Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-768ffcd9cc-7jw6s Total loading time: 0.303 Render date: 2022-12-05T00:52:46.796Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": false } hasContentIssue true

Article contents

Protohistoric graveyards of the Swat Valley, Pakistan: new light on funerary practices and absolute chronology

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 April 2017

Massimo Vidale
Affiliation:
Dipartimento dei Beni Culturali, Università degli Studi di Padova, Piazza Capitaniato 7, 35139 Padua, Italy
Roberto Micheli*
Affiliation:
Ministero dei Beni e delle Attività Culturali e del Turismo, Soprintendenza Archeologia, Belle Arti e Paesaggio del Friuli Venezia Giulia, Piazza della Libertà 7, 34135 Trieste, Italy
*
*Author for correspondence (Email: roberto.micheli@beniculturali.it)

Abstract

The protohistoric graveyards of north-western Pakistan were first excavated in the 1960s, but their chronology is still debated, along with their relationship to broader regional issues of ethnic and cultural change. Recent excavation of two graveyards in the Swat Valley has provided new dating evidence and a much better understanding both of grave structure and treatment of the dead. Secondary burial was documented at Udegram, along with the use of perishable containers and other objects as grave goods. The complexity of the funerary practices reveal the prolonged interaction between the living and the dead in protohistoric Swat.

