Religion, Politics, and Landscapes in Archaeology: Hemanth Kadambi | Department of History

Religion, Politics, and Landscapes in Archaeology: Hemanth Kadambi

How did pre-modern states and empires dominate regions, sometimes for centuries? Are questions of resource exploitation and resource sharing only about dominance and subservience? What do built and natural spaces, especially sacred spaces, say about human interactions with each other, their environment, and past(s)? These are some broad questions that interest me in archaeology.

I investigate archaeological landscapes as culturally meaningful locations that are continually constituted. My current interests not only seek to understand the past conceptions of landscapes in early medieval India, but also how research itself shapes understandings of both the past and the present.

I bring a broad conception of politics to the study of the past: a behavioural imperative that seeks to secure interests and resources for a few in relation with others. Such relations could be hostile, negotiated co-existence in the form of sharing, affiliation, and other myriad forms ranging from dominance to subservience.  

As an anthropological archaeologist I am interested in research that takes in to account various lines of evidence, broad utilization of social theory, and the use of mixed-methods. As a field archaeologist I am interested in advances in archaeological techniques such as surveys, excavations and laboratory analysis.