Book Reviews of India: An Archaeological History: Palaeolithic Beginnings To Early Historic Foundations

Title: India: An Archaeological History: Paleolithic Beginnings To Early Historic Foundations
Author: Dilip Chakrabarti
Year: 1999

The author, Prof Dilip K. Chakrabarti who is a Professor of South Asian Archaeology in the University of Cambridge, ensures that the book lives up to its name and provides a meticulous coverage of finds from the Paleolithic, through Mesolithic, growth of villages in Baluchistan, Haryana, Gujarat, the Indus civilization, non- Harappan regions and inner India up-to the early foundations of early historic India.

The book is detailed enough but does not get into overly detailed discussions - I completed reading the book in two days. A second read would help one appreciate the minutiae and the ramifications of the various finds. The various findings themselves would enable one to construct a story of how Indian-subcontinent developed without recourse to any external literary or linguistic theory.

The author demonstrates the presence of cultural continuity in many of the pre-Indus sites like Mehrgarh, Harappan civilizations sites in Pakistan, Haryana, Gujarat, Indo-Gangetic plain etc. Also evident is the independent evolution of agriculture in various parts of Indian sub-continent, as well as the presence of metals like iron in various parts of Indian sub-continent as early as second millennium b.c.e

I would rate the book 5 out of 5.


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