Type
Research
Copyright
Copyright © Antiquity Publications Ltd, 2017 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Ali, I., Batt, C.M., Coningham, R.A.E. & Young, R.L.. 2002. New exploration in the Chitral Valley, Pakistan: an extension of the Gandharan Grave culture. Antiquity 76: 647–53. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0003598X00091055 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ali, I., Hamilton, D., Newson, P., Qasim, M., Young, R. & Zahir, M.. 2008. New radiocarbon dates from Chitral, NWFP, Pakistan, and their implications for the Gandharan grave culture of northern Pakistan. Antiquity 82 (318): Project Gallery. Available at: http://www.antiquity.ac.uk/projgall/youngr/ (accessed 19 January 2017).Google Scholar
Barrett, J.C. 1988. The living, the dead and the ancestors: Neolithic and Early Bronze Age mortuary practices, in Barrett, J.C. & Kinnes, I. (ed.) The archaeology of context in the Neolithic and Bronze Age. Recent trends: 3041. Sheffield: J.R. Collis.Google Scholar
Bettencourt, A.M.S. 2010. Burials, corpses and offerings in the Bronze Age of NW Iberia as agents of social identity and memory, in Bettencourt, A.M.S., Sanchez, M. Jesus, Alves, L.B. & Valcarce, R. Fábregas (ed.) Conceptualizing space and place. On the role of agency, memory and identity in the construction of space from the Upper Palaeolithic to the Iron Age in Europe (British Archaeological Reports international series 2058): 3345. Oxford: Archeopress.Google Scholar
Boulestin, B. & Duday, H.. 2006. Ethnology and archaeology of death: from the illusion of references to the use of a terminology. Archaeologia Polona 44: 149–69.Google Scholar
Bronk Ramsey, C. 2009. Bayesian analysis of radiocarbon dates. Radiocarbon 51: 337–60. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0033822200033865 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Callieri, P., Brocato, P., Filigenzi, A., Olivieri, L.M. & Nascari, M.. 1992. Bir-kot-ghwandai 1990–1992. A preliminary report on the excavations of the Italian archaeological mission, IsMEO (Annali dell'Istituto Orientale di Napoli supplement 73). Naples: Istituto Universitario Orientale.Google Scholar
Castaldi, E. 1968. La necropoli di Katelai I nello Swat (Pakistan). Rapporto sullo scavo delle tombe 46–80 (1963). Atti dell'Accademia dei Lincei CCCLXV, serie VIII, XIII, 7: 483639.Google Scholar
Chang, K.-C. 1968. The archaeology of ancient China. New Haven (CT): Yale University Press.Google Scholar
Chapman, R. 2003. Death, society and archaeology: the social dimensions of mortuary practices. Mortality 8: 305–12. https://doi.org/10.1080/13576270310001599849 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Chénier, A. 2009. Bones, people and communities: tensions between individual and corporate identities in secondary burial ritual. Nexus: The Canadian Student Journal of Anthropology 21: 2740.Google Scholar
Chesson, M.S. 1999. Libraries of the dead: early Bronze Age charnel houses and social identity at Urban Bab edh-Dhra’, Jordan. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 18: 137–64. https://doi.org/10.1006/jaar.1998.0330 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Coningham, R.A.E., Young, R. & Ali, I.. 2007. The regional synthesis: a conclusion, in Coningham, R.A.E. & Ali, I. (ed.) Charsadda: the British-Pakistani excavations at the Bala Hisar of Charsadda (Society for South Asian Studies Monographs 5): 257–67. Oxford: Archaeopress.Google Scholar
Dani, A.H. 1967. Timargarha and Gandhara grave culture. Introduction. Ancient Pakistan 3 (special issue): 155.Google Scholar
Dani, A.H. 1992. Pastoral-agricultural tribes of Pakistan in the post-Indus period, in Dani, A.H. & Masson, V.M. (ed.) History of civilizations of Central Asia 1 (the dawn of civilization: earliest times to 700 B.C.): 395419. Paris: UNESCO.Google Scholar
Kuz'mina, E. 2007. The origin of the Indo-Iranians. Leiden & Boston (MA): Brill.Google Scholar
Laneman, M. 2012. Stone-cist grave at Kaseküla, western Estonia, in the light of AMS dates of the human bones. Estonian Journal of Archaeology 16: 91117. https://doi.org/10.3176/arch.2012.2.01 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lull, V., Micó, R., Rihuete-Herrada, C. & Risch, R.. 2013. Funerary practices and kinship in an Early Bronze Age society: a Bayesian approach applied to the radiocarbon dating of Argaric double tombs. Journal of Archaeological Science 40: 4626–34. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2013.07.008 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
McDonnell, G. & Coningham, R.A.E.. 2007. The metal objects and metal-working residues, in Coningham, R.A.E. & Ali, I. (ed.) Charsadda: the British-Pakistani excavations at the Bala Hisar of Charsadda (Society for South Asian Studies Monographs 5): 151–59. Oxford: Archaeopress.Google Scholar
Miles, D. 1965. Socio-economic aspects of secondary burial. Oceania XXXV (3): 161–74. https://doi.org/10.1002/j.1834-4461.1965. tb00850.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mizoguchi, K. 1993. Time in the reproduction of mortuary practices. World Archaeology 25: 223–35. https://doi.org/10.1080/00438243.1993.9980239 CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Müller-Karpe, H. 1983. Jungbronzezeitlich- früheisenzeitliche Gräberfelder der Swat-Kultur in Nord-Pakistan. München: C.H. Beck.Google Scholar
