Mobility, Economic Strategies, and Social Networks:
Investigating Movement in the Mewar Plain of Rajasthan
Mobility, Economic Strategies, and Social Networks: Investigating Movement in the Mewar Plain of Rajasthan
Raczek, Teresa P.
University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu)
Mobility is an important part of life for those who practice a variety of economic strategies including foraging, pastoralism, craft production, service provision, and performance. Studies of mobility can contribute to broader understandings of social networks, community formation, and social identity in South Asia during the first few millennia b.c., a time of early social complexity. Previous ethnographic and archaeological research in the region shows a range of ways that mobile people form relationships with those who are more settled. In contrast to research that studies mobile people through the lens of sedentism, this study examines mobility directly, by focusing on the direction, range, and patterns of movement of the people who inhabited the site of Bagor (c. 5500 b.c.–a.d. 200) in Rajasthan, India. For much of its occupation, Bagor was used as a temporary camp by people with a high degree of mobility and a broad range of subsistence strategies. Although the links between Bagor and nearby permanent settlements have been clearly demonstrated, the direction, extent, and range of their movements during different time periods was previously unknown. This study examines the lithic raw materials from the 2001 re-excavations conducted by Deccan College (Pune) and pairs those results with a new survey of stone material sources in the region. Visual raw material analysis of the Bagor lithics indicate that local materials outnumber non-local materials and that approximately one-third of the Bagor chert artifacts may have come from regions to the south and southeast. In later time periods the use of non-local materials declines, which may reflect corresponding shifts in mobility. A comparison of the raw material distribution with the artifacts from Gilund, a contemporary sedentary settlement, shows a difference between their uses of raw material. Gilund utilized more local materials, and fewer non-local materials than Bagor.
mobility, lithics, Bagor, Ahar-Banas Complex, raw materials, Rajasthan
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