Abstract: Crafting Empire: The Archaeology of Craft Production in Vijayanagara, South India


The Vijayanagara Empire dominated Southern India from the 14th-17th centuries.  During its peak, Vijayanagara was one of the largest cities in the world. Today the ruins of this magnificent city cover some 400 square kilometers.  In this talk, I present an overview of Vijayanagara history and archaeology, drawing on more than 20 years of archaeological research in the imperial capital and its hinterlands.  I focus particularly on the lives and product of the non-elite craft producers, who manufactured the magnificent monuments, textiles, metal goods and the quotidian crafts of daily life; focusing particularly on how the study of crafts can be used to understand ancient political economies.


Short bibliography and/or website on lecture topic (for lay reader):

John M. Fritz and George Michell, editors, New Light on Hampi.   Marg Publications, Mumbai, 2001


Samir Patel, Oceans of Dharma. Archaeology Vol 62 (5), 2009

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