History and Archaeology of India's Contacts with Other Countries
|B.R. PUBLISHING CORPORATION
Volumes have been written on India's contacts with other countries during the historical period but there is hardly a work which deals exclusively with such contacts during the prehistoric and protohistoric periods, i.e., from the Palaeolithic period to the Mauryan Period. There are, however, a number of archaeological reports of excavations conducted in India and outside which contain a good deal of information on material culture throwing significant light on the subject, but it has not been pieced together earlier to work out a commected history of the entire period under consideration. Similarly, there is a good deal of literary and traditional evidence which needed a fresh treatment in the light of new historical discoveries and reassessment of the old date. In the present monograph an attempt has been made not only to organize this information into the histocial perspective of time and space but also to present a reappraisal of a number of theories built by different scholars working in the field.
Dr. Shashi Prabha Asthana (1947-1997), an expert in ancient Indian history and archaeology, won a number of prestigious scholarships and fellowships like the Bursary Merit Scholarship, Commonwealth Scholarship and British Institute Fellowship to visit and work in the UK, and USA, Japan, Iraq, Iran, France, Germany and other countries. She has authred several monographs and catalogues including "History and Archaeology of India's Contacts with other Countries from earliest times to 300 BC" (1976), "Pre-Harappan Cultures of India and Its Borderlands" (1985), "Mathura Kala" (2000), "Indian Art through the Ages and Indian Bronzes".
It is with a certain amount of hesitation in my mind that I agreed to write the foreword to this book. First of all, the span of time and diversity of cultures treated here has been so vast that I doubt except for Prof. Sankalia no one in this country would have even thought of taking up such a challenging subject for study, and, therefore, I was rather taken aback to see this work by a young scholar, although extremely brilliant with first class career. Moreover, at least for three years, I have so closely watched her collecting data with a rare passion and discussing with equally rare passion some of the oft-quoted theories with me, with which I radically red, that I feared I might become a serious victim of the luxury of my own fads. differed, However, once it has become inescapable, let me become a little unorthodox while writing these words.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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