Nilsson Stutz, L. 2008. More than metaphor: approaching the human cadaver in archaeology, in Fahlander, F. & Oestigaard, T. (ed.) More than metaphor: approaching the human cadaver in archaeology (British Archaeological Reports international series 1768): 1928. Oxford: Archaeopress.Google Scholar
Olivieri, L.M. 2013. ACT-Field school project: an overview, in Marati, I. & Vassallo, C. (ed.) The new Swat Archaeological Museum. Architectural study, masterplan and execution (ACT-Field School Reports and Memoirs I): 115. Lahore: Sang-e-Meel.Google Scholar
Olivieri, L.M. (ed.). 2014. The last phases of the urban site of Bir-Kot-Ghwandai (Barikot). The Buddhist sites of Gumbat and Amluk-Dara (Barikot) (ACT Reports and Memoirs II). Lahore: Sang-E-Meel.Google Scholar
Olivieri, L.M. 2016. The graveyard and the Buddhist shrine at Saidu Sharif (Swat, Pakistan). Fresh chronological and stratigraphic evidence. Vestnik Drevnej Istorii 76: 559–78.Google Scholar
Possehl, G.L. & Gullapalli, P.. 1999. The Early Iron Age in South Asia, in Pigott, V.C. (ed.) The archaeometallurgy of the Asian Old World (MASCA Research Papers in Science and Archaeology 16; University Museum Monograph 89): 153–75. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.Google Scholar
Reimer, P.J., Bard, E., Bayliss, A., Beck, J.W., Blackwell, P.G., Ramsey, C. Bronk, Buck, C.E., Cheng, H., Edwards, R.L., Friedrich, M., Grootes, P.M., Guilderson, T.P., Haflidason, H., Hajdas, I., Hatté, C., Heaton, T.J., Hoffmann, D.L., Hogg, A.G., Hughen, K.A., Kaiser, K.F., Kromer, B., Manning, S.W., Niu, M., Reimer, R.W., Richards, D.A., Scott, E.M., Southon, J.R., Staff, R.A., Turney, C.S.M. & van der Plicht, J.. 2013. IntCal13 and Marine13 radiocarbon age calibration curves 0–50,000 years cal BP. Radiocarbon 55: 1869–87. https://doi.org/10.2458/azu_js_rc.55.16947 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Robertson, G.S. 1896. The Kafirs of the Hindu-Kush. London: Lawrence & Bullen.Google Scholar
Rolfe, J.C. 1946. Quintus Curtius, history of Alexander (volume II, books 6–10; Loeb Classical Library 369). Cambridge (MA): Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
Schroeder, S. 2001. Secondary disposal of the dead: cross-cultural codes. World Cultures 12: 7793.Google Scholar
Silvi Antonini, S. & Stacul, G.. 1972. The proto-historic graveyards of Swat (Pakistan) (IsMEO Reports and Memoirs, XX, 1–2). Rome: IsMEO.Google Scholar
Stacul, G. 1966. Preliminary report on the pre-Buddhist necropolises in Swat (W. Pakistan). East and West 16 (1–2): 3779.Google Scholar
Stacul, G. 1969. Excavation near Ghaligai (1968) and chronological sequence of protohistorical cultures in the Swat Valley. East and West 19 (1–2): 4491.Google Scholar
Stacul, G. 1975. The fractional burial custom in the Swat Valley and some connected problems. East and West 25 (3–4): 323–32.Google Scholar
Stacul, G. 1979. Early Iron Age in the northwest of the subcontinent, in Agrawal, D.P. & Chakrabarti, D.K. (ed.) Essays in Indian protohistory: 341–45. Delhi: B.R. Publishing Corporation.Google Scholar
Stacul, G. 1990. On Charsada and beyond: what is wrong with Sir Mortimer?, in Taddei, M. & Callieri, P. (ed.) South Asian archaeology 1987 (9th EASAA Conference, Venice; Serie Orientale Roma 66): 605–10. Rome: IsMEO.Google Scholar
Stacul, G. 1997. Early Iron Age in Swat: development or intrusion?, in Allchin, B. & Allchin, F.R. (ed.) South Asian archaeology 1995 (13th EASAA Conference, Cambridge, 5–9 July 1995): 341–48. New Delhi: Oxford University Press & IBH.Google Scholar
Vidale, M., Olivieri, L.M., Cupitò, M., Micheli, R., Iqbal, A., Zahir, M. & Genchi, F.. In press. A new phase of research on the protohistoric graves of Swat Valley, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan, in South Asian Archaeology 2012 (21st EASAA Conference, Paris, 26 July 2012).Google Scholar
Vinogradova, N. 2001. Towards the question of the relative chronology for a protohistoric Swat sequence (on the basis of the Swat graveyards). East and West 51 (1–2): 936.Google Scholar
Wheeler, M. 1962. Charsada, a metropolis of the north-west frontier, being a report on the excavations of 1958. London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Weiss-Krejci, C. 2011. Changing perspectives on mortuary practices in Late Neolithic/Copper Age and Early Bronze Iberia, in Lillios, K. (ed.) Comparative archaeologies: prehistoric Iberia (3000–1500 BC) and the American Southwest (A.D. 900–1600): 153–74. Oxford: Oxbow.Google Scholar
Zahir, M. 2012. The protohistoric cemeteries of north-western Pakistan: the deconstruction and reinterpretation of archaeological and burial traditions. Unpublished PhD dissertation, Leicester University.Google Scholar
3
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Protohistoric graveyards of the Swat Valley, Pakistan: new light on funerary practices and absolute chronology
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Protohistoric graveyards of the Swat Valley, Pakistan: new light on funerary practices and absolute chronology
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Protohistoric graveyards of the Swat Valley, Pakistan: new light on funerary practices and absolute chronology
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *