Settlement, TwoRains and TIGR2ESS projects have yielded major insights into rural life in the hinterland of Rakhigarhi, another of the Indus Civilisation’s major cities. These projects have combined large-scale remote sensing approaches with extensive surveys to reveal hidden hydrological systems and the location of hundreds of ancient settlements distributed throughout northwest India’s varied environmental zones. This work has been accompanied by site-based excavations that have sharpened our understanding of how rural communities adapted to the environments that they occupied. In this lecture, we will discuss the emergence and transformation of urbanization in the Indus Civilisation with a specific focus on the site of Rakhigarhi. It will explore how people established some of South Asia’s first agricultural landscapes, and how some of their innovations continue to shape society and culture in northwest India.

Cameron A. Petrie has been based at the Department of Archaeology in Cambridge since 2005, when he became the Research Councils UK Fellow in South Asian and Iranian Archaeology, and was appointed as a lecturer in 2010, senior lecturer in 2014 and reader in 2016. Prior to coming to Cambridge he was the Katherine and Leonard Woolley Junior Research Fellow at Somerville College Oxford (2003-2006), and was appointed to that position after finishing his PhD at the University of Sydney (1998-2002). His research primarily focuses on the investigation of complex societies. He is particularly interested in the rise of complexity, the social and economic aspects of state formation, the impact that the growth of states and empires has on subjugated regions, and the relationships between humans and the environment. He has extensive field and research experience at archaeological sites dating from the Neolithic up to the medieval period in India, Pakistan and Iran, and co-directs projects in each of these countries.

Adam S. Green is an anthropological archaeologist who studies long term trajectories of social change and their role as heritage. He focuses on Haryana, Punjab and Telangana, and uses digital and computational approaches to reconstruct changes in these ancient landscapes. He also draws a lot of data from ethnographic and historical sources.

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