Ancient India

Beyond Kings, Palaces and Temples – An introduction to the history and archaeology of Early South Asia.

We look here at the earliest people of the Indian subcontinent all the way up to the 6th century CE. This includes some key themes in history and archaeology, and we go over these in a chronological and thematic fashion. We study subcontinent-wise developments even as we use regional case-studies. Some key themes include the beginnings of agriculture, the foundations of the earliest cities and growth of complex political systems. This includes early states and empires, and a look at interactions across regions. We look at some academic debates on race, the genetic composition of the subcontinent and the role of archaeology in key historical events.

This course will introduce you to interpreting material culture and texts and how they are used in writing History, and help you make connections between present day issues and the past.