Sunday, November 18, 2018

Prehistoric cultural landscapes of Karnataka, India: Western Raichur Doab

The Indian subcontinent is formed of diverse ecological regions that have helped shape distinct regional cultural adaptations over the last several millennia, including settlement patterns and local human ecology. I understood this fundamental fact during my M.A. in Archaeology in 2012 and when I started my PhD in 2014 (Arjun 2018), I was faced with the dilemma of narrowing down on a specific regional context for my research. Eventually, I began my dissertation archaeological fieldwork in 2013 by focusing on three different regions of Karnataka: 1) Raichur Doab 2) Brahmagiri and 3) Koppa (Figure 1). The first two regions are in the semi-arid Deccan plateau and the third in the Western Ghats. These two climatic regions are characterized by very low rainfall and high rainfall respectively and thus have very different ecologies, types of rocks and minerals, formation of hills and valleys, rivers and even the kinds of archaeological sites found within. Over five years of fieldwork in these areas, I was able to make numerous observations on the emergence of regional landscapes and cultural patterns, as societies adapted to these varied ecological conditions. In this post, I will focus on the western part of the Raichur Doab. 

Figure 1: Map of Karnataka and regional studies by the author. 1) Western part of Raichur Doab; 2) Brahmagiri landscape and settlement survey project; 3) Koppa Archaeological research project. Map after source NBSS& LUP, Nagpur, India.