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Mobility and Subsistence Strategies: A Case Study of Inamgaon, A Chalcolithic Site in Western India

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Title: Mobility and Subsistence Strategies: A Case Study of Inamgaon, A Chalcolithic Site in Western India
Authors: Panja, Sheena
Keywords: settlement pattern
subsistence
behavioral archaeology
India
LC Subject Headings: Prehistoric peoples--Asia--Periodicals.
Prehistoric peoples--Oceania--Periodicals.
Asia--Antiquities--Periodicals.
Oceania--Antiquities--Periodicals.
East Asia--Antiquities--Periodicals.
Issue Date: 1999
Publisher: University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu)
Citation: Panja, S. 1999. Mobility and Subsistence Strategies: A Case Study of Inamgaon, A Chalcolithic Site in Western India. Asian Perspectives 38 (2): 154-85.
Series/Report no.: Volume 38
Number 2
Abstract: This article concerns archaeological methodology and examines the categories archaeologists use to describe mobility and subsistence strategies of the past. The Chalcolithic Culture of Inamgaon (western India) is taken as a case study, first, to assess how earlier researchers have tried to understand subsistence and mobility change from past material culture and, second, to rethink the nature of the Chalcolithic in the Bhima Valley with special reference to the site of Inamgaon. Traditionally, it has been thought that a change occurred, from sedentary agriculture to that dominated by seminomadic sheep and goat pastoralism, in the later levels of this site because of environmental degradation and aridity. Given the nature of this droughtprone region, its land-use capability, the archaeological settlement pattern of the region, and the material remains of the site of Inamgaon, there is no evidence of a drastic change from a sedentary agriculturist to a seminomadic pastoralist lifestyle. It is suggested that semisedentary agropastoralism always existed in this area, along with small-scale mobility either by the whole population or a section of the population. Other nomadic groups with different subsistence strategies also existed in this region. The difference in material culture in the later levels of the site probably resulted from a change in the function of the site, from that of a habitation area to a short-term camping area frequented by mobile peoples, not from a cultural shift from sedentism to seminomadism. KEYWORDS: settlement pattern, subsistence, behavioral archaeology, India.
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/17125
ISSN: 1535-8283 (E-ISSN)
0066-8435 (Print)
Appears in Collections:Asian Perspectives, 1999 - Volume 38, Number 2 (Fall)



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