Gregory L. Possehl
The Rojdi Project
Professor of Archaeology
Department of Anthropology
University of Pennsylvania
Curator of the Asian Section
University of Pennsylvania Museum
of Archaeology and Anthropology
Recent Publications |
How to Contact
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August 5 1997. |
I am an anthropological archaeologist with broad interests in the
development and eclipse of urbanization in the Old World.
These considerations begin with the establishment of village farming
communities and the role of food production in the
processes that lead to urban life. My specific research and writing have
focused on the first phase of urbanization in South Asia
as exemplified by the ancient cities of Mohenjo-daro and Harappa. Since
1979 I have had an active program of field research
in the state of Gujarat, in India, where I have undertaken excavation at
three sites: Rojdi (six seasons of excavation);
(two seasons of excavation) and Babar Kot (one season of excavation). The
excavations in Gujarat have focused on three interrelated
problems: chronology, reconstruction of subsistence activities
and culture processes in a frontier region of the Indus
Civilization. These are archaeological problems which are as
interesting and important to me today as they were fifteen years ago, when
I first began to deal with them in the context of a field
Some Recent Publications
Click on highlighted
titles for more information!
- 1996 Indus Age: The Writing
System Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press: edited.
- A four-volume set of books explores the Harappan
Civilization under the series title Indus Age. This first volume
appeared in November 1996.
- 1996 Climate and the eclipse of the ancient cities of the
Indus. In, H. Nuzhet Dalfes,
George Kukla and Harvey Weiss, eds., Third Millennium BC Climate
Old World Collapse. NATO ASI, Series I: Global Environmental Change,
Berlin: Springer: 193-244.
- It appears that there was no significant climatic
change in either
the second or third millennium in the Subcontinent which might run
counter to events in other parts of Asia. This long paper discusses the
South Asian data, presents a large number of radiocarbon dates for the
transition between the Mature Harappan and the Post-urban Phase, which is
now dated to 1900 B.C.
- 1996 Meluhha. In, Julian E. Reade, ed., The Indian Ocean in
Kegan Paul International in Association with the British Museum: 133-208.
- I had never published on the third millennium maritime
trade in the Arabian Gulf.
This paper is my first attempt at documenting Mature Harappan contacts in
region, and Mesopotamia. With the deep involvement of my late colleague
Behrens, it presents an authoritative presentation of all of the
references to Meluhha prior to the reign of Hammurabi.
- 1993 Harappan Civilization: A recent
perspective 2nd revised
edition. Delhi: Oxford & IBH and the American Institute of Indian Studies:
595 pp., edited
- The first edition of Harappan Civilization was the result
of a conference
sponsored by the American Institute of Indian Studies in 1979. I was
nearly 50 delegates for about a week of intensive interaction and
discussion of the
Harappan Civilization. The second edition incorporates a number of
- 1993 The date of Indus urbanization: A proposed chronology for
the Pre-urban and
Urban Harappa Phases. In, A. Gail and G. Mevissen, eds., South Asian
Archaeology 1991. Stuttgart: Franz Steriner Verlag: 231-49.
- This paper presents all of the radiocarbon dates for
Early and Mature Harappan.
By averaging these dates for each of these period an estimate for their
chronological "center point" can be obtained. This turns out to be ca.
2280 BC for
the Mature Harappan, ca. 2530 for the Early/Mature Harappan Transition
2650 for the very late Early Harappan.
- 1992 The chronology of prehistoric India: from earliest
times to the Iron Age. In,
Robert Ehrich, ed., Chronologies in Old World Archaeology, 3rd ed.
Chicago: University of Chicago Press: 465-90 & 447-74., with Paul C. Rissman
- This paper deals with the chronology of "India
the editor Robert Ehrich
noted. Jim Shaffer did Pakistan and Afghanistan, so the chronology for
most of the
Harappan Civilization is found in his contribution. The most innovative
part of this
paper is the attempt to handle the chronology of hunting and gathering
"microlithic"within a dynamic framework of interaction with settled,
- 1992 South Asian Archaeology Studies. Delhi: Oxford &
IBH, 266 pp., edited.
- This is a festschrift for the friend, colleague and
mentor, Professor Walter A. Fairservis Jr.
- 1990 Revolution in the urban revolution: the emergence of
Indus urbanization. Annual
Review of Anthropology, 19: 261-82.
- The paper is an exploration of culture change. It
proposes that the Harappan
Civilization arose rapidly out of the four regional Early Harappan
Transitional Period between the Early Harappan and Mature Harappan is
be 150 to 200 years, as is known from radiocarbon dates. These are
the 1993 paper noted above in South Asian Archaeology 1991. The model of
punctuated equilibrium presented here is challenging the general
uniformitarianism, paralleled in many disciplines, especially geology,
evolution and linguistics.
- 1989 Harappan Civilization and
Rojdi Gregory L. Possehl and M. H. Raval. Delhi: Oxford & IBH and the
American Institute of Indian Studies: 197 pp.
- A monograph was published on the first four seasons of
excavation at Rojdi and the projects archaeologist/palaeobotanist
published his work in book form.
How To Contact Me
University Museum 223
(215) 898 4042
Department of Anthropology
325 University Museum
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia PA 19104-6398
(215) 898 7462
Or e-mail me at email@example.com !
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