Education About Asia: Online Archives

Ancient India

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About the time I read in India Today of the discovery of an ancient city under the waters of the Gulf of Cambay that may predate Harappa and Mohenjo Daro, I received a copy of the film Ancient India to review. From the title, I anticipated an opportunity to revisit scenes of the Indus Valley Civilization and possibly catch up on recent archaeological discoveries I may have missed. My first disappointment is that this film’s title is misleading. Rather than exploring “Ancient India,” which I would guess might include the subcontinent’s pre-history or possibly events prior to the Gupta Era (even A. L. Basham stopped before the appearance of Islam), I soon discovered that the film covers an assortment of scenes and artifacts that reach right into the Mughal Period. Rather than prehistory, this film mostly deals with what is sometimes called “above ground archaeology,” that is, ruins and monuments.