The nine decades of research in Harappan studies have seen a significant paradigm shift from the Punjab and Sindh of Pakistan to Gujarat, Harayana, Punjab and Rajasthan of India. This series of publication entitled Harappan Studies aims at sharing updated information and knowledge on the Harappan Civilization, but it does not confine only to ‘the Mature Harappan period’ in a narrow sense. In order to understand the historical significance of the Harappan civilization, a wider perspective, both in space and time, is required. Form this point of view, this publication series aims to gather various viewpoints and information in order to understand how the urban society took birth, how the Harappan Civilization influenced the later history in South Asia and what the Harappan Civilization was in terms of the historical perspectives. Not only the Mature Harappan period but earlier and later periods are also in its scope. The emphasis here shall not only be on the interpretation of the new discoveries but also on the reinterpretation of the already known findings.
The present volume, the first of the series Harappan Studies, contains three research papers. The first one is a comprehensive report of the Bara phase of the Harappan Civilization based on excavations conducted at Sanghol. Though the site was excavated by various scholars affiliated to the different agencies but so far no detailed report has come out. This report in the form of a research paper shall open new vistas about this culture about which not much is known. The second paper focuses on the site-catchment analysis of Farmana, an important archaeological site in the Rohtak district of Harayana which was Jointly excavated by Deccan College, Pune; R.I.H.N., Kyoto, Japan and M.D. Univeristy, Rohtak. The third research paper deals with the study of pottery from Bedwa (Rohtak) from where remains of Harappan Necropolis were found. The authors have not only given a detailed report of the pottery, its classification on the basis of the physical and technical aspects but has also profusely illustrated the details. This paper gives an analysis of the burial practices in the Ghaggar basin.
Manmohan Kumar did his M.A. and Ph.D. from the Kurukshetra University in 1978. He served as Astt. Archaeologist in the Department of Archaeology and Museums, Panjab and as Museum Supervisor in the Department of A.I.H.C. and Archaeology, Kurukshetra University. He joined the Department of History in M.D. Univeristy, Rohtak in 1981 from where he retired as Professor in 2013. He has conducted archaeological explorations and excavations in Punjab and Haryana and participated in about a dozen excavations in various capacities. He has edited a number of volumes of the Numismatic Studies and also published detailed reports of a number of excavations. At present, he is associated with the Indian Numismatics, Historical and Cultural Foundation, Mumbai.
Akinori Uesugi did his M.A. and Ph.D. from Kansai University, Japan. He has vast experience of South Asian archaeology since 1990. He has participated in the excavations at Sravasti (U.P.), Farmana, Girawad, Mitathal and Madina (Rohtak, Haryana). He was the co-director of Mitathal excavations. He has done field work in Swat Valley (Pakistan) and also studied pottery of various sites housed in different museums and universities. He was associated with the Indus Project of Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, Kyoto, Japan and edited about ten volumes of Occasional Papers (Bulletin of Indus Project) as joint editor with Prof. T. Osada. At present, he is associated with the University of Wisconsin, Madison, U.S.A.
The nine decades of research in Harappan studies have seen paradigm shift from the Punjab and Sindh of Pakistan to Gujarat, Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan of India. Along with this, the earlier monopoly of government departments in the Harappan research has also been encroached upon slowly but steadily. Most of the universities faced dearth of funds and had to depend on Archaeological Survey’s doles for excavations, but this handicap was soon overcome with strategic collaborations. Another feature of this shift was in the field of publication of reports of excavations and explorations. The government departments were slack in this regard, may be due to the bureaucratic bottlenecks or otherwise.
As we are aware, the publication is as important as research work and hence, we though it proper to start a series of publication devoted to Harappan Civilization in particular and South Asian archaeology in general. The emphasis here shall not only be on the reinterpretation of the already known findings.
This series of publication entitled ‘Harappan Studies’ aims at sharing updated information and knowledge on the Harappan Civilization, but it does not confine our interests to ‘the Mature Harappan period’ in a narrow sense. In order to understand the historical significance of the Harappan civilization, a wider perspective, both in space and time, is required.
The Harappan Civilization developed both on a regional socio-cultural foundation in the northwestern part of South Asia, which had been formed before the Mature Harappan period, and on interaction with the surrounding areas, such as Iran, Central Asia, the Arabian Gulf and Mesopotamia. Thus, the development of an urban society should be regarded as a long-term process across a very wide area. In the same way, the decline of the Harappan Civilization or the collapse of the urban system, which took place in the Mature Harappan period, is also a complex process in space and time. Any single viewpoint on this social transformation cannot tell us what had happened in history.
From this point of view, this publication series aims to gather various viewpoints and information in order to understand how the urban society took birth, how the Harappan Civilization influenced the later history in South Asia and what the Harappan Civilization was in terms of the historical perspectives. Not only the Mature Harappan period but earlier and later periods are also in our scope.
The first volume of this series publishers three papers. The first paper written by G.B. Sharma is a comprehensive report on the excavations at Sanghol in Punjab. Although this site has been well known for a long time, since the 1960s, this paper by one of the excavators illustrates the importance of this site for the first time in proper perspective.
The second paper by Rajiv Mann and Vivek Dangi focuses on a site catchment analysis of Farmana-1, which is an important Harappan settlement in the Chautang Basin. The economical background of the development of Harappan settlement is discussed in detail.
The last paper is a report on the pottery collected from a cemetery site at Bedwa-2near Farmana. Unfortunately, this site has mostly been destroyed by modern land use, but the pottery collected in the course of removal of sand reveals the significance of this site for our understanding of transition from the Mature Harappan period to Late Harappan period.
We hope that this publication series will immensely contribute to the archaeology of South Asia. We crave for the indulgence of scholars and their suggestions shall be taken into consideration in the preparation of future issues of this series.
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