Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

The Archaeology of South Asia
From the Indus to Asoka, c.6500 BCE–200 CE

CAD$51.95 (F)

Part of Cambridge World Archaeology

  • Date Published: March 2023
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521609722

CAD$ 51.95 (F)

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook

Looking for an examination copy?

This title is not currently available for examination. However, if you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • This book offers a critical synthesis of the archaeology of South Asia from the Neolithic period (c. 6500 BCE), when domestication began, to the spread of Buddhism accompanying the Mauryan Emperor Asoka's reign (third century BCE). The authors examine the growth and character of the Indus civilisation, with its town planning, sophisticated drainage systems, vast cities and international trade. They also consider the strong cultural links between the Indus civilisation and the second, later period of South Asian urbanism which began in the first millennium BCE and developed through the early first millennium CE. In addition to examining the evidence for emerging urban complexity, this book gives equal weight to interactions between rural and urban communities across South Asia and considers the critical roles played by rural areas in social and economic development. The authors explore how narratives of continuity and transformation have been formulated in analyses of South Asia's Prehistoric and Early Historic archaeological record.

    • The only volume to explicitly compare the archaeological sequences of the Indus urban period with the Early Historic urban period
    • Focuses on urban-rural interaction and interactions within adjacent regions
    • An integrated study of the development of the discipline of archaeology within South Asia and a discussion of the sequences thus produced
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    "This new and thorough survey of the vast Indian subcontinent, from before the first urban civilization of the Indus to the time of Ashoka and the Mauryan Empire in the third century BCE, brings to bear contemporary archaeological questions and methods in a perceptive way. It is a valuable introduction to one of the major fields of world archaeology."
    Colin Renfrew, McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge

    "This book provides a substantial body of information regarding vital archaeological research of South Asian region. By gathering an insight into the field walking experience of South Asia, this book fulfills a long-felt need for a precise understanding of South Asian archaeology. This book will be essential reading for archaeologists throughout the world."
    Prishanta Gunawardhana, University of Kelaniya and Director General of Central Cultural Fund, Sri Lanka

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2023
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521609722
    • length: 555 pages
    • dimensions: 254 x 178 x 29 mm
    • weight: 1.025kg
    • contains: 178 b/w illus. 28 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. The Context:
    1. Introduction and definitions
    2. Environment and culture: South Asia's environmental, linguistic and religious patterns
    3. Histories of South Asian archaeology
    Part II. The Indus Valley Tradition c.6500–1900 BCE:
    4. Food producers: multiple Neolithics (c.6500–2000 BCE)
    5. Regionalisation and differentiated communities (c.5000–2600 BCE)
    6. An era of integration: the Indus civilisation (c.2600–1900 BCE)
    7. Localisation: transformations of a system (c.1900–1200 BCE)
    Part III. The Early Historic Tradition (c.1900–200 BCE):
    8. South Asia: transitions and continuities (c.1900–1200 BCE)
    9. The re-emergence of regional differentiation (c.1200–600 BCE)
    10. Reintegration: towards an early historic world (c.600–250 BCE)
    11. The Mauryans and the Asokan ideal (c.321–185 BCE)
    Part IV. Conclusions:
    12. Conclusions and challenges.

  • Authors

    Robin Coningham, University of Durham
    Robin Coningham is UNESCO Chair in Archaeological Ethics and Practice in Cultural Heritage at the University of Durham. He has participated in over fifteen UNESCO missions and currently co-directs UNESCO's excavations in Nepal at Tilaurakot and Lumbini, the birthplace of the Buddha. He has published eight books and over eighty papers and chapters.

    Ruth Young, University of Leicester
    Ruth Young is Senior Lecturer at the School of Archaeology and Ancient History at the University of Leicester. She has published in journals such as Antiquity, the International Journal of Heritage Studies, the International Journal of Historical Archaeology, Historical Archaeology, World Archaeology and many others. She is also writing a monograph on her work in northern Pakistan.

Related Books

also by this author

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×
warning icon

Turn stock notifications on?

You must be signed in to your Cambridge account to turn product stock notifications on or off.

Sign in Create a Cambridge account arrow icon

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.