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Local diversity in settlement, demography and subsistence across the southern Indian Neolithic-Iron Age transition: site growth and abandonment at Sanganakallu-Kupgal

Roberts, P; Boivin, N; Petraglia, M; Masser, P; Meece, S; Weisskopf, A; Silva, F; ... Fuller, DQ; + view all (2015) Local diversity in settlement, demography and subsistence across the southern Indian Neolithic-Iron Age transition: site growth and abandonment at Sanganakallu-Kupgal. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences , 8 (3) pp. 575-599. 10.1007/s12520-015-0240-9. Green open access

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Abstract

The Southern Indian Neolithic-Iron Age transition demonstrates considerable regional variability in settlement location, density, and size. While researchers have shown that the region around the Tungabhadra and Krishna River basins displays significant subsistence and demographic continuity, and intensification, from the Neolithic into the Iron Age ca. 1200 cal. BC, archaeological and chronometric records in the Sanganakallu region point to hilltop village expansion during the Late Neolithic and ‘Megalithic’ transition period (ca. 1400–1200 cal. BC) prior to apparent abandonment ca. 1200 cal. BC, with little evidence for the introduction of iron technology into the region. We suggest that the difference in these settlement histories is a result of differential access to stable water resources during a period of weakening and fluctuating monsoon across a generally arid landscape. Here, we describe well-dated, integrated chronological, archaeobotanical, archaeozoological and archaeological survey datasets from the Sanganakallu-Kupgal site complex that together demonstrate an intensification of settlement, subsistence and craft production on local hilltops prior to almost complete abandonment ca. 1200 cal. BC. Although the southern Deccan region as a whole may have witnessed demographic increase, as well as subsistence and cultural continuity, at this time, this broader pattern of continuity and resilience is punctuated by local examples of abandonment and mobility driven by an increasing practical and political concern with water.

Type: Article
Title: Local diversity in settlement, demography and subsistence across the southern Indian Neolithic-Iron Age transition: site growth and abandonment at Sanganakallu-Kupgal
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s12520-015-0240-9
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12520-015-0240-9
Language: English
Additional information: The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12520-015-0240-9.
Keywords: Palaeoecology, Archaeobotany, Archaeozoology, Collapse, Resilience
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1478398
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