South Asia is home to a diverse range of prehistoric and contemporary cultures that include foragers, pastoralists, and farmers. In this book, archaeologists, biological anthropologists, geneticists and linguists are brought together in order to provide a comprehensive account of the history and evolution of human populations residing in the subcontinent. A wide range of topics and issues are addressed in this book, including hominin adaptations, behaviours, and dispersals; the origin and spread of food producing economies; and the cultural, biological and genetic relationship of foragers and settled communities. New theories, methodologies and interpretations presented in this book are bound to have a profound effect on the way in which the cultural record of South Asia is perceived and how this evolutionary history relates to events in the wider world.
From the reviews: "The volume is divided into four sections following a Preface, a List of Contributors, and a stunning introductory essay by the editors ! . congratulations to Drs. Petraglia and Allchin for organizing a successful conference and serving as generous hosts to its participants. I intend to use this volume in a seminar I offer to undergraduate and graduate students at my university, 'Paleoanthropology of South Asia.' What a pleasure it will be to introduce this remarkable volume to them and to my colleagues." Kenneth A. R. Kennedy, Journal of Mammalian Evolution, Issue 15, 2008 "It is unusually good, informative and cohesive for a conference proceedings. Given the exhaustive references and sound conclusions of the many high quality chapters, this book rightfully shall become indispensable to the small, hardy band of specialists in the biohistory of South Asia." Robert S. Corruccini, International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, Vol. 18, 2008 "The most important contribution this volume makes is that the South Asian paleoanthropological and cultural evidence is highlighted through a relatively new and well-known international publishing series. It also introduces diverse lines of research to be pursued and will hopefully encourage and stimulate new methodological approaches and fresh interpretations of human evolutionary scenarios in a unique region of Asia." Parth R. Chauhan, PaleoAnthropology 2010
Part I. Setting Foundations, Part II. The Modern Scene, Part III. New Worlds in the Holocene, Part IV. Concluding Remarks
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Michael D. Petraglia was born in New York in 1960, and has been conducting research into the Paleolithic archaeology of South Asia since 1987. He is currently a Lecturer in the Leverhulme Centre for Human Evolutionary Studies, University of Cambridge. He has conducted archaeological research in India, Arabia and North America. He is co-editor of the book, Early Human Behaviour in Global Context: the Rise and Diversity of the Lower Palaeolithic Record. Bridget Allchin was born in Oxford in 1927, and has been conducting research into varied aspects of Indian prehistory and ethnography for more than four decades. She is currently Chair of the Ancient India & Iran Trust (Cambridge). Her books include The Stone Tipped Arrow, The Prehistory and Palaeogeography of the Great Indian Desert, and, with Raymond Allchin, The Birth of Indian Civilization, and The Rise of Civilization in India and Pakistan.