Dr Hemanth Kadambi, Assistant Professor of Archaeology, Department of History, presented his paper "Landscapes of the Early Chalukyas (ca. 500-ca. 750 CE): A historical archaeology" at the Conference on Historical and Underwater Archaeology.
In India, the term Historical Archaeology usually means archaeology that privileges written evidence for documenting the past. Unlike in the Americas and Northern Europe where archaeology as a ‘discipline of things’ and ‘land(water)scapes’ has advanced an understanding of all periods, in India, this is not the case yet. Hence, periods of Indian history, despite the diversity of artifactual evidence, along with written records, are still seen as a disciplinary area of historians, and archaeologists rarely are the primary participants in that research. This paper seeks to move out of these crusted frameworks of understanding Indian pasts. Through an archaeological analysis of ceramics, art and architecture, and written records, I argue for a more nuanced understanding of the political and sacred landscapes of mid-first millennium CE Southern Deccan. I emphasize a richer historical picture of elite and non-elite relations can emerge when a dialogical approach to understanding the past is undertaken.