The study of the Indian past is complex, multifaceted, multidisciplinary, and influenced by social and political factors / Image credit: N. Gupta, 2017

Archaeology as Fringe Science: Insights from Post-Colonial India


Until very recently, the vast majority of social and historical studies of Indian archaeology focused on practices in the period before Indian independence in 1947. While fruitful, these efforts overlook the changing relationship between science and society. In globalized world, archaeology is most often practiced in national contexts. In the Indian context, the practice of archaeology is influenced by an ideology of ‘fundamental unity’ throughout India and by Hindu nationalism. Indian archaeologists typically interpret these in terms of the Vedic origins of Indian civilization and of cultural continuity between contemporary and prehistoric societies.

Fringe Science and Threadbare Knowledge
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