Studying Early India (Archaeology, Texts, and Historical Issue)

Studying Early India (Archaeology, Texts, and Historical Issue)

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Item Code: NAH588
Author: Brajadulal Chattopadhyaya
Publisher: Permanent Black
Language: English
Edition: 2011
ISBN: 9788178241432
Pages: 292
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 8.5 inch x 5.5 inch
Weight 290 gm
About The Book

This book comprises a set of essays on some of the key issues which continue to excite historians and scholars of early India.

It show the profound impact of colonialism on the study of India’s early past, the new method and premises introduced into India by colonial studies, and the variety of departures from traditional, pre-colonial modes of history-writing. It goes on to show that past-independence historiography has brought a fresh set of problems to that fore: such as the integration of archaeology with narratives of early Indian history: of the trajectories of social change and social formation; of the historical position of ideology and its shifts; and of the ways of communicating knowledge of a past which is now increasingly under non-academic fundamentalist onslaughts.

With its diverse parts connected by strong threads of interesting in the changing nature of history-writing on early India, this new book on the methodological changes that confront the historian of pre-colonial India will consolidate Professor Chattopadhyay’s reputation as one of the foremost thinkers in his area of ancient and early medieval history.


About The Author

Brajadulal Chattopadhyaya was educated at Calcutta and Cambridge. He retired as Professor of History, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. His books include Coins and Currency System in South India (1977), The Making of Early Medieval India(1994) and Representing the Others Sanskrit Sources and the Muslims (1998).



This compilation of articles, written on disparate themes and on different occasions, owes its publication to Rukun Advani. I have chosen only such articles for the collection as reflect somewhat my own position on what I would consider certain key areas in the study of early Indian history. They have been grouped into several sections to suggest what these areas are. In preparing the collection for publication I have not attempted to substantially revise the texts or update the references; alterations and additions in both have been kept to a minimum.

My excuse is that I have not found adequate reasons to change my position on any of the issues discussed in the articles; my arguments remain the same today. On the other hand, if I were to write on the same issues now, I would perhaps attempt further studies and thus run the risk of not completing anything at all. The book is intended to suggest ways of looking at facets of early India, on the basis of material available from and on early India. Early India, admittedly, is an imprecise term, but search for a precise chronological definition is not the aim of this book.

I acknowledge with gratitude my debt to the publications in which many of the articles included here were originally published.




  Preface VII
1 The Study of Early India 3
Archaeology and Historical Issues
2 Indian Archaeology and the Epic Traditions 29
3 Transition to the Early Historical Phase in the Deccan: A Note 39
4 Geographical Perspectives, Culture Change and Linkages: Some Reflections on Early Punjab 48
5 Urban Centres in Early Bengal: Archaeological Perspectives 66
Texts and Historical Issues
6 The City in Early India: Perspective from Texts 105
7 Autonomous Spaces' and the Authority of the State: The Contradiction and Its Resolution in Theory and Practice in Early India 135
8 Historical Context of the Early Medieval Temples of North India 153
9 Reappearance' of the Goddess or the Brahmanical Mode of Appropriation: Some Early Epigraphic Evidence Bearing on Goddess Cults 172
10 Other, or the Others? Varieties of Difference in Indian Society at the Turn of the First Millennium and Their Historiographical Implications 191
Historiography and History as Communication
11 Trends of Research on Ancient Indian Economic History 217
12 State and Economy in North India: Fourth Century to Twelfth Century 233
13 Cultural Plurality, Contending Memories and Concerns of Comparative History: Historiography and Pedagogy in Contemorary India 263

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