Discovering India Anew: Out of Africa to Its Early History
Alan Machado (Prabhu)
Price
1525
ISBN
9789354427275
Language
English
Pages
356
Format
Paperback
Dimensions
140 x 216 mm
Year of Publishing
2024
Territorial Rights
World
Imprint
Orient BlackSwan

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Where does one begin to tell a story that spans many thousands of years, a story whose origins are obscured by stubborn mists that will not lift and enduring myths that will not shift under the weight of ages of telling?

Discovering India Anew reconstructs the history of Indian peoples, taking off from where the history of Indians really begins: Africa. Exploring their earliest journey out of Africa through the colonisation of South Asia by different genetic groups to the end of South Asia’s first urban civilisation, Harappa, and the arrival of the Indo-Aryans, the author asks a fundamental question: Who are we Indians?

 The book draws on fields as diverse as archaeology, archaeobotany, palaeoanthropology, genetics, climatology, historical linguistics and literary sources. Using prehistoric evidence such as rock art and stone tools, the author studies the evolution of Homo sapiens and the dispersal of populations across the globe, against the backdrop of global climate changes. It discusses the forager-farmer conflict; maps out a linguistic history of India; traces the origin, growth, and decline of the Harappan civilisation and its impact on subsequent Indian history, and brings out the Mesopotamian and Elamite influence in its shaping.

Through an anecdotal narrative style, the author artfully weaves together this astonishing story of human grit and opens new windows into our past. Through the event of the drying up of the Sarasvati River, the book highlights how the narrative told by myth and bias contrasts with the alternate history revealed by modern scientific investigations.

This unique book will fascinate scholars and researchers of history as well as the historically inclined, curious reader.

Alan Machado (Prabhu), having graduated from the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, worked in the engineering industry in various capacities and countries, including Australia and Europe. His previously published books include Sarasvati’s Children (1999), Shades within Shadows (2012), Slaves of Sultans (2015) and Goa’s Inquisition (2022).

List of Tables and Figures
List of Abbreviations
Glossary
Timeline
A Few Words Before We Begin

1. India’s First Humans
2. Climate Change – Shaping Hominid Evolution
3. Populating the Earth – The Story Told by Bones and Stones
4. Populating the Earth – The Genetic Story
5. South Asia – The Genetic Story
6. Tales Languages Tell
7. Foraging to Farming
8. Foragers – The Retreat
9. Discovering a Buried Past
10. Timelines and the Elam Connection
11. Harappa – An Overview
12. The Beginnings
13. The Maturing
14. The Mechanisms of Control
15. The Decline and Dispersal
16. Bronze Age Eurasia
17. Expansion of Indo-European Speakers
18. The Indo-Iranian Speakers
19. The Early Arya in South Asia
20. Fashioning a New Order
21. A Forgotten History and a Lost River

Notes
Bibliography
Index

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