Artefacts of History Archaeology, Historiography and Indian Pasts
Written by Sudeshna Guha
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Artefacts of History Archaeology, Historiography and Indian Pasts by Sudeshna GuhaThis book encourages us to critically regard the ways in which ideologies of cultural heritage and civilisational legacies are transformed into tangible and visible things through archaeological scholarship. Through little-known histories of the practices, governance and scholarship of the archaeology of India, this book re-examines the manner in which the past is recalled and historicized. It guides us to think afresh of the histories of antiquarianism in South Asia, explore the impetus of collecting and curatorial practices within the scholarship of pre-colonial India, and investigate the diverse linkages within the histories of Indian archaeology. It encourages a focus upon issues of historiography, methodology and notions of evidence and looks in to the responsibilities and changing needs of the academic scholarship of archaeology.
.D. Chattopadhyaya 'This book is a welcome and much needed addition to the existing literature dealing with the history of Indian archaeology. Diverging widely and radically from the storytelling and often eulogistic accounts of the rise and growth of archaeology in India, archaeological practices and archaeologists themselves, it seeks to place the growth of archaeological (and Indological) studies in the matrix of mutually interactive domains of the nineteenth-century intellectual trends in Europe and British colonial practices in India.
'With this book, Sudeshna Guha fills in a wide gap in our knowledge of the history of antiquarianism and archaeology in India. Doing away with the inherited prejudices of colonial history, Dr Guha demonstrates the existence of a curiosity for the past, its monuments and objects across medieval and modern India-a curiosity that has been hitherto neglected by traditional historiography. To her fine tune knowledge of the history of archaeology in the Indian subcontinent, the author adds an evident familiarity with the history of antiquarianism in Britain. This book is one of the best examples of post-colonial historiography applied to archaeology and to the comparative history of civilisations. It also provides an important contribution to the epistemology of archaeology, considered as a full-fledged social science.'
. -- The Book Review, February 2016
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20th May 2015
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