The Discovery of Ancient India

The Discovery of Ancient India

Product ID: 13573

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Author: Upinder Singh
Publisher: Permanent Black
Year: 2004
Language: English
Pages: 381
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8178240882


This book breaks colonial archaeology down into its specific constituents and examines the ideas, impulses, tensions, and individual contributions that comprised early studies of India's ancient past. It focuses, at the outset, on the ideas and work of Alexander Cunningham, who became the first Director General of the Archaeological Survey of India in 1871. It also examines the contribution of Cunningham's assistants, Beglar and Carlleyle.

It then looks at a number of related issues-the different definitions of archaeological research; the conflict between field archaeologists an architectural scholars; the debate over whether antiquities should be left in situ or removed to museums; the different approaches and initiatives towards the conservation of historical monuments.

It also reconstructs the history of certain important Buddhist sites - Both Gaya, Sanchi and Bharhut-during the second half of the nineteenth century, while giving a detailed account of the life-history of the site of Amaravati.

Finally, it looks at the contribution made by Indian scholars to the antiquarian and archaeological projects, and at the interaction between the colonial government and the Indian princes vis-à-vis the conservation of historical monuments.

This book is written as much for the general reader interested in India's antiquity and its pioneering archaeologists, as for students of the history of archaeology colonialism, and constructions of the past.






From Antiquarianism to Archaeology

Alexander Cunningham: Engineer and Antiquarian

The First Archaeological Survey

Director General of the Archaeological Survey of India

J D M Beglar: Enthusiastic Apprentice

A C L Carlleyle: Amateur Prehistorian

The Description and Care of Monuments

The Dismembering of the Amaravati Stupa

The Ignorant Natives and Archaeological Research

Archaeology, Sites, and Monuments in Nineteenth-century India