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Prehistory and Protohistory of India- An Appraisal (Palaeolithic- Non-Harappan Chalcolithic Cultures)

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Item Code: NAW073
Publisher: D. K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
Author: V.K. Jain
Language: English
Edition: 2017
ISBN: 9788124603727
Pages: 214 (34 B/W Illustrations)
Other Details 9.00 X 6.00 inch
Weight 490 gm
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Book Description
About the Book

Fresh excavations, new dating techniques and ever-growing conceptual frame-works since 1950 have greatly reshaped our perspective on Prehistory and Protohistory of the Indian subcontinent. This monograph, which is primarily aimed to serve as a starter for the undergraduate and postgraduate students, presents, in a concise but comprehensive manner, a syncretic view of the latest information on various aspects such as tools and technologies, settlement and subsistence patterns, ecological background and distributional configuration in respect of the Stone Age and the Chalcolithic Cultures outside the Harappan Zone. The Megalithic Cultures of peninsular India and the Deccan too find a place in the book. A glossary of the terms used frequently in archaeology as well as maps, line-drawings and explanatory notes on individual sites add further value to the text.

About the Author

Dr. V.K. Jain teaches history at Motilal Nehru College, University of Delhi. His two other books include Trade and Traders in Western India, New Delhi, 1990 and Cities and Sites of Ancient and Early Medival India A Historical Profile, New Delhi, 1998.


Much work has been done in the field of Indian archaeology during the last fifty years or so as is evident from the large number of explorations and excavations that have been undertaken during this period and from the vast amount of literature that has been generated by archaeologists. Although many excavation reports have remained unpublished, scholars have made good use of whatever material is available in print and have deepened our understanding of India’s past. The information and interpretation contained in the archaeological literature, however, have yet to find their due place in the textbooks and become accessible to teachers as well as students. The present work by Dr. V.K. Jain is a commendable effort in this direction.

An inspiring teacher of long standing and a dedicated researcher, Dr. V-K. Jain has painstakingly rummaged through the entire relevant literature and has ably tried to assimilate the available data. Unswayed by any trendy and fashionable approach he has dealt with controversial issues in a highly detached manner and has presented a comprehensive view of the latest information on tools and technologies, subsistence patterns, and distribution and ecological background of settlements during the period from the Palaeolithic to the non- Harappan Chalcolithic. The appendix on the megalithic cultures of Central India and the Deccan, the line drawings of tools, and the explanatory notes on important archaeological sites accompanied by maps are some of the important features of the book which make it extremely useful for the readers. I am sure the students as well as teachers «will find Dr. Jain’s book an indispensable handbook on Indian prehistory and protohistory and will eagerly wait for the publication of its companion volume on the Harappan culture.


FRESH excavations, new dating techniques and ever-growing conceptual frameworks during the last half-a-century have greatly reshaped our perspective on Prehistoric and Protohistoric past of the Indian subcontinent. But still most of the books and articles on the subject, with the exception of those by D.K. Chakrabarti, F.R. Allchin, D.P. Agarwal, K. Paddayya and a few others, continue to follow the traditional "culture-history" paradigm or collection and narration approach rather than focus on the cultural process of change and continuity. Since 1950, the pace of research has increased manifold and there is today enough data to portray more or less a clear and connected picture of India’s cultural growth in the remote past, and to justify the argument that there is nothing ‘static’ about Indian society which, as any other, has been growing with time and space.

This monograph is an attempt to present, in a concise but comprehensive manner, a syncretic view of the latest information on tools and technologies, settlement-subsistence pattern, distributional framework and ecological background, etc., in respect of Prehistory and Protohistory of India. It covers a canvas extending from the Palaeolithic to the non- Harappan Chalcolithic Cultures and leaves out the Harappan Civilization for the subsequent volume. It begins with an enquiry into the definition of Prehistory and Protohistory and goes on to refer to the significance of latest dating techniques and theoretical perspectives in archaeology. Chapter-II reviews the contribution which Indian archaeological studies since 1950 have made to our knowledge. In the subsequent chapters, the salient features of Palaeolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic and non- Harappan Chalcolithic Cultures have béen highlighted. The chief elements of the iron-using Megalithic Cultures of peninsular India and the Deccan (c. 1000 Bc — 300 Bc), the information about which is obtained exclusively from the archaeological excavations, have been discussed in the Appendix which also includes a glossary of important terms frequently used in archaeological as well as the explanatory notes on prominent sites mentioned in the text.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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